Ruby always grows entwined with other minerals. When the Ruby is a transparent gem, it is carefully cut away from the matrix and sold to the fine jewelry industry. But sometimes the Ruby is opaque and the matrix is pretty, and so these stones are polished and carved for jewelry, talismans, and decorative purposes. Ruby combination stones can be appreciated by anyone who loves beauty and the finer things. But the largest market for these Ruby combination stones is the metaphysical industry which appreciates not only their coloring, but also their energy and affordable price point.
The first Ruby combination stones sold on the market were Ruby Zoisite from Tanzania and Ruby Kyanite from India. Both had entered the market by the late 20th century and are mentioned in the modern lapidary classic, Love is in the Earth (1995). In 2002, Ruby Fuchsite from India joined them and also sold well. It was a lighter green than the Zoisite and sometimes the Rubies were ringed by thin bands of Kyanite. All three types are easily carved. The Ruby Zoisites were often exported to India and Indian lapidaries carved the Ruby combination stones into hearts, wands, skulls, pyramids, spheres and every other shape imaginable.
In 2012, Ruby Cordierite entered the market. Cordierite is the scientific name for the gemstone Iolite. While Iolite is dark blue, Cordierite can be many colors and is often tan. When sold as Ruby Cordierite, these stones don’t sell as well as the other Ruby combination stones. This is probably because the tan Cordierite is less visually striking and Cordierite is not well-known in the metaphysical world. But change the name to Ruby Iolite and suddenly this stone is popular in the metaphysical crowd! Such is the fickle taste of the marketplace.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.