History has held the ruby as one of the most sought after and most valuable of gemstones. Even today, ruby can sell for the highest price per carat of any colored gem. It has been believed in numerous cultures to promote peace, safety, and even invincibility in war. Its deep reds riddle human emotion and stir the vitality of life's passions. Present cultures recognize ruby as a symbol of success in wealth, love, and life.
The value of ruby is primarily determined by its color. The ideal shade of red is often described as pigeon blood red. Along with sapphire, ruby is a part of the mineral species corundum. Red corundum is ruby, while all other colors fall into a category of sapphire. Ruby owes its red to traces of chromium. Typically, the more chromium that is present in a ruby means that the ruby will have a purer red and a higher value. Sources for ruby include Burma, the Himalayas, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Tanzania.