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10 Fun n' Nerdy Facts about Rubies

  1. Next to diamonds, rubies are the second hardest gemstone.
  2. Rubies are recognized as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence and bring success.
  3. Like sapphires, rubies are a part of the corundum family. Only red corundum can be classified as a ruby. Every other color is considered to be sapphire.
  4. The red color found in rubies comes from trace amounts of chromium. This element is also responsible for causing the multitude of cracks and fissures commonly found inside the crystals. Because of this, rubies larger than three carats are extremely rare to find. Rubies are made of crystallized corundum with a bit of chromium oxide.
  5. Rubies are considered to be the most valuable colored gemstone, costing more than both sapphires and emeralds of a similar size and quality.
  6. In the 13th century, ground rubies were considered a cure for liver problems.
  7. Like emeralds, almost all rubies have some type of imperfection, which helps in identifying synthetics. Synthetic rubies can be identified by its lack of inclusions.
  8. Discovered over 2000 years ago, Rubies are thought to have originated from India but have since been discovered in many places around the world. They appear in a variety of geologic settings, some having been formed in metamorphic rock like amphibole and marble, resulting from the transformation of existing rocks. The most well-known rubies form in marble, created by heat and pressure acting upon limestone.
  9. In Russia, Ivan the Terrible was said to believe that rubies were therapeutic for the heart and mental acuteness while those living in the 13th-century considered ground rubies as a cure for liver problems.
  10. The first ever functional laser was created with a synthetic ruby crystal by Theodore H. Maiman in 1960. Synthetic rubies are used not only in laser technology but also in microelectronics.
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