Precious Ruby gemstone is the birthstone for those born in July and is also the 40th wedding anniversary gift that symbolises romance, devotion, and passion.
The “King of Gems”, the ruby gemstone is identical in every way to sapphire except in colour, and is one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones. Rubies are second only to diamonds, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale.
The History of Ruby
Rubies from Myanmar (formerly Burma)
The most valuable rubies form in marble, which has low iron content and helps produce the most vibrantly coloured rubies, and have been mined in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), the Himalayas and northern Vietnam. One of the oldest known ruby mines is in Myanmar, specifically in the area of Mogok. Other nearby villages have been famous since ancient times for their gemstones, especially ruby and sapphire. 90% of the world’s rubies come from Mogok. Records show this blood-red gemstone was also traded along the North Silk Road of China, around 200 BC. Burmese rubies are still some of the most valued of all rubies.
Rubies from Vietnam
Since the late 1990s, Vietnam has been another significant source of rubies. The Luc Yen region in northern Vietnam produces rubies of red to purple-red colour and has become Vietnam’s most important gemstone-trading centre for the last 30 years. The markets of Yen The, the capital of Luc Yen, offer other natural gems from Vietnam and elsewhere (including peridot, beryl, aquamarine, topaz, and quartz); synthetic gems are also found in these markets.
Rubies from Mozambique
Mozambique has become an important new source of rubies. The mines at Montepuez, in the northeast of Mozambique, yield rubies that are compared to the famed rubies of the Mogok region in Myanmar. The Montepuez ruby is the most important newly discovered ruby deposit in the world as well as the single largest source of ruby deposits and the largest producing ruby mine, covering an area of 34,966 hectares. 50% of the world’s ruby supplies are mined here.
Mystique and Ancient Myths of Ruby
Held in high esteem in India and Asia especially, rubies were not only set into revered objects and jewellery, but were also set into the foundations of a building to secure good fortune over the structure. Ruby is the gemstone of protection and was even used by ancient warriors as a means of immortality when going into battle. Perhaps because of its rarity, this blood-coloured gemstone symbolises wealth, energy, royalty, and power.
Ruby, a gemstone quite appropriately symbolising the colour of passion, is believed to enhance warmth and compassion between couples and allows its owner to experience all forms of love. It also attracts happiness and joy and detoxifies the blood.
When worn as a talisman, ruby’s mystical properties extended to personal protection from negative energy. The blood-coloured stone would preserve them from all dangers.
Famous Precious Ruby Gemstones
The 100.32 carat DeLong Star Ruby resides in the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The beautiful, deep red ruby with a 6-rayed star gets its name from Mrs. Edith Haggin de Long. The DeLong Star Ruby was also stolen in a jewel heist. Along with the Star of India and the Midnight Star Sapphire, it was stolen from the museum in what became known as the ‘Jewel Heist of the Century’ in 1964. Luckily all three stones were ultimately recovered.
The Sunrise Ruby
The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive ruby, most expensive coloured gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. The 25.59 carat Burma ruby set into a Cartier ring and flanked by white diamonds has a richly saturated natural “pigeon blood red” colour; high clarity and brilliance and a finely proportioned cut and shape. Selling for more than 30 million US dollars, it was a world record not only for ruby but for any coloured gemstone at an auction.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Ruby Suite Jewellery Collection
Elizabeth Taylor’s complete jewellery collection was auctioned by Christie’s in 2011. Several precious ruby gemstone pieces were included in the sale, specifically a Van Cleef and Arpels ring set with an 8.24-carat ruby that broke the ‘price per carat’ record for rubies @ US$512,925 per carat, sold over US$4.2 million.
Precious Ruby Gemstone Jewellery at Mark Solomon Jewellers
For a real-life glimpse of timeless beauty, or to have your own precious gem fit for a legend, contact the sales team at Mark Solomon Jewellers.
Our showroom boasts the largest selection of loose diamonds and precious gems under one roof in South Africa, as well as an extensive range of high-end, designer jewellery perfect for any occasion.
Mark Solomon Jewellers