The gemstone ruby has enjoyed a most regal position in myth, legend and lore for thousands and thousands of years. It has for quite a long time been a favored talisman among royalty worldwide. Catherine of Aragon wore an infamous ruby, that was told had turned dark and dull the day before Henry VII announced he was divorcing her. King Henry V wore The Black Prince Ruby in his helmet as he fought the French at Agincourt in 1415. Later, it was discovered to his dismay that the gem was merely a spinel. Still now that spinel is set in the Imperial State Crown in London.
Engraved gemstone rubies were quite popular for attracting wealth and enhancing magical energies. Dragons and snakes were quite favored as engraving. As well, a ruby was considered to be one of the more important gifts to honor Buddha and Krishna with. The Hindu people believed that the gemstone’s red glow came from an internal flame that no human could possibly extinguish.
Ruby, the name given to red, gem-quality corundum – is one of the best gemstone for jewelry settings. Rubies may be any shade of red, from pinkish to purplish or brownish red, depending on the chromium and iron content of the stone.
Frequent twinning of the crystals makes the material liable to fracture, yet ruby is a tough mineral, second only to diamond in hardness. In 1902, a Frenchman, Auguest Verneuil, produced a synthetic ruby crystal by exposing powdered aluminum oxide and coloring material to the flame of the blowtorch.
Still today, this member of the corundum mineral family, is up to ten times more valuable than a Diamond of equal carat and clarity. A perfectly translucent Ruby is rare. Stones larger than five carats and of perfect clarity are extremely rare and can fetch a quarter of a million dollars per carat at auction.