June 21 – July 20
In the Middle Ages, it was common for red-colored gems to be associated with blood, specifically with the power to stop bleeding. The ruby is no exception. It was also associated with good health and used for protection against disputes. Is it not said that the blood boils when people engage in confrontation? The ruby, then, could be a reminder to its wearer to be conscious of his or her own temper flares and keep them in check.
Eastern mythology states that rubies contain a drop of the earth’s blood and thus the very spark of life. Ancient people believed the ruby to have the ability to self-illuminate. According to this belief, the gods themselves used rubies to light their chambers. If the ruby is at once spark of life and light, then it represents a vivacious individual whose actions and values inspire others; one who naturally lights the way.
The finest rubies come from Burma where their uniquely intense red hue has earned them the alias, “pigeon’s blood.” Thailand also produces some of the most deeply colored rubies. High-quality rubies are among the rarest gems in the world. For this reason, there are very few records of famous rubies. However, in the 13th century, Marco Polo refers to a remarkable red gem belonging to the king of Ceylon. Historians believe his description to refer to a rare and especially large ruby, measuring nearly 10 inches in length.
Rubies are only second to diamonds for hardness, which is another characteristic that gives this gorgeous gem its unique value. The ruby can be worn daily over a long time without being subject to the elements. Likewise, individuals whose birthstone is the ruby are said to be especially resilient. Indeed, the ruby is associated with integrity and courage. By extension, it is also the gem of happiness, for individuals who bring courage and integrity into their daily affairs surely find much happiness in life. The ruby is the gem of generosity as well.
As for the word ruby, it spans from the Latin “ruber,” which translates quite literally to “red.” There is no pretense with the ruby. It is boldly itself.
If the ruby is your birthstone, the Larkspur is your flower and you are openhearted.
Read about other birthstones HERE