Love stone – ruby


Red symbolizes passion and enthusiasm, and ruby has been given the same meaning. In the gemstone family, it is deeply loved by people in love and is known as the "stone of love." In the life circle of European aristocrats, rubies have always been a witness to marriage. Nowadays, Western countries also call the 40th wedding anniversary a ruby wedding to praise eternal love.

Ruby, its English name "Ruby" comes from Latin, and its original meaning is red. In fact, the color of rubies is not always bright red, but varies slightly, such as red, orange-red, purple-red, maroon, etc., but in the end red is the main color. In the past, some miners mistakenly believed that dull-colored rubies would eventually turn bright red if buried underground, and believed that rubies were the most mature members of the corundum family. Modern scientific research has discovered that rubies do not slowly mature and turn red like fruits as people previously thought, but they appear bright red because of other elements mixed into the mineral.

From a mineralogical perspective, ruby is a corundum mineral whose main component is aluminum oxide. It is very hard, second only to diamond. Pure corundum is colorless, but it contains trace elements that change the color of the corundum. Corundum containing chromium will appear red, which is ruby, and the higher the chromium content in corundum, the brighter its color. Corundum containing iron and titanium appears blue; those containing nickel are yellow; those containing manganese are rose.

Blood-red ruby is the most popular because its color is similar to the blood of pigeons, so it is commonly known as "pigeon blood red". The most famous "pigeon blood red" is produced in the Mogok region of Myanmar. This kind of ruby is extremely rare in production and is more valuable than diamonds. It is very precious if it is more than 2 carats.

In 2016, at the Sotheby's auction held in Geneva, Switzerland, a 25.59-carat "pigeon's blood red" gem from Myanmar named "Sunrise" was sold for a high price of 30.42 million U.S. dollars. The price per carat was as high as 119. Ten thousand U.S. dollars. Prior to this, a 15.04-carat "pigeon's blood red" gem from Myanmar was sold for US$18 million at Christie's 2015 Autumn Magnificent Jewelry Auction in Hong Kong. The price per carat was as high as US$1.2 million.

Ruby origins are relatively small, mainly from placer deposits, and their formation is basically related to volcanic activity.

It is very difficult to mine primary corundum crystals. Usually, placers are washed and sorted by hand, and the yield is extremely low. The main producing areas of rubies in the world are Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and my country. Among them, the Mogok region of Myanmar has a mining history of more than 700 years and has always been the world's main source of rubies. The country also respects rubies as its "national stone", which shows its high status. In the Wa region of Myanmar, every ruby is bought by miners with their blood, sweat and even their lives. In order to prevent workers from taking away gems secretly, almost every miner working in the mine is assigned an overseer, and miners must undergo strict inspection every time they come out of the mine. Even with such arduous work, the output of rubies is extremely low, usually only 1 carat of rubies can be obtained for every 500 tons of ore mined.

With the development of modern technology, corundum can be manufactured artificially, but artificial products cannot be used as gemstones and are only used in industry. China has officially produced artificial rubies as early as 1958. This artificial mineral is very hard and is often used to make bearings for watches and laser generators.