The ruby is one of the most attractive gemstones, and it is considered the birthstone of the month of July. The color red stands for passion and vitality, and stands out in any collection of colors to catch the eye. The ruby gemstone also carries some of these properties. The similarity to the color of human blood imparts the association of life force, energy and courage to this gemstone.
India and China are two countries where the ruby has traditionally been worn with pride. Indian and Greek folklore used to believe that a fire burning inside the stone was responsible for the bright red color of the ruby, and therefore they used to believe that a ruby could boil water or melt wax respectively. Burma (Myanmar) has been a source of this gemstone for centuries and early warriors of this country used to synthetically insert rubies just below their skin to ensure that they were well protected while going to war. Even today, some of the best rubies come from the Mogok Valley in Myanmar. Although Burma still rules the roost as far as rubies are concerned, this gemstone is today mined in several other countries like the USA, parts of the Middle East and in India.
The bright red of the ruby gemstone makes it a universal favorite as wedding gifts, the reason being that it is said to convey passion and love. This red color and the fluorescent brightness comes from the chromium inside rubies. Rubies have considerable durability, and they are pretty hard as well, scoring 9 on the Mohs scale. But rubies are also prone to cracks or fissures, which is why they are rarely found in very big sizes. This difficulty in crystallizing rubies to big enough sizes leads to some of the high prices this gemstone is often sold at.
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