Ruby, the stone of lovers, warriors, healers, and dreamers. Since it was first discovered, ruby was seen as a stone of nobility as its vibrations resonate with the ultimate life force and emanate the highest vibrations of pure red light. As a powerful grounding stone, it greatly increases one’s chi, nourishing the vital systems of the body. As it stimulates the flow of chi throughout the body, ruby draws life force energy directly to the root chakra, energizing the physical, emotional and mental bodies. Ruby is an exceptional – and gorgeous – tool for anyone with a tendency to feel weak throughout the day. Excellent at gathering and amplifying energy, it also stimulates mental concentration. As it brings out one’s inner strength, it instills courage and determination to overcome obstacles. Ruby, like its vibrant red color suggests, sparks the fire of passion within to inspire a love for life. This powerful red stone holds the ability to drive out negative energy, thoughts and feelings as you face difficulties, while also soothing the mental state to relieve anxiety and stress. Ruby eliminates fear as it simultaneously promotes inspiration and courage to conquer life. As an exceptional stone of the mind and intuition, it has a powerful effect on dreams, bringing clarity and lucidity. If this seems like a lot for just one gem to do, wait until you see what history has hidden up its sleeves. Here are ten things you didn’t know about Ruby.
1. The Origin of a Name
Rubies are known to have existed since before biblical times, but it is unsure when exactly it was officially named. It was found mainly in what we know today as Burma, India, Brazil, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the USA. Until the 1800’s it was often confused with garnet and spinel. The name itself is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red”. The gem gained popularity in the East, where it was known as “a drop of blood from the heart of mother earth”.
2. Ruby, a Symbol of Love
Because of its color, rubies have long been associated with love, anger, passion, danger, and romance. It is believed that its red glow comes from an internal flame which cannot be extinguished, making a gift of the stone symbolic of everlasting love. It is also said to evoke feelings of lust, power, and excitement. Because of its durability, color and symbolism, ruby is a popular engagement gem – it is said that if worn on the left hand, it is a bringer of good fortune in unions.
3. Rubies in Religious History
Ruby is quite a popular gem, especially in the Bible which mentions it four times. It was said to be the most precious of the twelve stones created by God (on the breastplate of Aaron and among the 12 stones of the Apocalypse). The Hindus also regarded ruby as a very precious and powerful gem. It was called Ratnaraj meaning “king of the precious gems” and later Ratnanayaka meaning “leader of all the precious stones”. In the Harita Smriti, it is written that “he who worships Krishna with gifts of rubies, will be a powerful emperor in the next life”.
4. Dripping Rubies
Rubies association with blood goes back to ancient times, when it was considered vital to the sustenance of life, especially for warriors and soldiers. Among Burmese soldiers, it was a popular practice and belief that wearing a ruby on the left would make the wearer invincible and keep them safe from harm and fatality. This belief was so strong, that some soldiers would even insert the gem into their flesh as it was thought to make them even more fierce in battle. This association with vitality also has a flip side of being associated with fatality, as it was believed that ruby bullets would inflict more harm. Instances of this have been recorded as early as 1900.
5. Ruby, Born of the Flame
Of all the beliefs and practices surrounding rubies, the one that stands out the most is the one that says the gem was created by fire, particularly the fire of God. Because of this belief, it was also said that dropping the gem into a pot of water would bring it to a boil. Some Greek legends also say that rubies could melt wax. Kunz wrote, “the flashing and ruddy light of the ruby suggests an igneous origin, and induces the belief that rubies were generated by a fire from heaven – in other words, by a lightning flash.” Similarly, the stone is said to have an inextinguishable inner light that causes it to glow of its own accord. Legends say that a ruby concealed in any material will shine through to reveal its presence.
6. Ruby, Bringer of Good Fortune
A popular stone among royals and a symbol of power and wealth, ruby was often worn by dignitaries to display their status as well as to secure their fortunes. Among the multitude of legends surrounding rubies, it was a common belief that it would bring blessings and outstanding success. The Chinese would bury rubies in the foundation of their buildings to bring good fortune. It is also said that if a king dreams of rubies set into his crown, it is an indicator that he would have great fortune; for merchants, that they would do well in business; and for farmers, that they would have a great harvest. Chinese lore has also said that Emperor Kublai Khan offered an entire city in exchange for a very large Ruby.
7. Ruby, a Stone of Protection
Ruby’s association with vitality is perhaps what led to its association with protection. During the middle ages, it was common belief that a ruby would turn dark red to warn of impending danger. Additionally, in 1365, Sir John Mandeville wrote a book of his travels in which he stated that he’d heard “once a man touches the four corners of his land with a ruby, then his house, vineyard, and orchard, they would be protected from lightning, tempests, and poor harvest”. Chinese Noblemen would also adorn their shields and armor with rubies because they believed the gem would grant them protection. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s ruby slippers were meant to keep her safe.
8. Ruby in Ancient Egypt
Kemet (ancient Egypt) has been the home of many legends, discovery, and esoteric uses for crystals for as long as crystals have existed. Mainly associated with power for its color resembling fire, ruby was strongly connected to strength and courage. To the ancient Egyptians, it was seen as the gem of the Egyptian goddess of war, a being with the head of a lion and the body of a woman. Egyptian soldiers would often carry a piece of the gem with them in the hopes of “borrowing” some of the goddess’s strength and resilience.
9. The Legend of Maharani
An old Indian legend tells the story of a particularly beautiful Maharani (wife of monarch Maharana), who gave existence to the ruby stone. Because of the young woman’s beauty, she aroused the envy of many women who wanted to be her and the anger of many men who could not possess her. One fateful day, Maharani was walking alone with a clear stone in hand when a member of the court stalked, hunted and insisted on getting his way. Maddened by jealousy at the fact she was another’s wife, he fatally stabbed her. She fell to the ground with the stone still in hand which, stained of her escaped vitality, turned red and became what is now known as a ruby.
10. Ruby in Physical Healing
Perhaps the most interesting of all beliefs about ruby and the many powers it possesses, is its ability to remedy physical ailments. It was believed to increase the body’s warmth, stop bleeding, and reduce inflammation. Famous gem explorer, George Frederick Kunz wrote in his influential text The Curious Lore of Precious Stones that ‘rubies are sovereign remedies of hemorrhages of all kinds and inflammatory diseases, as well as a calming influence to remove anger and discord.’ Many ancient beliefs also state that rubbing the gem on the skin would improve physical and mental health, purging the body of toxins and revitalizing energy as it stimulates the heart chakra and improves circulation. Patients were often warned, however, not to use rubies on the Solar Plexus chakra as it would cause harmful effects. Ivan the Terrible of Russia claimed that this gem was therapeutic for the heart and mental acuteness. In the 13th century, it was believed that ground rubies placed under the tongue was a cure for liver problems and indigestion – quite an expensive pepto bismol if you ask me.
Anniversary: 15th & 40th
Zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Sagittarius
Colors: red, pink, blood red, sometimes green