Published July 2014  •  Updated November 2022  •  Read Time: 10 minutes
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral Corundum. Scientifically, it is identical to Sapphire, the only difference being the color.  Ruby is one of the most valuable precious gemstones and only 1% has the transparency required for fine jewelry.  It has one of the longest histories of all healing stones, and is mentioned in the Holy Books of all five of the world’s major religions! It has a bright and vivacious energy that encourages us to love deeply and be a good friend to all we meet.  It is an incredible tool for manifestation, including dreams of abundance and prosperity.  This is especially true if we want to use our wealth to improve the lives of others.

Ruby

Ruby Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Ruby kindles in us an intense desire to live our lives fully alive! It encourages us to be more spontaneous, curious, brave and willing to follow our bliss wherever it may lead. It is an essentially positive and life-affirming stone, and thus has no patience for self-destructive behaviors or victim-mentality. Ruby protects against negative energy and encourages us to either transform or let go of anything that does not make us happy or help us grow. Ruby infuses spiritual energy into our everyday lives, and can show us how to live from a spiritual place without needing to retreat from the wider world. It is incredible talisman for manifestation, teaching us how to transform our thoughts and desires, into physical reality.

Metaphysical Properties Ruby
Chakra Root and Heart
Element Earth
Numerology 3
Zodiac Cancer, Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Ruby is a passionate stone that attracts love and friendship, and can helps us to build and maintain healthy relationships. It can also help us to explore our feelings and beliefs about ourselves, especially in regards to body image and/or having the right to feel certain emotions or have various desires. For anyone who feels unworthy or guilty for being who they are, Ruby offers reassurance and affirmation. It is especially good for soothing survivor guilt and holds us safely during PTSD episodes. It acts as a light in the darkness, leading us back to joy whenever we have been caught up in negative emotions. It reminds us that life is good and that we are more powerful and capable than we know.

Mental Healing Properties

Ruby encourages us to be actively involved in our communities and to enjoy social activities. It stimulates our mind, helping us to stay engaged, thoughtful, and able to perform well under pressure. Ruby encourages us to cultivate a sense of nobility, leading by example and taking care of those in need. It reminds us to act according to our true values, rather than just for our base self-interest, and to nurture the best parts of ourselves and our world. Ruby encourages creativity, goal-setting, and active problem-solving. It is also a wonderful abundance stone, helping us to become more wealthy and to know how to use that wealth in positive ways.

Physical Healing Properties

Ruby is recommended for anyone seeking a healthier body and a happier life. It helps us to explore our conscious and unconscious beliefs and understand how they manifest in our daily habits and heath status. Ruby gives us enough courage and self-love to release negative beliefs and change our lifestyle as desired. If we need additional mental health support, Ruby encourages us to seek it out and to trust the process. It is an excellent talisman for any health issue involving the heart or circulatory system, as well as for fertility problems. It is a wonderful and very friendly supporter when we are physically and emotionally exhausted and need to borrow energy from something beyond ourselves.

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Ruby Mineralogy

Where does Ruby come from?

Ruby is mined in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mining and Treatments

In a few locations, Ruby may be mined at the primary deposit, tunneling directly into the rock, but it is generally not profitable.  Most Ruby is mined at a secondary deposit, located along rivers downstream from where they were formed. Because of its heavy weight, it is easy to separate from river gravels and can be picked out by hand. In many locations production methods are still primitive and done using hand tools such as pans, baskets and shovels. Only 1% of all Rubies recovered are gem quality and used in fine jewelry.

Lab-created transparent, vivid and eye-clean Ruby is widely available in the fine gemstone market. Most jewelry-quality Ruby has been treated in some form, most commonly a heat-treatment to enhance the color vividness.  High-quality, untreated Ruby is very expensive and commands a premium price.  By contrast, opaque Ruby is fully natural.

