The Curious Lore of Rubies
For those who love rubies to the moon and back again…
White Gold, Ruby, and Diamond Ring

Since ancient times, rubies have signified passion, protection, and wealth. Many cultures view the ruby as a symbol of love and commitment. The ruby is the birthstone of July and the traditional gift for both the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

But did you know there were so many fun facts (and folklore…) to know about Rubies?

  • Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200BC.

  • Evidently Emperor Kublai Khan offered to trade an entire city for a large ruby.

  • Rubies have long been considered a stone of kings. The 8th century Arabic philosopher, Achametis wrote that if a king dreams of a crown set with red jewels, he will have great joy and fortune.

  • In 1913, a famous American mineralogist, mineral collector, and VP at Tiffany & Company, George Frederick Kunz authored The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, in which he expounds on the legend and lore, dating back to antiquity, surrounding the healing and talismanic properties of rubies. It’s an interesting read.

  • As it turns out, rubies are actually red sapphires…or perhaps sapphires are actually blue rubies. Ruby gemstones are a variety of the mineral corundum, more specifically they are the red variety which is colored by chromium. All other colors of corundum are classified as sapphires.

  • Certified by the Gemological Institute of America, the largest unpolished ruby, the 125West Ruby, weighs in at 8.2 pounds or 18,696 carats.

  • The world’s largest mined ruby, consisting of 8,500 carats, was carved and polished in 1976 to resemble the Liberty Bell in honor of the Unites States’ Bicentennial celebration. Worth more than $2M, this large, rare stone vanished in a 2011 jewelry heist.

  • A ruby discovered by a team of scientists in Greenland was determined to be 2.5 billion years old and provided evidence of ancient life. Did we mention that rubies have been loved by life forms since ancient times…

Dr. Theodore Maiman, the scientist who invented the laser.

  • And finally, the first ever laser was powered by ruby fluorescence. Invented in 1960, this ruby laser was later used in 1969 to measure the distance from the earth to the moon (and back again).

Explore the wonderful selection of ruby jewelry in our Estate Jewelry & Sterling Silver Auction, taking place on July 28th, 2022 at 10am EDT.