Posted on April 19 2019
Ruby initiates the sensual pleasures of life. It stirs the blood and stimulates the heart, encouraging one to enjoy being in the physical world. It increases desire and sexual energy, and may be used to activate the kundalini. Ruby has always been associated with love, especially faithful passionate commitment and closeness. In antiquity Rubies were considered to be perfect wedding stones.
Natural Ruby is one of four “precious” gemstones (including Diamond, Emerald and Sapphire) known its rarity, monetary value, and hardness (second only to Diamond). Ruby is red Corundum, an aluminum oxide mineral with chromium responsible for its rich, red color. The name comes from the Latin word rubeus, meaning “red,” and until 1800 when Ruby was recognized as a variety of Corundum, red Spinels, Tourmalines, and Garnets were also believed to be Ruby. All other color varieties of Corundum are designated as Sapphire.
Ruby forms in prismatic tabular, bipyramidal or rhombohedral crystals, as well as granular or massive habits, and has a vitreous luster. The most valuable and desired Rubies are those of a shade called “pigeon’s blood,” defined by William Fernie as “a pure deep, rich red, without any admixture of blue or yellow,” though others define it as “a pure red with a hint of blue.” The shade of red varies depending on where it is mined, and may be a deep pink-red, a reddish-orange, red with a violet cast, or even a deep wine color. The paler pink Corundum, debated as Ruby by some, is usually referred to in gemological terms as Pink Sapphire rather than Ruby.
All natural Rubies have imperfections within them, including color impurities and inclusions of Rutile needles known as “silk.” These inclusions help distinguish natural Ruby from synthetics and when structurally oriented so the light shines off the “silk” in certain ways, the inclusions actually increase the rarity and value of the stone. If cut en cabochon, these special stones may display a chatoyancy, or rare “cat’s eye” effect, or in the case of a Star Ruby may display a six-rayed star effect called asterism, that causes the light rays to appear to glide magically across the stone as it is moved.