Madagascan Ruby in Quartzite Natural Specimen - 54mm, 124g
Locality - Ihosy District, Ihorombe Region, Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar Size – 54 x 44 x 38mm Weight – 124g
This natural ruby specimen features an attractive, chunky, deep magenta purple ruby crystal measuring 14mm by 13mm embedded in the side of a sparkling quartzite matrix. It is a handsome specimen and an excellent example of the mineral.
Ruby is exclusively the pink to red variety of corundum, coloured so by the presence of chromium within it, with corundum of any other colour being classified as sapphire. It is an incredibly durable gem with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale; only diamond is harder with a Mohs rating of 10. All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as 'silk', which gemmologists use to distinguish them from synthetic rubies. Boasting magnificent colour and outstanding brilliance, ruby is the most highly valued and fabled of all red gemstones, having been set in jewellery and treasured for thousands of years.
Ruby in History
Ruby is a gemstone rich in history and folklore. Its name derives from the Latin word 'rubers', meaning 'red', in allusion to its often rich colour. Ruby mining can be traced back over 2500 years ago in Sri Lanka, and the famous mines in Mogok, Burma were first explored as early as 600AD.
In Burma and Thailand, one legend tells the tale of an ancient Burmese dragon who laid three eggs. From the first egg came Pyusawti, king of Burma, from the second emerged the Chinese Emperor, and the third egg provided all the rubies in Burma, which many gem traders will say are yet to be discovered even to this day.