Ruby and Sapphire

By Ben Collinson

Ruby and Sapphire

Ahead of the launch of our new FIYAH Solar Ring, which is the first ring we have made with natural precious gemstones (it is available with the option of either rubies or sapphires), here is some information about the stones.

Ruby

Natural Ruby is one of four “precious” gemstones (including Diamond, Emerald and Sapphire) known its rarity, monetary value, and hardness (second only to Diamond). Ruby is red Corundum, an aluminium oxide mineral with chromium responsible for its rich, red colour. The name comes from the Latin word rubeus, meaning “red,” and until 1800 when Ruby was recognized as a variety of Corundum, red Spinels, Tourmalines, and Garnets were also believed to be Ruby. All other colour varieties of Corundum are designated as Sapphire.

The fiery and captivating Ruby is a stone of nobility, considered the most magnificent of all gems, the queen of stones and the stone of kings. Ancients believed it surpassed all other precious stones in virtue, and its value exceeded even that of the Diamond. The Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan was said to have offered an entire city in exchange for a sizable Ruby.

Revered in many cultures throughout history, Ruby has always been a talisman of passion, protection and prosperity. It symbolizes the sun, and its glowing hue suggests an inextinguishable flame within the stone that legends claim would shine through even the thickest clothing and could not be hidden; if Ruby were cast into water it would cause it to boil, and if carved and pressed into wax, it would melt the wax. It was worn as an amulet or charm to ward off plague and pestilence, warned its wearer of impending danger, kept the body safe, and banished sadness and foolish thoughts. It was reputed to bring its owner peace, drive away frightful dreams, restrain lust, and to help resolve disputes. Burmese legend declares inserting a Ruby into the flesh would make one completely invulnerable.

Today, Ruby’s metaphysical properties are no less astounding. This exquisite crystal emanates the pure Red ray with a vibrancy unsurpassed in the mineral kingdom. It actively stimulates the Base Chakra, increasing vitality and chi, the life-force energy, throughout the physical body and into the spirit. It promotes a clear mind, increased concentration and motivation, and brings a sense of power to the wearer, a self-confidence and determination that overcomes timidity and propels one toward prosperity and achievement.

Ruby initiates the sensual pleasures of life. It stirs the blood and stimulates the heart, encouraging one to enjoy being in the physical world. It increases desire and sexual energy, and may be used to activate the kundalini.  Ruby has always been associated with love, especially faithful passionate commitment and closeness. In antiquity Rubies were considered to be perfect wedding stones.

Ruby forms in prismatic tabular, bipyramidal or rhombohedral crystals, as well as granular or massive habits, and has a vitreous lustre. The most valuable and desired Rubies are those of a shade called “pigeon’s blood,” defined by William Fernie as “a pure deep, rich red, without any admixture of blue or yellow,” though others define it as “a pure red with a hint of blue.” The shade of red varies depending on where it is mined, and may be a deep pink-red, a reddish-orange, red with a violet cast, or even a deep wine colour. The paler pink Corundum, debated as Ruby by some, is usually referred to in gemmological terms as Pink Sapphire rather than Ruby.

All natural Rubies have imperfections within them, including colour impurities and inclusions of Rutile needles known as “silk.” These inclusions help distinguish natural Ruby from synthetics and when structurally oriented so the light shines off the “silk” in certain ways, the inclusions actually increase the rarity and value of the stone. If cut in cabochon, these special stones may display a chatoyancy, or rare “cat’s eye” effect, or in the case of a Star Ruby may display a six-rayed star effect called asterism, that causes the light rays to appear to glide magically across the stone as it is moved.

Sapphire

The magnificent and holy Sapphire, in all its celestial hues, is a stone of wisdom and royalty, of prophecy and Divine favour. It is forever associated with sacred things and considered the gem of gems, a jewel steeped in the history and lore of nearly every religion. To the ancient and medieval world, Sapphire of heavenly blue signified the height of celestial hope and faith, and was believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight. It was a symbol of power and strength, but also of kindness and wise judgment.

In Hebrew lore, King Solomon and Abraham both wore talismans of Sapphire, and the Law given to Moses on the Mount was said to be engraved on tablets of Sapphire. The Greeks wore it for wisdom at Delphi when seeking answers from the Oracle at Apollo’s Shrine. Buddhists believed it brought devotion and spiritual enlightenment, and the Hindus considered Sapphire as one of the “great gems” used in offerings in the temples for worship and to align astrological influences. In Christianity it was used in ecclesiastical rings, and was cherished by kings and nobility for its powers of protection and insight.

As a talisman, Sapphire was thought to preserve chastity, discover fraud and treachery, protect its wearer from poison, plague, fever and skin diseases, and had great power in resisting black magic and ill-wishing. It healed ailments of the eyes, increased concentration, and would lose lustre if worn by an intemperate or impious person.

Today Sapphire is still a Stone of Wisdom, a royal stone of learning, mental acuity and psychic activation, a seeker after spiritual truth. Its pure Blue Ray brings order and healing to the mind, lending strength and focus, and an ability to see beneath surface appearances to underlying truths and to utilize that knowledge. It stimulates the Throat and Third Eye Chakras, allowing one to access deeper levels of consciousness in order to gain a fuller understanding of self. Associated with the planet Saturn, Blue Sapphire embraces order, structure, and self-discipline, and is ideal for accomplishing goals and manifesting ideas into form. Sapphire’s power to transmute negative thoughts and energy also makes it highly effective for earth and chakra healing.

Sapphire is a variety of Corundum, an aluminium oxide mineral that forms in prismatic tabular, bipyramidal or rhombohedral crystals, as well as granular or massive habits, and may be transparent to opaque. Blue is considered Sapphire’s “true” colour and the one most often recognized, though Sapphire does form in a diversity of colours (listed below), and will have the colour added to its name (for example: Green Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire). Additional mineral compounds forming with aluminium oxide are responsible for the different coloration, and in the case of Blue Sapphire, iron and titanium provide its heavenly hues. With the exception of Red Corundum, which is Ruby, all other colours of Corundum are Sapphires.

Information from crystalvaults.com