Rubies have been prized by kings and queens around the world for thousands of years for its beauty, lustre, brilliance, and hardness.
The ruby is a RED SAPPHIRE, and like all sapphires the ruby belongs to the CORUNDUM family of mineral stones. Only sapphires of the red (and the many shades of red including dark pink light purple) variety are called RUBIES. The corundum minerals are 9 on Mohs scale, right after diamonds at 10, and nearly impossible to scratch or crack.
Culturally, rubies have represented beauty, the arts, poetry, music, goodness, light, the heart, love, loyalty, wisdom, knowledge, luck, and graciousness.
Before the arrival of commercially-mined diamonds in 1888, the ruby was the most prized, rare, sought after, and expensive gemstone for over 5,000 years!
Only the rarest pearls, emeralds, and amethysts would give even a mediocre ruby any real competition. A mediocre natural mined ruby is often valued at under $100 per carat.