Selasa, 16 Disember 2008

Ruby



A Ruby is a pink to blood-red gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald, and the diamond.



Prices of rubies are primarily determined by color. The brightest and most valuable "red" called pigeon blood-red, commands a huge premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions will indicate that the stone has been treated. Cut and carat (size) also determine the price.


Rubies are traditionally mined in Siam.(Thailand, and the Pailin and Samlot province of Cambodia) and Afghanistan. Rubies were rarely found in Sri Lanka where pink sapphires are more common. After the Second World War new ruby deposits were found in Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Vietnam, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. They have also been sometimes found in the U.S. states of Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. More recently, large ruby deposits have been found under the receding ice shelf of Greenland(See Greenland Ruby). The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar was for centuries the world main source for rubies. It has produced some of the finest rubies ever mined, but in recent years very few good rubies have been found there. The very best color in Myanmar (Burmese) rubies is sometimes described as "pigeon’s blood". In central Myanmar the area of Mong Hsu also started to produces rubies during the 1990s and rapidly became the worlds main ruby mining area. The latest ruby deposit to be found in Myanmar is situated in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern Kachin state. In 2002 rubies were found in the Waseges River area of Kenya. Spinel, another red gemstone, is sometimes found associated with rubies from the same gem gravel or marble. Red spinel may be mistaken with ruby by people lacking experience with gems. However, fine red spinels may approach the average ruby in value.[1]

According to Rebbenu Bachya, and the New International Version, the word odem means "ruby" in the verse Exodus 28:17 (referring to a stone on the Hoshen), and was the stone representing the Tribe of Reuben. Modern Hebrew has taken this meaning. However, odem actually means earth, and is cognate with Adam; in the Middle East, the earth it refers to is certainly reddish, but the Septuagint translates the term as sard (which also means red), which is also the name of a common, somewhat opaque, gem. Scholars think the stone intended is probably a sard, as does the King James Version, scholars think that if not a sard it may possibly be the related gem carnelian; it is thought possible that sard and odem here just mean the colour of the stone, and red jasper would therefore also be a possibility.

Ruby is the most commonly named precious stone in English translations of the Bible; an example being Proverbs 31: "A virtuous wife is more precious than rubies.". The underlying masoretic text doesn't necessarily refer to rubies, however. Not only are there issues such as that mentioned with odem, but in the case of Proverbs 31, the masoretic text merely states jewels, and the Septuagint makes Proverbs 31 refer to precious stones (estin lithon ); some English versions of the bible believe that pearls is a better translation here.

An early recorded note of the transport and trading of rubies arises in the literature on the North Silk Road of China, where in about 200 BC rubies were carried along this ancient trackway moving westward from China.[12]

The famous lighted "Red Stars" mounted above Kremlin spires, thought to be giant rubies mined in Siberia, are colored glass.

Ruby is the birthstone associated with July and of the zodiac sign Leo.

Ruby is associated with the sun in Vedic astrology.

Ruby is associated with a 40th wedding anniversary.

Rubies have always been held in high esteem in Asian countries. They were used to ornament armor, scabbards, and harnesses of noblemen in India and China. Rubies were laid beneath the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune to the structure.[13]

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