Ruby is July's birthstone. Ruby is known as the stone of love. It is worn in all types of jewelry. Presently, diamond ruby engagement rings are becoming extremely popular.
Ruby: The Love Connection
by Margaret Burgon Klemp

The fiery red ruby has been known as "drop of the heart's blood of Mother Earth," and symbolizes the emotions of power and love. As such, it is sometimes used in diamond ruby engagement rings. Ancient ruby lovers from India called it "the lord of the gemstones." Those born in July precariously own the red fire because it is considered the birthstone for that month. According to birthstone enthusiasts the ruby stands for freedom, goodness, respect and dignity. No wonder the ancients fought to get their hands on one single ruby. The fight does still go on today. In the modern world the ruby hasn't lost its allure and its' fascination among retailers and collectors. In ancient cultures, and even in some modern communities, it is believed that rubies have magical powers according to the richness of the light that emits from them. Changes in light and color may be a signal that foreshadows terrible events: if the stone darkness there is supposed to be an approach of evil. If the piece lightens up then the evil retreats.
What Ruby Is
It comes from family of corundum gems, and its closest cousin is the Sapphire. The ruby is a rare gem, and the reason is because the chromium pigments that are embedded in the earth's crust are not very plentiful. Also, the chromium had to meet up with the element alumina at the exact moment that crystallization actually occurred. Without these two elemental factors the ruby might not sport a rich red color. In addition, other elements and natural processes played a role in ruby formation. Basalt marble, metamorphic rock and pegmatite are principal parts of the final product.
Where Rubies Are Mined
The Mogok mine in Burma (modern day Myanmar) in the Far East is known for the location of the world's finest rubies. At Mogok gems are found connected to dolomite limestone marble that has been identified as crystalline schists that are 500 million years old. Crystallizing has to be in the right place at the right time for the chromium to come through a natural door and lay the red color inside the stone. The whole schedule has to be perfect. The infamous blood red rubies are most impressive when they are found attached to white marble. Most of the time rubies are connected to something else, and very rarely turn up in their host rock.
At Mogok the gems are found on the valley floor. There is a wonderful story about how the mine started. According to popular lore in the 15th century a Burmese king started getting words from thieves who were working out their sentences there. They claimed that they were finding beautiful red stones on the valley floor. At that time the valley didn't really belong to the Burmese king, so through a lot of negotiation with the Shan prince who did own it an exchange took place. The king traded a rather worthless piece of property for an absolute treasure trove. The Mogok and other mines in Burma were responsible for building the great fortunes of the rulers so secrecy surrounded mining operations. The area was off limits to outsiders, and security was a major issue. The other major site in Burma has been the Hunza mine. The rubies found there have a large number of inclusions, and often are found clinging to white dolomite marble. Stones found in Africa at Kilimanjaro and in North Vietnam share this commonality with rubies found at the Hunza mine. They are all embedded in dolomite marble, and share the same mother rock.
Following Myanmar, Thailand is most important as a ruby supplier. Rubies are found at this site close to the earth's surface. Stones lay only a few meters under the ground in basalt, and according to experts they were derived from the erosion of ancient volcanoes. The rubies found in Thailand tend to be darker in color with tints and hues of purple and brown.
While beautiful rubies can be found in Cambodia the raspberry red rubies have their home in Sri Lanka. Found near Ratnapura the lighter red color makes identification difficult because light red rubies can be mistaken for pink sapphires.
In Tanzania in Africa transparent rubies can be found. Most of them are mined along the Umba River. At Longido, a site of an extinct volcano, smaller rubies are found which can be used as ornaments in the production of jewelry. Jewelry manufacturers use them to adorn metals like gold that is used in the final phases of production.
Most rubies have a similar appearance externally, but on the inside the inclusions and trace elements are different. Pure rubies, with rare inclusions or have a total absence of them are difficult to find. Almost all rubies retain small amounts of foreign crystals inside them, and it is assumed that these crystals formed at the same time as "rutile needles." These needles are formed by the intersection of the inclusions and their reaction to light. This light refraction forms a mirage of a star when it is cut. This phenomenon is known as an "asterism," and appears in both rubies and sapphires. Other inclusions are identified as liquid drops, and are used to identify genuine rubies from those that artificially produced. Large ruby crystals are hardly ever found, and when they are discovered elite oriental families usually end up with them and they are hidden away in dynastic vaults.
Gems: A Lively Guide for the Casual Collector, by Daniel J. Dennis Jr., Henry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York, New York
Gemstones: Symbols of Beauty and Power, by Eduard Gubelin and Franz-Xaver Erni, Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona

No comments:

Post a Comment