The ruby is not only the birthstone for Juli, but also the gem for the 15th and the 40th anniversary. It is also my birthstone and I love that red color of the ruby. In my blog of last week I wrote about the ruby and in this blog I want to tell you about the importance of the ruby in history and in the different regions of the world, You can find interesting things about that precious red gemstone…

Ruby gemstones are red, very red. And red is the color of love (heart and red roses) of power (like red sportcars) or strength (red blood). According to legends the ruby brings you fortune and health and power ánd on top of it: when you wear a ruby your enemy cannot defeat you. That is: when you wear your ruby on your left side (where the heart is). You can imagine that the ruby is a wanted gemstone in time and in many parts of the world.

The red ruby (heart, love) with its hardness (9 on Moh’s scale) and the believe that the gemstone had an inner fire, that could not be extinguished, makes the ruby the symbol of everlasting love and a perfect stone in an engagement ring. And in Antique Times the ruby was THE gemstone for a weddingring.

The raw ruby of Myanmar, a Burmese lady and a booktitle: the ruby is popular.

The raw ruby of Myanmar, a Burmese lady and a booktitle: the ruby is popular.

Breastshield of highpriest Aaron

Breastshield of highpriest Aaron

The ruby was mentioned in the Bible

Since a very very long time the ruby is famous and well appreciated. In the Bible the ruby was considered as one of the most beautiful gemstones God made, when he created the world (birthstones). God told the highpriest Aaron how he should be clothed when he was in function. He had to wear a breastshield on his heart. And on that breastshield there were twelve gemstones representing the tribes of Israel. And the ruby was one of the gemstones. But in the Bible you also find a tekst, to bring the appreciation of the ruby in perspective. I was not aware of the fact that Job was such a wise man. But he said: ‘wisdom is more precious than rubies’. That’s why they say that the ruby is the symbol of wisdom too.


Ruby meant wealth and power

Ruby meant wealth and power

The ruby was popular and valued in Europe

In the Middle Ages people thought that when in a gemstone an image was carved, it was done by nature and not by men. In a book from the 13th century by Ragiel (‘Book of Wings’) he is talking about a ruby with the image of a dragon, which should make the owner happy and healthy.

In Europe the ruby was highly appreciated by the royalty and the upper classes. Not only because of the beauty, but also because people thought that the gemstone could garantee health, wealth, wisdom and a good lovelife. In France once lived a Madame Mendes who was convinced that beautiful gemstones were inhabited by spirits and the spirits got angry with her when she did not wear the gemstones frequently. That’s why she                                                                                                                                                                                                                           wore so many rings at the same time. She claimed that the ruby in her                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ring became dull if she did not wear it. But she had a problem, because the                                                                                                                                                                                                                         other gemstones complained also when she did not wear then often                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     enough. The result was that she looked like a Christmastree, fully hanged                                                                                                                                                                                                                           with jewelry.

The ruby was important in India

Since about 2500 years ago the ruby was mined in India. The Hindus regarded the ruby as the ‘king of the gemstones’ and the ruby was more appreciated and valued than the other gemstones. They saw the different colors of the ruby as different castes. The most popular color was called ‘the red of the lotus’ and was related to the highest caste (Brahmin) and that ruby would protect the owner against any danger. But… this color ruby should not be in contact with other colors of ruby or other gemstones,

Rubies on the Kalpa tree

Rubies on the Kalpa tree

because that precious ruby could be contaminated by them and could loose his power. That is similar to the caste policy of India, since ages: keep the groups of people with different social backgrounds apart to avoid problems. But the result is that you get problems of discrimination and the uprising against that.

The Hindus had a specific offering ‘The Kalpa Tree’, that consisted entirely of gemstones. The rubies represent the ripe fruits of that tree. On special occasions the Hindus offered gemstones to the gods in the temple. And in the tekst of ‘Haiti Smriti’ it says: ‘he who worships Krishna with rubies will be reborn as a powerful emperor; if with a small ruby, he will be born as a king’. Interesting enough the Native Americans believed that too. When they offered a ruby to the gods, they would be reborn as an emperor or as a king when the ruby was small.


Rubies in water

Rubies in water

Legends about the ruby

When you think that the red color in a ruby is the result of an inner fire that could not be extinguished , will it lead to many stories and legends. Like the story that when you put a ruby in a bowl of water, the water would boil or by wrapping a ruby in a cloth it would shine through. The ruby should increase the warmth of the body or it was the remedy against bleeding and inflammation. And was a good remedy against anger. Well I feel always cold and wearing a ruby did not help until now (a pity that it is just a legend).

In the 8th century Achametis wrote a book about dreams (Arabia) and he stated that when a king dreams of a crown full of rubies or other red gemstones, he would be feared by his enemies and the dream means that he should be happy and healty. Also in other books the writers tell about the success in business, when you dream about rubies.

Another legends tells that the ruby can warn people for danger. As danger approaches the ruby would become darker, but only if the owner wore the ruby in the left hand. That is when the rightfull owner wore the ruby… otherwise the magic would not work.

The powers of the ruby

The ruby has been associated with wealth: wear a ruby on the side of the heart it protects your house, your estates and other possessions. And on top of that the owner of the ruby should live in peace, love and wisdom and there would be no perils.

Especially the Burmese ruby was famous with the soldiers: they became invulnerable. But they did not had to wear the ruby on the side of the heart but the ruby should become a part of the body. Then the soldier would be safe from wounds by bullets or sword. I looked in to this story and I could not find any writen evidence how the soldiers got that ruby into their body. It cannot be done by swallowing rubies, since during the fight they will come out the natural way. Maybe they implanted it somewhere in their body. But that can be dangerous too in those times, without the right medical care. If somebody can help me out solving this intriguing problem, pls write a comment under this blog.

In Pakistan/Kashmir was a tribe (Hanza) who thought that rubies or other red stones like garnets would cause more severe wounds than bullets. And they tried that in their fight against the British in 1892. Unneccesary to say that it did not work at the time.

Ruby and garnet necklace in the collection of FlorenceJewelshop

Ruby and garnet necklace in the collection of FlorenceJewelshop

The health power of the ruby

Like many other gemstones the ruby was also thought to have curative power. Although it was a rather expensive medicine: ruby was grounded into a powder and the patient with indigestion problems should be cured by drinking the powder with water. The ruby should purify blood and supposed to be an antidote for poison.

In the world of science and hypnotism the ideas of the power of color related to gemstones is rising. Dr Kunz said that “It is impossible to over-estimate the effect of color in determining the supposed influence of gems upon the fortunes or health of the wearers. Not only are gems such as a fine ruby aesthetically pleasing, but the influence of the rays of light cannot be discounted.” The red                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     light rays was stimulating and warm, while the blue violet light was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       calming, according to the hypnotists.

Down to earth with the ruby

The shoes worn in the Wizard of Oz, made in rubies.

The shoes worn in the Wizard of Oz, made from rubies.

We can say that the ruby is an intriguing beautiful gemstone with a lot of powers. Wearing the ruby on the side of the heart or inside your body gives you health, wealth, you will be invincible, it is great for your sex life. Everybody that dreams about rubies will become an emperor or king. And the alternative is to offer a ruby to the temple and your carreer in insured.

People know this marvellous gemstone already for ages and in every age the price to get such a gemstone was high. When you invest in such an expensive gemstone you want that your investment will flourish. Probably that is the reasons that all the stories and legends come up talking about a ruby.

Whatever the story, whatever the believe in the story ad in this gemstone: the ruby is a great and beautiful piece of nature. And you are lucky if you possess a jewel made of rubies, whether your birthday is in July or in another month.



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