anniversaries especially the 15th and 40th, July birthdays and sweet
little grandmothers are as synonymous with the king of gemstones -
the Ruby, as Dorothy's slippers were in 'The Wizard Of Oz'.
Most of us can
relate to one or more of those snapshots in our own lives.
Rubies with their
spectacular 'red fire' have always symbolized love and passion and
this is reflected in this nineteenth century account in Les
Lapidaires Francais, "the ruby, called the lord of gems, the
highly prized, the dearly loved ruby, so fair with its gay color."
Today we would
express those sentiments much differently. A beautiful ruby will
always evoke a response acknowledging its unique beauty and the
special place it holds in the world of precious gems.
grandmothers as one of the ruby 'triggers' for myself anyway. There
are others, but this is one that has stayed with me all my life as I
remember the gorgeous ruby ring my grandmother always wore.
At a very young
age it seemed to me to be a part of her - I could not imagine her
without seeing that ruby ring. So, how did it get there? As enquiring
kids do, I had to get to the bottom of that, and I asked my own
mother. "Oh, that ring was given to her by your grandfather a
long time ago as a wedding anniversary gift" she said. To be
honest that didn't mean a lot to a nine year old at the time but as
the years rolled on, and long after grandmother had left us the
vision remained, and for reasons probably best known to that ruby,
Ruby is the the
traditional anniversary gift for the 15th and 40th years of marriage.
While these two anniversaries require an almost obligatory
acknowledgement of the gift of ruby, I think any anniversary is a
perfect time to honor the devotion of a loving partner with this
It is also the
astrological stone for the zodiac sign of Capricorn and so July
birthday girls and boys of all ages are in the very fortunate
position to become possible ruby recipients.
At one time rubies
were valued more highly than diamonds particularly in the mid-16th
century when they were trading at up to eight times the cost of a diamond.
Ruby is found in a
number of countries, the principle ones being Myanmar (formerley
Burma), Vietnam, Pakistan and East Africa. But originally India was
considered home to the ruby where the Sanskrit word for it is
'ratnaraj' which means 'king of the gems'. Somehow it seems so right
when thinking of India in it's 'golden age', maharaja's, opulence,
palaces, processional elephants and of course our precious rubies.
The ruby is an
ideal choice alongside the diamond for daily wear. Ruby with a
hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale comes a very close second to the
diamond on 10.
A gift of a
beautiful red ruby has always been associated with feelings of the
heart and love which makes it a perfect choice as an anniversary or
birthday gift. The color red has always been associated with feelings
of the heart and love and a ruby eternity band containing a full
circle of rubies symbolizes the never ending eternal circle of both
love and life.
Settings of rubies
in an eternity band or wedding ring are always in high demand. Used
in this way they represent the continuous circle of love that will
never be broken.
But - and it is a
big but, be prepared to pay just as much or even more for a mined
ruby as you would for a diamond of similar carat weight.
The price of a
ruby is manipulated in much the same way as that of a diamond or any
other precious stone. Supply is controlled to maintain inflated
prices, a fact of life if you want to go down that road but there is
another route that will save you a lot of money.
If a flawless
'pigeon blood red' ruby is on your shopping list but the price is an
issue then you will find a publication that many people have
recommended may help.
Diamonds', which by the way is free just now, discusses diamonds and
several other precious gemstones including optically perfect rubies,
topaz, amethysts, saphires and emeralds all with an environmental
footprint of zero and all carrying the benefits of certification by
American International Gemologists. It really is a great resource and
will help you make the best decision.