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Ruby

Mineral Family

Ruby and Sapphire are different colors of the mineral Corundum, which is an Oxide mineral. The Oxide family has closely-packed Oxygen atoms with tiny bits of metal or semi-mental atoms occupying the space between. There are two forms of Oxide minerals, “simple Oxides” which only have a single type of metal or semi-metal, and “complex Oxides” which have multiple metals and/or semi-metals. Most Oxide minerals are found in igneous rocks. The most famous Oxide mineral is Corundum, which comes in a rainbow of colors.  When it is red, it is called Ruby.  When it is blue, yellow, pink, or any other color, it is called Sapphire.

Ruby’s energy works well with its family – other Oxide minerals.  Try it in combination with Chrysoberyl, Hematite, LodestoneMerlinite, and Rutile.  Try it also with other varieties of Corundum like Blue Sapphire, Star Sapphire, and Yellow Sapphire

Ruby Formation and Crystal Associates

Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide that grows in metamorphic rocks.  It is naturally colorless and transparent, but usually contains trace minerals which change the transparency level and gives the gem its vibrant colors.  Ruby and Pink Sapphire get their color from chromium, while Sapphires get their various color from iron, titanium or vanadium.  Pure Corundum’s hardness is a 9.0 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means its can scratch any mineral besides Diamond and Moissanite. While Rubies are famous jewels, most Rubies are actually used as an abrasive.

Ruby’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Iolite, Fuchsite, Kyanite, Zoisite.  When found entwined, these are known as Ruby Iolite, Ruby Fuchsite, Ruby Kyanite and Ruby Zoisite.

Star Ruby

All Rubies have tiny inclusions of Rutile needles, known as “silk.”  In fact, the absence of Rutile is one of the easiest ways to identify lab-created Ruby.  Some natural Ruby will display an asterism or “star,” a silvery shimmer that seems to move across the gem when it is rotated in the light.  This asterism is caused by the light reflecting off the Rutile inclusions.

Mineralogy Ruby
Chemical Formula AlO
Cleavage None
Color Red
Crystal System Hexagonal-trigonal
Form/Habit Pyramidal, prismatic barrel-shaped
Fracture Small conchoidal, splintery, brittle
Hardness – Mohs Scale 9 (second hardest, after diamond)
Luminescence Red (long and short wave)
Luster Viterous (glassy) to adamantine (brilliant shine)
Mineral Family Oxides
Specific Gravity 3.97-4.05
Streak White
Transparency Transparent to opaque

History of Ruby

Ruby has been one of the most prized gemstones through history. Ruby is included in all major lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers.  Uniquely, it is also referenced in the Holy Books of all five of the world’s major religions! In the Bible and Torah, it is listed as the first of the twelve stones which decorated the breastplate of the High Priest of ancient Israel. The design for the Breastplate was given by God to Moses, whose brother Aaron was the first to wear it. Each of the gemstones on the Breastplate were inscribed with the symbol for one of the Twelves Tribes of Israel. Ruby was most likely inscribed with the Tribe of Judah, the father of ancient Israel’s royal family. In the Qur’an, it is said that Allah created Rubies, and so every gemstone is sacred – a reminder to view all of creation with reverence.

Rubies are also sacred to Buddhists, who nicknamed the gemstone, “Tears of Buddha.” In countries were Ruby is mined, it is often used to decorate statues of the Buddha, often placed on the forehead to symbolize the Third Eye, or else placed in the naval.  In Buddhism, there is a concept of Three Jewels, the three refuges in which a person may seek support.  They yellow gem is the Buddha, the blue gem is Dharma (the true nature of reality), and the red gem Sangha (Buddhist community. Sangha is often symbolized with a Ruby.

