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11 Fun Facts About Rubies

By Caitlyn Learman


From ruby slippers all the way from the land of OZ to the British Royal Families' crown jewels, the ruby is one of the highest-regarded coloured gemstones in the world and in certain cases, can even rival diamonds in value! Being one of the four recognized gemstones along with emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, rubies are highly coveted around the world. What sets this stone apart from other gemstones is its inherent colour and beauty, evoking feelings of love and passion with its rich red hues. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about rubies!

  • Ruby is the birthstone for July. It is also a traditional gift for those celebrating 15th or 40th anniversaries.
  • Ruby comes from the Latin "ruber" meaning red, and they can come in a variety of different shades. Rubies can be anything from a deep rich red to a more pinkish tone. 
  • Early records also see rubies called “Ratnaraj” in Sanskrit, meaning “King of Gems”.
  • Rubies are made of corundum and get their signature red colour from trace amounts of chromium. While corundum can come in many different colours, those stones would actually be classified as sapphires instead of rubies.
  • Ruby measures 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, second only to diamond and matched with sapphire. This makes ruby an extremely hard and durable gemstone.
  • Rubies have been found all over the world, including in Myanmar (formerly Burma), Africa, Australia and the USA.
  • Originally, the finest rubies were mined in Myanmar and it is from there that the term "Burmese Ruby" began to describe the finest rubies.
  • Almost all rubies have flaws. Rubies without imperfections are exceptionally rare and oftentimes command prices even higher than diamonds of a similar weight and quality.

  • Red spinel was assumed to be a ruby until scientists discovered it was a completely different gemstone in the late 18th century! One of the most famous examples of this mistaken identity is the “The Black Prince’s Ruby”, a 170-carat irregular spinel bead that has been in the British Royal Family’s possession since 1367. 
  • Rubies are recognized as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence and bring success. They are also said to have the power to attract and maintain love!
  • In 2011, an 8.24-carat ruby ring belonging to Elizabeth Taylor and made by Van Cleef & Arpels sold at auction for $4.2 million, with the price per carat amounting to approximately $500,000!

In the market to add some rubies to your collection? Take a look at our ruby jewellery on 100 Ways!