Ruby, the red variety of the mineral corundum, is a pinkish-red to blood-red gemstone with a history dating back centuries. Ruby’s red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium and commands a higher price tag depending on the brightness and depth of its hue. The most valuable red is called “pigeon blood” red and commands a huge premium over other rubies of similar size and quality based on its attractive crimson shade. After color, follows clarity, similar to diamonds. Rubies hail from all over the world yet most notably from Myanmar (Burma).
The corundum family, which is composed of rubies and sapphires, makes up the second hardest mineral known to mankind. Ruby is considered one of the precious stones, together with its cousin the sapphire, the emerald and the diamond. Like most gemstones of antiquity the ruby is mentioned in the biblical book of Exodus as contained in the Breastplate of Aaron.