Our predecessors knew this stone under various names. Real Oriental Ruby is famous thanks to its color similar to the pigeon's blood. Some authors compare its color with the color of red wine. This gemstone is very durable. It takes the position next to the Diamond, according to the Mohs Hardness Scale. But you should know that the ancients called all the stones of red color, Ruby. They meant a variety of red stones under this term, such as Garnet, Spinel, and Corundum, etc. Only later, the chemists managed to separate and classify all these gems. Its name derived from the ancient Greek word "Rubino." The Greeks used this term to describe a shine of red sizzling hot coal.
History & Origin
Apparently, the "anthrax" described by Theophrastus was indeed a red corundum or modern Ruby. According to the ancient sources, Ruby was first discovered in upper Burma (Myanmar, presently). The city of Mogok locating nearby Mandalay was an epicenter of Ruby trades in these days. Before 1886, the method of obtaining of this gemstone was quite primitive. This practice existed for centuries. However, when Burma became the colony of Britain, various English manufacturers have rented the mines. They paid to the government of India to develop the deposits.
But before that, the deposits were protected by the armed guardians. None stranger was able to get here. It's curious to know that when the miners succeeded to find an excellent specimen of Ruby, a lush procession had been prepared? on this occasion. The Burmese considered this event as the birth of a red star. The Guardians escorted the stone surrounded by the elephants and orchestra.
Thailand (formerly known as Siam) is also the birthplace of Rubies. But the earliest mentions of this gemstone relates to the kingdom of Pegu (Hanthawaddy Kingdom). This empire appeared around 850 AD. Syrian was the capital of Pegu. Afterward, the deposits of Ruby were found in Sri Lanka among the sands of the local rivers. The so-called "King of Indian Peninsula" owned the vast collection of these precious stones. The way Rubies got to Europe is smuggling. It is explained by the fact that the King forbade to export the precious stones out of the kingdom. But some adventurers managed to smuggle the gemstones abroad.
Too many disputes aroused the color of Ruby because the stones of intense "pigeon's blood" color valued higher than any diamond. Therefore the color of Ruby is the most peculiar feature of this precious stone. The price of Ruby contains two main features, the place of origin and the color. Its color grades starting with deep, intense shades of red called "masculine," ending with delicate pink and pale rose. However, the most valuable color is still "pigeon's blood" or "red wine" color.
Magical & Healing Properties
We may find the first mention about Ruby at The Book of Proverbs as well as in The Book of Job. This gemstone is well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Oriental carbuncle, described by Pliny and the "anthrax" of Theophrastus without a doubt was Ruby. Subsequently, in the Middle Ages, a lot of magical properties were applied to this gemstone. Many authors described it as a remedy against poisons, evil thoughts, wicked spirits, sadness, etc. But the main feature attributed to this precious stone is its ability to change its color to obscure or even almost black when its owner is in danger. This gem gives its wearer clear mind and strong health. It also fit Cancer Sign and correlates with Delphinium, a birth flower for July. Read more about Ruby.