Ruby is one of the highest valued colored gemstones, in fact, large rubies can fetch higher prices than equivalently sized diamonds. Rubies and sapphires are the same mineral, Corundum. Corundum is the hardest substance on earth after diamond. Gem quality corundum which is red is called a ruby; in any other color, it is called a sapphire. According to legend, the owner of a ruby is assured a life of peace and plenty. The vivid red color of ruby also means that it is associated with desire, and it is thought by some to be a stone of love with an aphrodisiac effect. Ruby has long been attributed with the ability to protect its wearer from injury and to cure blood disorders and circulatory problems. It is also said to provide its wearer with energy, emotional strength, positive attitude, heightened awareness and focus. Ruby is the birthstone for those born in July and is also the zodiacal stone for Cancer. Ruby is used to celebrate the fifteenth and fortieth wedding anniversaries. Ruby is assigned to the planets Mars and Pluto.


Colors: The color of rubies varies from vermilion to red. The most desired color is "pigeon's blood", which is pure red with a hint of blue. If the color is too pink, the stone is a pink sapphire. The same is true if it is too violet – it is a violet sapphire. The best rubies and star rubies are bright red.
Shapes: Ruby is often mixed-cut, with brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions. The most common shapes are ovals and cushions.
Origin: Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan and India.
Care: Protect from scratches, sharp blows and extreme temperature changes.
Notes: In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj", which translates as "king of precious stones".