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Rubies: History, Lore and Myths
The ancient writers described ruby as having the power of shining in the absence of all light, the fact being the ruby becomes phosphorescent by being exposed to the sun. Ruby is spoken of in the book of Job, in the Proverbs and the Bible. The breast plate of the high priest is said to have had rubies set in it. It is a crystal steeped deeply in history, since rubies have adorned many houses of royalty with its rich, passionate, fiery brilliance. It was also a crystal mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah in his book of prophecy.
Its history is recorded in ancient Sanskrit writings. The name ruby is derived from the Latin word for red - rubrum. Ruby is the most valuable member of the corundum family. The other renowned members from this family are sapphires. In fact large rubies have been known to bring more at auctions than the most flawless diamonds. This is because of the rarity of gem quality ruby stone.
The ruby is discussed by Marco Polo in his writings. In prehistoric eastern cultures, the ruby was said to shield its wearer from enemy strikes. Oriental mythology held that if a ruby lost its color and brilliance, it was indicative of coming danger or presence of poison.
The crown of Charles IV of Luxembourg from the 1300s held a gem quality ruby that was a whopping 250 carats. The Smithsonian is home to a 137 carat cabochon star ruby. Only that some of the most famous rubies in History have turned out to be red spinels. Earlier, it was common enough for red spinels to be confused with rubies.
Lore: Ruby is said to have the ability to inspire courage, and prosperity besides passion. It helps develop the gifts of intuition and various psychic gifts, while increasing the connection to angelic beings, animal totems and spirit guides.
Rubies are said to promote generosity, creativity, spirituality, wisdom and prosperity, while lending protection to the wearer.
Healing: Ruby is useful for increasing cheerfulness and enhances intuition; it is a crystal of restoration and survival. Ruby has the ability to influence and stimulate various emotions and sexual energy, while also eliminating nightmares.
Ruby has the ability to bring ease from fevers and various aches and pains, while improving the circulation of blood, which includes also anemia, menstruation, rheumatism, arthritis, spasms and blood diseases. It influences the heart chakra and is ideal to the astrological signs of Cancer, Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius. It is also the birthstone of July and a traditional crystal for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Most Expensive Ruby Ever Sold: The auction record price per carat for ruby is the sale of an 8.62-carat cushion-cut 'pigeon's-blood red' unheated Burmese stone: $3,637,480 ($425,000 per carat). Purchased by Laurence Graff at Christie's. Set in a Bulgari rectangular-shaped diamond bombé mount ring. (2006, Geneva)