Last year, when rockin’ the Around the World project, I wrote about the grapefruit when stopping briefly in Barbados. With that in mind, this time around, we’ll be looking at the ruby red version of the fruit and so we might as well dig deeper into the jewel and some of its greatest examples:
The term ruby comes from the Latin ruber, which means red. That said, rubies can range in colour, including shades of pink, purple, orange, and brown. This depends on the chromium and iron components that make up the gem, as well as which wavelengths of light are absorbed by the stone.
Rubies are symbolic of devotion, integrity, courage, and happiness. If you or a loved one is lacking in any of these areas, go out and pick up a precious gem and turn your life around today. Also, rubies have a reputation of being the stone of love, passion, and vitality. That’s a lot of pressure to take on and I can understand why emeralds balked at the job offer.
Aside from being the birthstone of folks born in the Cancer zodiac sign (June 22-July 22), rubies are also perfect gifts for people celebrating their 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Sip and I have a more than a decade to go before we even hit the first of those milestones, but I might as well start saving now!
Placing just behind diamonds and drawing even with sapphires, rubies are one of the sturdiest gems in existence. Perhaps, this is why some members of the Hindu religion don the stone, in order to keep their enemies at bay. That’s a potentially expensive security system. Similarly, in Burma (one of the hottest ruby regions in the world), warriors believed rubies made them invincible in battle, even going so far as to embed them in their body.
There are very few flawless rubies and you can bet you’ll have to fork over a ton of cash to get your hands on those rarities. A ruby without any blemishes can be more expensive than a diamond of the same weight and quality.
Here are some famous rubies from across the globe:
Purchased by an anonymous buyer at an auction in 2015 for $30.3 million, the Sunrise Ruby (aka Sunshine Ruby) is the world’s most expensive coloured gemstone. Not bad for a gem which has had its colour described as “pigeon blood” red. The Swiss Gemmological Society described the piece as “a unique treasure of nature”.
Liberty Bell Ruby
This gem, the largest mined in the world, was subject to an elaborate heist in 2011. A few years later, and after a $10,000 reward was offered, four men were arrested in connection with the crime. Despite the arrests, police believe that the jewel will never be recovered. The ruby was originally found in East Africa in the 1950s and weighed four pounds. Sculpted in 1976, to imitate Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, the jewel was joined by 50 diamonds (one for each U.S. state) and had a worth of $2 million.
Elizabeth Taylor Collection
One of Hollywood’s most proficient jewellery collectors – likely due in part to her eight marriages to seven different husbands – it took two full days to auction all of Elizabeth Taylor’s massive assembly of trinkets. This included many ruby pieces and among the top sellers were a $4.2 million ring set and a $3.7 million necklace.
Flavour Revolution: Love Machine
- 2 oz Absolut Ruby Red Vodka
- 1 oz Pomegranate Liqueur
- Top with Orange Juice
- Garnish with a Lime Wedge
In some Asian countries, rubies are placed underneath the foundation of buildings to bring the development good luck. I wish I had enough of a fortune to use gems solely for blessings!