Ruby, the July birthstone, is a precious gemstone known for its deep red color and high value. Rubies are one of the four traditional precious stones, along with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. They are made of corundum, a mineral that is usually colorless but gains its red hue from the presence of chromium in the crystal structure.
A little-known fact, Sapphire is also the mineral corundum. So, when corundum is red, it’s identified as Ruby. When corundum is any other color – from white to blue to pink to yellow to green to purple – it’s identified as Sapphire!
Where are Rubies found? The finest Rubies are found in Burma, now known as Myanmar, where the Mogok Valley produces the most prized stones. Thai Rubies from Thailand are also highly valued. Other sources of Rubies include Sri Lanka, Africa, and Australia.
Rubies have a long history of being cherished by royalty and the wealthy elite and are often associated with passion, love, and power. They’ve been used in jewelry, crowns, and other decorative objects. In some cultures, Rubies were believed to have magical properties and were used to protect or ward off evil.
A Magnificent Ruby Auctioned at Sotheby’s
The world’s largest Ruby to appear at auction was sold on June 8, 2023, at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York. Named the Estrela de FURA, it weighs 55.22 carats. Sotheby’s had placed an estimate of more than $30 million to sell this rare gem. It actually fetched a mind-blowing $34.8 million.
The finished Ruby was cut and polished from a rough 101-carat rough discovered by FURA Gems, a colored gemstone mining and marketing company based in Dubai. It was unearthed at its Ruby mine in Montepeuz, Mozambique, in July 2022. The company named the rough gem Estrela de FURA (Star of FURA in Portuguese). Even in its rough, untouched state, the Ruby “was considered by experts as an exceptional treasure of nature for its fluorescence, outstanding clarity and vivid red hue, known as ‘pigeon’s blood’ — a color traditionally associated only with Burmese Rubies,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
Famous People Who Wore Rubies
Throughout history, many famous people have been known to wear Rubies as a symbol of their status and wealth. Here are some of the most notable figures who have worn Rubies:
- Elizabeth Taylor: The late actress and Hollywood icon was passionate about jewelry, and her collection included many pieces adorned with Rubies. One of her most famous Ruby pieces was a necklace her husband, Richard Burton, gifted her, featuring a 62.05-carat Ruby.
- Queen Victoria: The queen was known for her love of jewelry, and her collection included several pieces featuring Rubies. One of her most famous Ruby pieces was a tiara gifted to her by her husband, Prince Albert.
- Princess Diana: The late princess was known for her timeless sense of style, and her jewelry collection was no exception. She often wore pieces adorned with Rubies, including a stunning Ruby and Diamond necklace the Sultan of Oman gifted to her.
- Jackie Kennedy: The former first lady was known for her impeccable style, and her jewelry collection complemented that iconic style. One of her most famous Ruby pieces was a bracelet gifted to her by her husband, President John F. Kennedy, which featured a stunning array of Rubies.
- Catherine the Great: The famous Russian empress was known for her love of luxury, and her jewelry collection was one of the most impressive in history. Her collection included several pieces featuring Rubies, including a stunning Ruby and Diamond necklace.
These precious gemstones have captured the hearts and imaginations of people for centuries.
Celebrities Who Wear Rubies
Many celebrities have been spotted wearing Rubies on the red carpet and at events. It’s believed that wearing Rubies—these deep red cosmic stones—is believed to bring success in life. Here are some famous personalities who love to adorn themselves with Rubies:
- Taylor Swift: The Queen of Pop Culture was spotted wearing gorgeous Diamond and Ruby drop earrings at the Golden Globe award ceremony.
- Penelope Cruz: The Hollywood actress likes wearing Ruby jewels on the red carpet.
- Scarlett Johansson: This American actress wears a Ruby cocktail ring as a statement piece.
- Angelina Jolie: The Hollywood star is known for her impeccable style and fashion sense. She has been seen wearing Ruby jewelry on several occasions, including at the 2009 Academy Awards, where she wore a stunning pair of Ruby and Diamond earrings.
- Kate Middleton: The Duchess of Cambridge is a style icon and is often seen wearing elegant and classic jewelry pieces. She has been spotted wearing Ruby and Diamond earrings and necklaces at several events.
- Beyoncé: The Grammy-winning singer is known for her extravagant and unique style. She has been seen wearing Ruby jewelry on several occasions, including a pair of ruby earrings she wore to the 2015 Met Gala.
With their rich color and timeless beauty, it’s easy to see why Rubies are such a popular choice for jewelry lovers everywhere.
Large & Unusual Rubies
One of the largest Rubies in the world, known as the Liberty Bell Ruby, was discovered in East Africa, weighs over four pounds, is 8,500 carats, was sculpted into the Liberty Bell, has 50 diamonds set in it, and is valued at over $2 million.
The world’s largest Ruby weighs approximately 18,696 carats and was discovered in the mines of Burma in the 1990s. It measures around 5cm x 5cm x 5cm, making it one of the largest gem-quality Rubies ever found. Ruby’s color is deep red, with a slight hint of purple, adding to its uniqueness. It is said to be of exceptional quality, with hardly any inclusions or flaws visible to the naked eye.
This magnificent ruby is owned by a private collector who has kept it hidden from public view. Its exact location remains a mystery, and very few people have ever had the opportunity to see it in person.
Despite its rarity and value, the largest Ruby in the world is not the most expensive gemstone ever sold. However, it remains a fascinating and awe-inspiring piece of nature’s wonder that continues to capture the imagination of gemstone enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.
Rubies in Art
Rubies have been used in art for thousands of years. In ancient cultures, Rubies were highly valued and often used to decorate the armor and weapons of warriors. In more recent times, Rubies have been used in jewelry and other decorative objects.
One of the most famous ruby artifacts is the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. These slippers, which were actually made with sequins and red glass beads, were adorned with genuine Rubies in the original book version. The slippers have become a cultural icon and are now displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.
Rubies for You to Wear
Rubies are not just for celebrities or the rich and famous. They are for you and me to love wearing, cherish owning, and pass on to our loved ones. I have found or designed some beautiful Ruby jewelry for my clients…from simple solitaire necklaces to Diamond and Ruby bracelets, earrings, and rings. There is a ruby piece for every budget. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a lovely piece of Ruby jewelry, contact me, and I’ll find the perfect piece for you.