Patek Philippe
Sonia Basso
Gemmologist & Jewellery Advisor
3月 2022

The Ruby, between legends, stories and unique characteristics

Among the most desired and admired gems, the ruby is certainly considered one of the most precious and rare in the world. According to Hindu legends, it was created by the sun god Surya, who infused it with a divinatory quality capable of revealing misfortunes and good fortune to its owner; it embellished the Peacock Throne, made to celebrate the reign of Shah Jahan, as well as the mythical sword of Siegfried, it is also set on the Crown of St. Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, and has enchanted merchants and queens for its red colour like blood.

The ruby, a precious stone with unmistakable characteristics

The ruby is second in hardness to the diamond and arouses admiration and curiosity because of its obvious eye-catching characteristics. The name ‘ruby’ comes from the Latin ‘ruber’ and indicates the red variety of the corundum species. The red colouring can have secondary tints ranging from red to pink, orange or purple, depending on the percentage of iron and chromium present in the gem. The so-called “Pigeon’s Blood” is a pure red ruby with a slight blue tint and comes from the famous Burmese mines.

The Ruby, between legends, stories and unique characteristics
The Ruby, between legends, stories and unique characteristics

Ruby ore and mining: the most important sites

Only 1% of the world’s entire ruby production is of optimum gem quality and Burma supplied most of these gems until the 1960s. Since then there has been a steady decline in mining and high quality gems are now extremely rare. Today, very fine rubies are also mined in Mozambique, Madagascar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, but the Burmese still retain the highest value. Geographical origin influences market prices due to the reputation of certain areas of origin, but for the best quality gems, their origin is of relative importance as they are very rare.

The fundamental characteristic of the ruby is undoubtedly its colour, while purity, which is always important, is of secondary importance, although the typical inclusions of corundum can indicate its geographical origin and influence the price of the ruby.

Why give a ruby as a present

To give a ruby ring, necklace or earrings with a ruby is to give the symbol of ardent, passionate and eternally burning love. The ruby is also an emblem of happiness and vitality, a symbol of nobility and power.

This is why the ruby is one of the most loved gems by both women and men: for its unique and fascinating characteristics of rarity and beauty as well as for its history and the strong symbolic load that accompany it throughout the centuries.

The Ruby, between legends, stories and unique characteristics

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