Rubies are my favorite gemstone. Of course, they're my birthstone.
A ruby is really red colored corundum. Pure corundum is coloress, a crystallized compound of aluminum and oxygen. As a gemstone it's worth very little. However, with a few impurities in corundum everything changes. Impurities are what give the mineral color. In the ruby, the impurity that makes the rich red color is a form of chromium oxide. Large rubies, not diamonds, are the rarest and most valuable of gemstones. That's because rubies are never very large. The largest known ruby only weighs thirty to forty carats--about a tenth of the biggest diamond.
Rubies have been mined for thousands of eyars, but it wasn't until the late 18th century that they were appreciated as a major gemstone. They have some interesting legends associated with them. One is that they contain the original spark of life, a drop of the heart's blood of Mother earth. Intense red toens are termed 'masculine' and pale tints are termed 'feminine'. Another is that they can make water boil. Rubies are supposed to have the ability to dissolve emotional congestion leading to an increase in self-esteem and universal love.
To dream of rubies meant that an unexpected guest would be calling. Rubies were known to protect the wearer against unhappiness, bad dreams and lightening. The ancients believed a ruby, because it was red, stopped or prevented bleeding. And, wearing one blessed the wearer with health, wisdom and wealth. Gamblers believe that they bring them luck.
There are stories of a magnificent ruby which possessed youth giving properties. When rubbed on the body, this miraculous gemstone would remove all visible signs of aging.
A ruby is said to pen one's heart to love. An engagement ring with a ruby is given to express passion and promise of their heart. Even better, rubies are capable of reconciling lovers' quarrels.
No matter what your birthstone, you can't ignore the the fiery-red color of a ruby. It epitomizes the spark of life and light up the darkness. If you own any rubies, wear them, appreciate them and they will glow for you.