Surprising Stories Through History You Never Knew About Rubies

Author Veronica Rose
Date Jul 16, 2021

Not only are rubies the official birthstone of July but they also have a rich history and huge significance in the early culture and discovery of jewelry. Collected for centuries, stolen in heists and auctioned for millions, and adored by Kings, Queens and famous figures alike, the history of rubies goes back a long time. Delve deep with us as we explore the background, ancient mythology and meaning behind these iconic red gemstones!

First discovered in Asia during prehistoric times, the ruby was known to have legendary powers among Eastern mythology; some believing it could protect armies from defeat, others thinking it could detect poisonous food. Some in ancient China also claimed rubies could glow without any light. The Ancient Romans believed in rubies' healing properties, especially when it came to curing conditions of the blood, heart or circulatory illnesses. They believed placing rubies on the body would restore vitality and strength, stimulate blood circulation, bring a healthy pregnancy, and even help against weight gain.

Rubies are actually one of only four gemstones considered to be a precious stone which means it is that much more rare and beautiful compared to other gems. The other three are diamonds, sapphires and emeralds - all precious gems used all the way back in 1600 BC by the Ancient Greeks.

Marco Polo was actually one of the first in history to mention the ruby and its beauty in writing after gazing upon the King of Ceylon’s large ruby heirloom 700 years ago. He was so amazed and enraptured with its sight that he referred to it as “the most precious article that exists in the world”. Wow!

Have you ever wondered what the story was behind setting rubies in British crowns? Well it all goes back to the Black Prince of England who was gifted a dark red, irregularly shaped ruby from a Spanish King after helping him win a battle in 1367. King Henry V later set it into his helmet-crown and this same ruby actually prevented a deadly blow to the King’s head during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, saving his life and gaining infamy for all ruby stones to come. Now set in the Imperial State Crown of the British crown jewels, the “Black Prince’s Ruby” paved the way for the large part rubies play in royal culture today.

The ruby even made it into pop culture through the hearts of Wizard of Oz fans when Dorothy was gifted her magical ruby slippers. To return home in the film, all she has to do is click her heels together three times, saying “there’s no place like home” cementing the connection between love, home and happiness with the ruby stone.


Known most commonly as the birthstone for July, rubies are also considered by astrologists to be the gemstone for the star sign Cancer. Infamous for its deep red hues, rubies have long been associated with love, passion, fire and warmth; this is said to multiply exponentially if you are a Cancer or born in July. With its ties to romance and love, it is no wonder it makes for the perfect wedding anniversary gift, especially on the 40th wedding anniversary where rubies are considered the “official '' traditional gift for this occasion. A red gemstone like the ruby is also known to encourage stable, loving and happy relationships so it will be sure to make you or your loved one feel special!


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