Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ruby - The July Birthstone

I love rubies! One of the pieces of jewelry I remember from childhood was a faceted ruby pear (glass, of course) pendant that hung from a gold chain. I loved it; it made me think of fairy tales and India and other exotic places that, at the time, I didn't know if I would ever get to see. Now that I have, rubies still remind me of India, Turkey, Egypt, and Spain. I love working with them, and I'm always on the lookout for rubies to put in my jewelry - and the bigger they are, the better! (See links to jewelry at the end of this post.)

Rubies are a folklore staple, part of their exotic mystique. My favorite bit of ruby lore is the belief that putting a ruby under your pillow will ward off nightmares. Also, the ruby is associated in many cultures with an increase in prosperity, fame and accomplishments. Wearing a ruby was/is said to protect one from danger, and various diseases of the blood. According to Aryuvedic traditions, they strengthen the heart, restore balance in both love and spiritual relationships, and help to prevent miscarriages. Of course, rubies are thought to represent passion when a man presents one to a woman as a gift.

In Arabian lore, the ruby (also called the jacinth) was used to describe the beauty of the houris in paradise. Another name for the ruby, widely used in the 17th century was the carbuncle although it was more common to use this word to indicate a garnet. In India, it was known as the "Lord of the Gemstones". In Proverbs 31:10, a virtuous wife’s worth is “far above rubies.”

Scientifically, rubies are known as corundum (as are sapphires) and are a 9 in hardness on the Moh's scale. Only the diamond is harder. Many of the best, dark red rubies are known as pigeon's blood rubies. The best rubies were always thought to come from Burma. However, rubies also come from Thailand, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and even North Carolina in the USA.
It's hard to beat the richness of rubies, even with my favorite - the emerald. The ruby has luxury, mystery, and romance all rolled into one fabulous gemstone!
Ruby Bracelets Ruby Earrings Ruby Necklaces All on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

No comments: