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Ruby As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
Rubies are the stones of folklore and mystery. Often fiery red and reflecting an extraordinary depth of color, ruby is said to resemble the heart and is able inspire the passions of love. This stone is often associated with masculinity and strength though it is said to also represent passion and strength in women. A member of the corundum family of crystals, ruby has a long and storied history much like its mineral cousin the sapphire. These brilliant stones can be found in many parts of the world including areas of Southeast and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, though the finest quality stones are said to come from Thailand and Burma. Red corundum is nearly as hard as diamond and is highly prized for this quality.

History

Next to diamonds ruby is considered by many to be the most valuable gemstone in the world. The deep red color of these stones was long prized by royals and monarchs throughout Asia and the Middle East and the history of this dates back thousands of years.

Ruby is similar to other stones comprised of corundum like sapphire. The color of this stone is said to come from various levels of iron and chromium that is present and varies from pinkish red to deep red. In fact, lighter shades of ruby are often classified as pink sapphire. The early twentieth century saw the first synthetically manufactured corundum stones and was originally done to supply a growing industrial market for crystal substances that were hard enough for grinding metals. Industrial corundum is made from bauxite and can be seen commonly used as the abrasive known as emery. It was not long before synthetic gemstones were being made and offered for sale.

The differences between a naturally-occurring stone and a manufactured stone are very subtle is very difficult to determine with the untrained eye. Only a person well-trained in gemology can make such a determination. Genuine, gemstone quality ruby can be quite expensive and buyers should be wary of stones that are offered at a discount price.

Birthstone Information

This stone represents the birth month of July and is associated with several astrological birth signs such as Sagittarius, Scorpio, Leo and Cancer.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

These stones have long been held up as sources of beneficial powers. As with many other gemstones and crystals, ruby is thought to give the wearer powers of immortality and strength of heart. Still other beliefs hold that the bearer is protected from the effects of witchcraft and the evil wishes of others. The bearer is said to be safe from poisons and the strength of heart gives the bearer the power to make peace with ones enemies.

Some General Scientific Information

The chemical name Al2O3 otherwise referred to as aluminum oxide with traces of iron or chromium.

The hardness is 9 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

There are several artificial forms of enhancement used on these stones. Heat is often used to enhance the color of these stones and the average buyer would be unaware if this technique was employed. Imperfections are sometimes filled.

There is no cleavage.
Birefringence is weak and ranges anywhere between 0.007-0.010.
Refraction index ranges between 1.757 - 1.779.
The specific gravity is 3.98 - 4.1.
The crystalline system is hexagonal.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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