The History of Rubies

Rubies from Tapper's.

Discovered 2,000 years ago in India, the bold and beautiful ruby is considered “The King of the Gems”. Signifying wealth, success, romance, health, and devotion, the gorgeous stone was utilized by ancient warriors on the battlefield, as well as royal figures throughout the world’s history. Deriving from the Mogok Region of Myanmar, formally known as Burma, rubies have stayed at the top of the gem-chain for years. The radiant stone, identical to sapphires in every way apart from color, are the scarcest of all gemstones. Ancient warriors used to set rubies into their flesh, believing that the stone would bring them protection and power in battle. The Imperial State Crown, made for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, contains The Black Prince Ruby, a stone that is considered to be one the most fascinating gems in existence. Medieval Europeans believed that by wearing rubies, they were guaranteed wealth, wisdom, and success. Queen Elizabeth began wearing the Burmese Ruby Tiara in 1973, in which 96 rubies were set into her custom tiara after receiving them as a wedding gift from the Burmese people.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom’s Burmese Ruby Tiara.

In popular culture, the most iconic rubies are the ruby slippers worn by Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. With the click of her heels, the slippers took Dorothy from the Emerald City back to her home in Kansas. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film, Harry Winston created a real pair of ruby slippers. Adorned with 1,350 carats of rubies and 50 carats of diamonds, the real life version of Dorothy’s slippers cost three million dollars (making them the most expensive shoes in the world!).


Dorothy’s REAL ruby slippers by Harry Winston.

Today, the timeless gem is making a comeback throughout lifestyle and fashion trends. The 2016 Winter and Spring runways were filled with vintage inspired jewelry. Celebrities like Kate Middleton and Mila Kunis have been spotted wearing rubies on the red carpet. With the ability to be cut in many shapes and sizes, the ruby is a very versatile gem ranging from anything to a light pink to a deep, purplish-red. From gorgeous diamond and ruby studded necklaces to simple ruby rings, Tapper’s aims to please all ruby-lovers with sparkling, deep, pristine rubies. Because the gem represents love, romance, devotion, and success, it is a traditional gift for a couple’s 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. As the ruby is the birthstone of July, the hot summer months are a perfect time to start pulling out your classic ruby pieces, and stopping in to browse the unique rubies available at Tapper’s.