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20 Fun Facts About Rubies

We all know that rubies are red, but what other fun facts about rubies can we discover? Let’s explore the enchanting world of the most passionate gemstone!

fun facts about rubies

Rubies are red, sapphires are blue, and hare are some facts about rubies that will fascinate you! Okay, we admit we’re not the best at poetry, but there’s something about rubies that make us think about love poems and romance!

It could be the luscious red color, bringing up thoughts of hearts and lips and roses, and everything else associated with Valentine’s Day. But did you know that the ruby is actually the birthstone of July and not February?

In Indian culture, rubies are known as the king of gems and are valued above diamonds. And that’s only scratching the surface of these ruby facts that will amaze you!

what are rubies known for
Rubies are one of the most popular gemstones in the world

Rubies are also the perfect present for a wedding anniversary, especially the 15th and 40th where rubies are a traditional gift to give. And let’s not forget Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. We have some stories to tell about that famous footwear of movie history!

So sit back as we learn more about this precious red gem with these unique and dazzling fun facts about rubies!

ruby facts
Rubies are all about love, aren’t they?

20 Fun Facts About Rubies

1. Rubies evoke feelings of love and passion

The sumptuous deep red of the ruby makes us swoon. Their red color signals romance and sensuality, and rubies are often purchased for our loved ones.

To receive a ruby, the signal is loud and clear. We’re getting a little flushed just thinking about it!

2. Rubies are in elite company

Was there ever any doubt that rubies would share such rarefied air? There are only five gemstones that are considered cardinal, meaning they are precious above all others. These gems are diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, and of course rubies.

rubies facts
Rubies are one of the five cardinal gemstones

3. A summer gemstone

If you were lucky enough to be born in the month of July, then the ruby is your birthstone. It’s believed that rubies have the ability to reconcile lovers, mend broken relationships and bring spiritual vitality.

4. Rubies as gifts

Rubies are the perfect present for the people we love. Also, in traditional gift-giving lists, the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries are most associated with rubies. But we say there is never a bad time to give someone this precious gem!

5. The different shades of red

The word ruby comes from the Latin word ruber meaning red. The spectrum of ruby red can range from the deep rich blood red to a lighter almost pinkish hue. Here’s one of the more interesting ruby facts: The darker red the ruby, the more valuable it is.

cool facts about rubies
The darker the red, the more valuable the gemstone is

6. The deeper significance of rubies

In Sanskrit, rubies are known as ratnaraj, which translates to king of gems. So it’s no surprise that the ruby represents the kum-kum, which is the smear of red holy ash pressed into the foreheads of worshippers. The kum-kum is a representation of fertility and very important in Indian culture.

7. The country of rubies

This is one of the fun facts about rubies that surprised us the most! Almost 90% of all rubies are mined in the country of Myanmar (previously called Burma). In fact, rubies of the highest quality are known as Burmese rubies.

8. Who else has rubies?

While Myanmar has the monopoly on the ruby market, other countries that mine and sell rubies include many in Southeast Asia, like Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Sri Lanka.

Rubies have also been discovered throughout the world including Afghanistan, Australia and the United States.

ruby information
Rubies are made of a substance called corundum

9. What is a ruby made of?

It’s time for a geology lesson! The ruby is primarily made up of a substance called corundum, a crystallized form of aluminum dioxide. 

This is the same compound that also produces sapphires. What makes rubies unique are the trace amounts of chromium that give them their red color.

10. What’s harder than a ruby?

Like most gemstones, the ruby is extremely hard and durable. In fact, on the Mohs scale of hardness, rubies come in at an impressive 9.0. This level of hardness is only matched with sapphire and is only exceeded by diamond.

11. There’s no place like home

The ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz are now among the most valuable pieces of film memorabilia. Interestingly, in the novel the movie was based on, Dorothy’s slippers were silver. 

They were changed to ruby red to take advantage of new film technology known as Technicolor. Wow! That’s one of the most amazing ruby facts!

ruby slippers
Everyone remembers those ruby red slippers!

12. A sweeter grapefruit

The ruby red grapefruit is the most successful grapefruit ever cultivated. Known for its sweeter taste, larger size, and brightly coloured flesh, this variety of grapefruit first appeared in 1929.

The citrus fruit is so successful that there is a famous fruit juice by Ocean Spray bearing its name.

13. She wore more than diamonds

While legendary movie star Elizabeth Taylor was known for her dazzling diamond jewelry, some of her rubies were just as intriguing. In fact, in 2011, an 8.24 carat ruby ring owned by Taylor and made by jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels sold at auction for $4.2 million!

14. Rubies aren’t cheap

Of all the ruby facts, this one might boggle your mind the most! The most expensive ruby ever discovered is known as the Sunrise Ruby

The 25.59 carat pigeon-blood (we’ll fill you in on this later) ruby was mined in Myanmar and sold for a whopping $30.42 million in May 2015.

why are rubies famous
Rubies have been worn by royalty over the centuries

15. Royalty loves rubies

Henry VIII of England was known for his 6 wives, but also for his extensive ruby collection. He always wore rubies in any official portraits and even his dressing gowns were covered in them.

This should come as no surprise, as rubies were valued above diamonds during his reign. The guy was famous for showing off his wealth!

16. Sing a song about Ruby

Many songs have used women named Ruby as inspiration. Of course, there’s the Rolling Stones #1 hit, Ruby Tuesday

But in country music, Ruby was quite the gal. Hey Miss Ruby by Conway Twitty, Rock and Roll Ruby by Johnny Cash, and Ruby’s Stool by Loretta Lynn were all country chart-toppers. Yee haw, Ruby!

17. Her name was Ruby

Now that we covered all the Ruby’s of song, what about all the other Ruby’s out there?

The name has surged in popularity in recent times. It hit the top 100 girls’ names list in 2013 and is steadily climbing. Most recently, Ruby was the 66th most popular girls name in the United States.

ruby fun facts
Ruby is once again a very popular girl’s name

18. Rubies can symbolize many things

When we see a beautiful ruby we often think about love and relationships, but rubies also represent many other ideals and emotions. Traditionally rubies are known to symbolize harmony, confidence, and success. Some even believe rubies can be used to guard against sorrow.

19. The ruby imposter

A spinel, a crystal mineral, is often confused to be a ruby because of its red color. Even the Black Prince’s Ruby at the center of the Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom (part of the Crown Jewels) is a spinel.

20. The three C’s

Ready to be a ruby expert? When assessing the value of the ruby, jewelers judge based on the criteria of the three C’s. Color, cut, and clarity. The most valuable and darkest shade of ruby is known as pigeon-blood and commands the highest price. It doesn’t have the best name though, does it!?

Who wants more fun facts?

fact books

If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!

  1. Interesting Facts for Curious Minds
  2. 1,144 Random, Interesting & Fun Facts You Need To Know
  3. The Intriguingly Interesting Book of 555 Fascinating Facts

Do we have you seeing red with these fun facts about rubies? What did we miss about this romantic gemstone? Tell us in the comments below!

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