Ruby

Chemical Composition and Formation Process

Rubies are composed of aluminum oxide (Al₂O₃) with trace amounts of chromium, which give them their red color. Natural rubies form under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions in metamorphic rocks or in basalt flows. The presence of chromium causes the red coloration, while the absence of iron typically results in a more intense red color.

Name

The name “Ruby” comes from the Latin word “ruber,” meaning red. Historically, rubies have also been referred to as “Ratnaraj” in Sanskrit, meaning “king of gems.” Alternative names include “Manik” (Hindu), “Padmaraga” (Sinhalese), and “Yang Ruby” (Chinese).

Mythology and Legends

In Burma (Myanmar), rubies made warriors invincible in battle if inserted into their flesh.
Hindu Mythology: Rubies were mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts as the “king of precious stones.” Offering rubies to Krishna could ensure rebirth as an emperor.
Medieval Europe: Rubies protected people from plague and bad luck and could even predict danger by darkening in colour.
Ancient Chinese buried rubies under the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune and protection.
Greek Mythology: Rubies associated with the power of life and contained drops of Mother Earth’s blood.

Electric Cosmology

Mining, Production and Use

Rubies have been mined for over 2,500 years, with some of the earliest sources being in Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar). The Mogok Valley in Burma has been a significant source of rubies since at least the 6th century. Historically, rubies from this region were highly prized for their color and clarity.
Today, rubies are primarily mined in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Vietnam, and Mozambique. Myanmar remains the most important source, producing the highest quality rubies, especially from the Mogok region. Modern mining techniques include both open-pit and underground mining.

Natural Rubies: Mined rubies usually enjoy cleaning, sorting, and grading. They are then cut into gemstones through a meticulous process that maximizes their color and clarity.
Lab-Created Rubies: Created using two primary methods:
Flame Fusion (Verneuil Process): Produces rubies by melting aluminum oxide powder and adding chromium oxide. The molten mixture crystallizes as it cools.
Hydrothermal Synthesis: Involves dissolving nutrients in water under high temperature and pressure, allowing ruby crystals to grow over time.

Uses:

Jewelry: The primary use of rubies is in fine jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Industrial Applications: Rubies are used in high-precision applications due to their hardness. They are utilized in watchmaking (bearings), lasers (as a lasing medium), and even in manufacturing scratch-resistant windows. Cultural Significance: Rubies have significant cultural and symbolic importance in many cultures, often associated with wealth, power, and passion.

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Ruby


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