The deep red fire of these precious gems have made rubies one of the most soughtafter pieces in history, noted in ancient religious texts and recorded in the histories of kings, pharaohs, and emperors. One of the four precious stones, ruby is in league with emerald, sapphire, and diamond.
In addition to its coveted blood-red coloring, ruby is one of the hardest natural gemstones – only diamond and moissanite outrank it. Rubies also sometimes display asterisms when cut into cabochons to amplify the effect.
For centuries, a regional area in Myanmar was the world’s only source for rubies, but they have also been found in smaller numbers in India, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Several finds in Africa in the last decade have increased market supplies of rubies, though high-quality stones are still in great demand.
To maximize the beautiful color of this stunning gemstone, rubies are often treated with high heat to dissolve impurities and increase intensity.
Ruby is in the same family as sapphire, being the red variety of corundum. Its elegance and status remain nearly unmatched, and its reputation for being one of the most dazzling gemstones continues to grow even today.