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Ruby as a month birthstone is mentioned twice: for July and along with garnet as a gem for January. There are many legends about the ruby. It was believed that the wearer of the ruby was blessed with health, wealth, wisdom and outstanding success in the affairs of the heart. The wearer also acquired the magic ability to live in peace with his enemies, as long as the ruby was worn on the left hand or as a brooch on the left side. According to ancient verse of uncertain origin,
Biblical references to ruby call it the most precious of stones, and similar reference are found in Sanskrit. Hindus believed that the color was due to an inextinguishable fire that burned in the stone - would even cause water to boil. The Native Americans believed that offerings of a fine ruby would result in rebirth as a powerful emperor, and the ruby's color like blood led to belief that ruby would protect wearer from injury.
Mining for rubies started some 2,500 years ago, and to this date, ruby mining is still being undertaken in some parts of Asia such as Thailand and Burma, Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States. But Burma, now known as Myanmar, is the most well known source of fine rubies. Studies have shown that ruby mining in Burma could be traced way back into the Stone Age and Bronze Age, as proven by tools found in the Mogok mining area. Thailand, on the other hand, is considered today as the most important trading center in the world when it comes to ruby trading. There have also been discoveries of rubies in some areas in Vietnam and most recently in Madagascar.
Sovereigns or crowned heads often turned to rubies for help in prediction and consequently preventing impending danger. Royalties kept rubies in their possession to protect them against vulnerability. They also believed that the stone turns dark in color when imminent danger is at hand and returns to its original shade when the threat is gone.
Ruby inherent eternal flame, its brilliance, the way the shade of red is refracted on each facet of the stone, giving a different red every time you turn it towards the sun, and the rich legend surrounding it; these are only some of the finest qualities of ruby that make it precious and rare. This is why some true-blue romantics prefer it to diamonds. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, and yes, they may spell forever, but forever does not cross over to eternity. A ruby's eternal flame does.