The Latin ruber, meaning red, is the likely origin of the name ruby.
Prior to the 1800s, there was not a distinction made between red spinel, red garnet, and ruby. As a result, some of the most famous rubies of the world are not actually rubies. For example, the Black Prince’s Ruby is actually red spinel. There are also a number of misnomers for ruby:
- almandine ruby (red garnet)
- Australian ruby (red garnet)
- balas ruby (red spinel)
- Bohemian ruby (red garnet)
- cape ruby (red garnet)
Chatham ruby, Ramaura ruby, Linde star ruby are all names describing synthetic, flux grown ruby.
Ruby is a variety of corundum which has a purplish-bluish red to yellow-red color (sapphire is used to describe corundum of any other color). Ruby has a Mohs hardness of 9, making it quite durable and strong.
Clean your ruby jewelry with water mixed with a small amount of mild liquid hand soap with a soft cloth, rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth. You may want to use a toothbrush to clean under the stone. While rubies are not particularly light sensitive, all colored stones can fade with prolonged intense exposure to sunlight, so be sure to store your ruby jewelry out of direct light. As ruby jewelry can last many years, periodically check the prongs and/or settings to be sure the metal is still holding the stone securely in place.
Rubies can have fractures filled with oil, wax, paraffin, glass, or epoxy resin as fillers, reducing the visibility of flaws and cracks within the stone. When this has been done, the ruby is considered to be composite, reducing the value of the stone although the it will look better to the naked eye as the fractures will be nonreflective. Rubies, like sapphires, can also be heat treated to improve the color. Most of the rubies we have seen recently in chain jewelry stores have been lab created rather than natural stones. Sellers are responsible for disclosing all treatments and whether the stone is natural or lab created.
Some of the metaphysical properties associated with ruby include:
- shields against negative intentions
- guards against psychic or physical attack
- helps to be warm, caring toward others
- reinvigorates and restores energy
- encourages love, passion, joy, spontaneity, laughter, and courage
- balances the heart
- improves motivation
Chakras: root, heart
 The Jeweler’s Directory of Gemstones by Judith Crowe, p.50
We have gorgeous ruby jewelry items on our site at www.dragondreamsjewelry.com.