In the ancient Vedic texts, revered by followers of the Hindu faith, Rubies were the blood of the demon god Vala. According to the story, Vala once took the form of a stone cave where stolen cows were hidden. Indra, the leader of the demigods, split Vala apart, killing him and freeing the cows. Vala’s body was scattered across the earth and his various body parts were transformed into a variety of gemstones. Vala’s blood was taken by Surya, the sun-god who attempted to flee with it. But Ravana, the god-king of Sri Lanka, called up a solar eclipse to block Surya’s flight. The sun god was so startled that he dropped the blood, and where it fell, Ruby mines can now be found.  The gem is often found in Sri Lanka, both historically and throughout the present day.

Ravana is the main antagonist in the epic Hindu text the Ramayana and as such as often used as a symbol of evil and darkness.  His ten heads symbolizes the negative emotions the drove him, such as lust, greed and anger.  Dwali, the Festival of Light, celebrates the defeat of Ravana by Prince Rama.  But in Hinduism, rarely is someone considered all good or all bad.  Ravana is also viewed as a respected scholar an doctor.  Among the texts attributed to him is the Ravan Samhita, on vedic astrology, as well as Ravanakumara Tantra, a medical texts for curing children’s diseases.

According to another Indian legend, the Creator god first created Ruby, and then mankind. A dark red jewel symbolizes the masculine life force, while bright red represents the feminine life force. In yet another southeast Asian legend, a sacred serpent once laid three priceless eggs. When the first egg hatched, the Mughal Emperor of India sprang out. The second egg contained the Emperor of China. The last egg was the most important of all, and when it hatched open, the Ruby Mines of Burma came into being.

In many legends, both in India and in Europe, it was thought that high-quality Rubies had a special light shining from within them. So bright in fact, that this light could shine through clothing! The light was said to help water boil faster, offered protection from all manner of harm and misfortune, and invited the gods to dwell close to the owner’s heart. Among all the various gods, Krishna is said to love Rubies the most. It is believed among some of Krishna’s devotees, that if a large Ruby was given to a shrine of Krishna, that giver would be reborn in their next life as an emperor. A gift of a small jewel would still ensured a return as a king!

The gems have been prized possessions among the world’s royalty and nobility for ages. For many centuries, it was considered in Europe to be one of the ‘Five Cardinal Gemstones’, comparable only with Diamond, Sapphire, Emerald, and Amethyst. Around the year 1800, geologists determined that Ruby and Sapphire are actually different colors of the same mineral, Corundum. The name Ruby is still used to designate Corumdum that range from deep crimson to pale rose-red, sometimes with a faint purple tinge. All other shades of Corundum, are called Sapphire, regardless of whether they are blue, green, pink, orange, or any other color of the rainbow. The name Corundum also has a Latin root, from Carbunclus – the original Latin name for Ruby.

At around the same time that geologists learned that Ruby and Sapphire were the same stone, they also recognized that not all red gemstones were in fact Rubies. Up until this time, any brilliant red jewel was simply called a Ruby. In fact, sometimes these red stones were actually Garnets, Spinals, or Tourmalines. The most famous example of this is the “Black Prince’s Ruby”, the large red stone that dominates the English crown jewels. It was acquired in 1367 by the “Black Prince”, Crown Prince Edward (1330-1376) after he helped Don Pedro the Cruel of Castille (1334-1369) put down a Spanish revolt. Don Pedro gave the Black Prince the prized red gemstone in return for his aid. The stone was eventually placed in the forefront of the Imperial State Crown for the coronation of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). By that time, the monarchy knew the jewel was actually a Spinal, but chose not to rename the stone. Spinal is also very rare, and this specific jewel is the 2nd largest Spinal ever found, so its still a prize indeed!

The most expensive Ruby ever sold at auction is the Sunrise Ruby. Weighing 25.29 carats and a brilliant pigeon blood red, it sold for over $30 million dollars in May 2016 to an anonymous buyer. The jewel was named after a poem by Rumi, a 13th century mystic poet.

The Sunrise Ruby

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved awake
and take a drink of water.
She asks, Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell me the absolute truth.
He says, There is nothing left of me.
I am like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight. The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.
Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.