Rubies: -- The Lord of all Gems
They are also July's birthstone -- befitting that we offer a few trivia tidbits abaout the stone.
The word, "ruby" has its roots in the Latin word, "ruber" meaning red --- simple, yet befitting the lovely red stone.
Rubies are in the Corundum (aluminum oxide) family which is the same family of sapphires. Thus depending on how much chromium and/or iron it has, the stones can be pinkish, purplish, orangey and a bit brownish. The most desired color is deep red with a little hint of blue in it, sometimes called, pigeon's blood.
Rubies in history:
From Exodus in the Bible: Aaron wore the Breastplate of Judgement which has 12 gemstones on it, each representing a tribe of Israel. Ruby was considered on the most precious and thus was first.
Also from the Bible: Proverbs 8:11 (KJV) For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
During the middle ages: Rubies were worn to protect one from worms. It was also supposed to keep one youthful and help to refrain from lust.
From Gemnation.com, they wrote: To some it was a representation of the sun. To others it represented integrity, devotion, happiness, healing, courage, romance, generosity, inspiration, and prosperity. 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 ancient cultures to cure blood diseases, stop bleeding, ensure good health, bring peace, and treat indigestion.