The ruby is one of the most expensive and rarest color stones. It is a stone that is also called the ‘King of Stones’, because of the historical association it has with power and prestige. A stone that, because of this association, can often be found in the decoration of crowns, scepters and other national insignia. The stone owes its name to its color and is derived from the Latin word ruber which means red.
What many people don’t know is that the ruby belongs to the corundum group along with the sapphire and that both stones are actually just two color varieties of the same mineral. The color of the ruby is caused by traces of chromium and varies from pink-red to violet-red. But the bright red or ‘pigeon’s blood red’ color is especially preferred.
The largest ruby worthy of grinding was found in Burma and weighed no less than 400 carats. Famous rubies include the Edward’s Ruby (167 carats.) in the British Museum of Natural History in London and the Reeves Star Ruby (138.7 ct.) in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.