Ruby Engagement Rings: History, Meaning, Types, and Durability
“You have no need to travel anywhere – journey within yourself. Enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light.”
History & Lore of Rubies
Red is the color of life, bright and fiery like the blood that flows through our veins, with an intensity that matches our most profound emotions — love, anger, passion, fury. Considered a stone of nobility, ruby is one of the most magnificent of the gemstones. Many cultures throughout history have honored and cherished the ruby. The Chinese emperor Kublai Khan was said to have offered an entire city in exchange for a substantial ruby. Legends suggest an inextinguishable flame lives within rubies, shining so bright not even the thickest of clothing could hide its glow. Ancient cultures claimed rubies could bring water to a boil, melt wax, ward off plague, and banish sadness. Burmese warriors inserted rubies into their flesh, rendering them invincible. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.”
Ruby emanates pure red energy, activating the base chakra and stimulating the chi, or life force energy. Ruby is one of the four precious gemstones (along with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires), and is composed of red Corundum, an aluminium oxide mineral. The chromium within this mineral is responsible for the rich red hues seen in rubies. Until the early 1800s red spinels, tourmalines, and garnets were believed to be rubies.
Types of Rubies
The most valuable and sought after rubies are those of the shade known as “Pigeon’s blood,” without any inclusions or hints of blues or yellows. Rubies have a wide color range and can be seen in deep pink-red, violet, reddish orange, pure red, or even wine colored. The shade of red varies depending on where it’s mined. Rubies are mined all over the world, but rubies from Burma, now known as Myanmar, are considered to be the world’s finest rubies. All Natural rubies have imperfections within them, including color impurities and rutile needle inclusions known as “silk.” These variations actually increase the value and rarity of the stone. When cut into a cabochon (a shaped and polished stone versus a faceted gemstone), rubies may display the rare cat’s eye effect, or look like what’s known as “star ruby” — a ruby which displays a six-rayed star that causes light to bounce off the ruby in truly magical ways.
Ruby Engagement Ring Meaning
Ruby ignites the sensual pleasures of life. It inflames the blood and inspires the heart, and encourages enjoyment of the physical world. Ruby has long been known to increase desire, and has been associated with love, especially faithful and passionate commitment, for centuries. Many believe it to be the perfect engagement stone or wedding gift. Ruby allows one to experience all forms of love, from wildly passionate to mystical intimacy. It has been said to deepen a couple’s relationship, and may even increase chances of conception.
Rubies measure in at 9 on the Mohs Scale, the universally accepted ranking that measures gemstone hardness. Diamonds and moissanite are the only stones harder than rubies, making them an excellent choice for your engagement ring. Though rubies, like all engagement rings, are not suitable for 24/7 wear, they will stand the test of time, and if you work with a skilled jewelry designer like Abby Sparks Jewelry, you can be sure you’ll start with a high quality stone that’s set in a design that will protect the ruby from everyday damages. If you love rubies, be sure to check out all of our ruby engagement rings, non-traditional engagement rings, gemstone engagement rings, and alternative engagement rings.