The name ruby comes from the Latin for red, and rubies range in colour from pink right through the red spectrum to dark crimson. Ruby is a form of the mineral corundrum, with all other colours of corundrum known as sapphires. Ruby and is one of the hardest and most valuable of precious stones.
Rubies have traditionally been seen as a protective stone, worn by warriors in battle and laid in the foundations of a new building to protect it. Dorothy's slippers in the Wizard of Oz were made of rubies to protect her from the wicked witch.
Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July, and for those born between the 22nd of December and the 19th of January, under the astrological star sign of Capricorn. It is also the birthstone for those born on a Tuesday.
Rubies are traditionally given as a gift for a 40th anniversary.
Nearly all rubies are flawed, with fractures and rutile inclusions called silk. It is common practice to heat treat the stones to dissolve the inclusions and even fill the fractures with lead glass.
Most of the ruby jewellery stocked by Polkadot Stripes is created with Siberian Ruby. This is a man-made variety with all the colour and clarity of the most expensive natural stones, but without the high price tag. Our Siberian jewellery is all rhodium-plated on silver which means that it will not tarnish if cared for properly.
The Sunrise Ruby
In May 2015, The Sunrise Ruby became the most expensive ruby ever to be sold. It is named after the 13th century poem of the same name. Rumi was a Sufi poet and Islamic philosopher and this is his poem as translated by Coleman Barks.
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.