Did you know that for centuries the ruby was revered above all gemstones in the world? What’s not to love? The striking red color has fascinated us for over two thousand years! The word, “ruby” is from “rubens” – a latin word for red. No wonder it symbolizes passion and love!
The ruby is very closely related to the sapphire, both being varieties of the mineral corundum, which is actually colorless. The brilliant red is a result of elements including chrome, aluminum oxide and trace amounts of iron, titanium or vanadium. Chrome is actually what makes it so rare, because while this element causes the red color, it also causes cracks in the crystals, so only a percentage of them were able to grow to a large size and crystallise into perfection. Its beauty and rarity only add to its value.
The ruby can be found in places like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Thailand, Northern Pakistan, Laos, Nepal and Afghanistan as well as India, and recently have been found in Kenya and Tanzania.
We have heard of “ruby-red”, but did you know that there are actually different shades of the red that are indicators of the quality of the gem. For example, the Burmese color (sometimes called “pigeon-blood-red”) is so strong and brilliant that it does not matter what kind of light you look at it in, the color remains exceptional. Siamese color refers to a more subtle, deeper red, and Ceylon is much lighter and very rare.
Did you know that the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz are considered the most valuable movie memorabilia and certainly most famous pair of shoes in the world? There is not one real ruby – they are made with rhinestones and sequins. However, to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the 1939 movie, Harry Winston created a pair of ruby slippers using REAL rubies…4,600 of them for a total of 1,350 carats. He also used 50 carats of diamonds. The shoes are worth $3,000,000.00 and only Judy Garland has ever put them on!
While we don’t have ruby slippers in stock, we do have some really stunning necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets for you to choose from!