India was for a long time the classic land of rubies, which had already honored the gemstone as "ratnayaka" ("First among the precious stones") more than 2000 years ago. He decorated the thrones of Maharajah and was a sought-after collector's item with Indian princesses. The Romans called it the "flower under the stones" and saw in it a symbol of the divine energy of love that unites Eros and Agape, the sensual and the spiritual love. In medieval Europe, the ruby was a symbol of power and decorated numerous emperor and king crowns and coronation insignia.
Central feature is the red color, which gave the ruby, derived from the Latin rubeus (the red), also its name. Until about 200 years ago, rubies, as well as red spinels and grenades, were called carbuncle stones because they reminded of glowing coals (lat. Carbunculus).
It was not until 1800 that it was recognized that the ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum and thus a relative of the sapphire.
With the exception of Antarctica, Korund is found on all continents of the world, but rubies are rarer than diamond. This is due to the chromium, which has the characteristic red color, but is also responsible for innumerable small cracks and cracks in the crystals. Thus, only a few ruby crystals could develop into a perfect gemstone. The most beautiful rubies with the coveted color shades from Blassrot to fiery dark red can be found in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
Particularly valuable is the so-called pigeon red, a powerful red with a sting in the bluish. Since the hue is typical for stones from the famous "Valley of the Rubies" in today's Myanmar, gemstones of this quality are often called "Burma Ruby" regardless of their actual location. The name is, therefore, less to be seen as a designation of origin than as a quality feature. In addition to the color intensity, the great hardness of ruby contributes to its value. With a hardness of 9 on the 10-part Mohs scale, it is the hardest mineral after the diamond. A stone is enhanced by optical effects with embedded rutile needles, which are enhanced by high-quality grinding. A few rutiles, which are stored parallel to the crystal axis, produce a soft shimmer, the so-called silk, while they lead in a large number to the cat-eye effect (chatoyance). Rubies with star-shaped rutiles show the rare star effect (asterism) and are ground to usually six-jet cabochons.
Inclusions do not reduce the value of a ruby, but considered as proof of his Echtheit.Berühmte copies of Edward Rubin (167 ct) at the British Museum of Natural History in London and a non faceted ruby of 250 carats in the St. Wenceslas crown, Which can be admired in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral. One of the most valuable rubies is the 138.7-carat Reeves star trek, exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Rubies are mainly used for jewelery. They are an expression of fiery love and romance, and whoever receives a ruby ring as a gift can be sure of the passionate feelings of the donor. The fact that these feelings can also last forever proves the custom of celebrating the 40th wedding anniversary as a ruby wedding.