from Ruby Gemstones
STONE OF THE MONTH OF JULY-RUBY
All of you July birthdays out there can feel pride in claiming the ruby, know to ancient cultures as "the king of all gems," as your birth stone! Astonishingly, in certain instances large rubies have been known to bring more at auction than the most flawless diamonds. This is because of the rarity of gem quality in the ruby stone. Derived from the Latin word for red - rubrum- the history of the ruby has been recorded as far back as the Bible and ancient Sanskrit writings. Sister to the sapphire from the corundum family, the ruby is composed of aluminum oxide; red corundum is ruby. All other colors are part of the sapphire family.
To some ancient cultures the ruby was considered a representation of the sun. To others it represented courage, devotion, generosity, happiness, healing, inspiration, integrity, prosperity and romance. According to legend, warriors implanted rubies under their skin to bring valor in battle. As a talisman, ruby would warn its owner against danger and disaster. Ground to a fine powder and placed on the tongue, it was believed by some former cultures to cure blood diseases, stop bleeding, ensure good health, bring peace, and treat indigestion.
The different geographical sources of the ruby each produce specific characteristics, colors and qualities. Burma is famous for producing the greatest amount of top quality rubies of a fine, clear, deep red and is subsequently the most important source of rubies today. Africa is known for small purplish red stones, Thailand for dark red to brownish rubies and Sri Lanka medium to light rubies.
The red aura of the ruby stone causes this "king of gems" to appear bigger than they really are. Rubies are indeed the scarcest of all gemstones and command extremely high prices therefore the average sized ruby is also generally less than any other gemstone. Rubies have numerous and sometimes unusual modern applications, as styluses in turntables, as tiny bearings in expensive wristwatches.
Since rubies represent romantic love and devotion, the invaluable gem makes an excellent choice for an engagement ring. In fact Sarah Ferguson, (Fergie) the Duchess of York, received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. It is the traditional wedding anniversary gift for a couple's 15th and 40th year.
*info from faycullen.com