Ruby is one of the July stones mascots

Ruby is a gemstone that is a variety of corundum. The ruby's thick red colour is mainly due to small additions of chromium oxide. Ruby is one of the most commercially important gemstones. Its hardness is second only to diamond. The colours of this gemstone range from bright red to dark red and even purple-red. These gemstones are mined on every continent except Antarctica. However, the highest quality rubies are found in Asia. The main exporters of the "bloody" mineral are Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Pakistan, Pamir, Tajikistan, and Myanmar. Smaller, but more unusual specimens are found in East Africa: Kenya and Tanzania. Crystals of red corundum have a high degree of transparency and luster. No other precious mineral other than diamond possesses those qualities. Due to these properties, a big ruby can be even more expensive than a similar-sized diamond. The most precious and rare are the "pigeon-blood corundum", which has a violet hue.

In the middle of the 19th century, a technique of producing synthetic rubies was discovered. Today these gems are used in manufacturing of watches and jewellery, and in quantum electronics as a laser element. Centuries later, even some rubies of royal regalia are being "unmasked". For example, modern research has uncovered fake rubies in jewellery belonging to the British royal family. The famous "Black Prince Ruby", which adorns the British Crown, has turned out to be nothing more than a red spinel.

History tells us that humankind has known rubies for a very long time; they were mined as early as the Bronze Age. The ancient Indians wore it as a talisman, and the Greeks and Romans decorated their homes, clothing or weapons with it. In Eastern countries, red stone was considered the blood of the Dragon and symbolized the vital energy that brought strength, love and health. In the Middle Ages healers believed the Sun itself patronized this stone and attributed the mineral to the element of Fire. Ruby was also known as a styptic, antipyretic, antianxiety and anti-drowsy stone. Medieval medicine men used it for healing liver and kidney problems, and even for fighting plague.

The Jewish rabbis believed that the mineral was under the patronage of Mars, the planet of wars and catastrophes, so they were uptight about it and implemented it with great caution. In the medieval Russia, it was called yahont and was attributed protection against bad dreams.

New thematic photo album "Ruby -- stone mascot of July" is posted in our Photo Gallery.

Today, modern magicians distinguish a number of magical properties of the ruby:
- The mineral, especially in gold setting, acts as a talisman against bitter eye and wicked tongue, protecting against ill effect, damaging words and other negative stuff.
- Ruby talisman helps to be the center of the opposite gender attention.
- Helps a person to recover the lost self-confidence and healthy mindset.
- Rough ruby can to warn the owner of any danger by turning its colour.