Ruby or Star Ruby

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Color range: all shades of red to light pink 

Value:  Most rubies are rare, but dragon's-tear rubies are very rare and sylvarraend rubies are extremely rare.

Ruby is a transparent stone that displays a marvelous fire when properly faceted. It is extraordinarily hard, and it will scratch almost any other stone rather than being scratched if the two are rubbed together. By definition, rubies are always red, though the hue may vary from dark pink to a purplish color to a muddy reddish-brown. Rubies may contain filaments of rutile, which will create a visible star on a cabochon-cut stone. Two varieties that merit special attention are the dragon's-tear ruby, which reflects white light as sky blue, and the sylvarraend ruby, which contains many small, fernlike inclusions of golden imflass.

Rubies are mined all over the world, but Mestanir is noteworthy for its particularly beautiful star rubies. Sylvarraend rubies have only been located outside the elven village of Sylvarraend (hence the name!) and dragon's-tear rubies are mined along a rocky ridge to the north of Ta'Ardenai, although a few scant samples have been located in other places on the east side of the DragonSpine.

With their beautiful fire and sanguine hue, rubies have attracted wary interest from many groups. Ancient elven legend holds that rubies are not true gems at all, but spilled drops of Arkati blood from the Ur-Daemon War (although most elves have dismissed this as mere fantasy in the current age.)

Magically, rubies are most strongly associated with the element of earth. To a lesser extent, they are aligned with spells related to telepathy. Empaths concerned with causing unnecessary pain to their patients or determining the exact nature of a complicated injury will often utilize ruby talismans in the effort.

The stone-tenders of Aldora use ruby to try to drive poisons from the body, saying that the stone is strongly affiliated with blood and can therefore cleanse the blood of toxin. Aging and superstitious humans often seek to wear a piece of ruby to strengthen their hearts.

Rubies hold special significance to the Vylem bloodline of gnomes. The Vylem say that, if you carve a ruby into the symbol of one of the Arkati and apply your blood to the ruby, then that Arkati can watch you through the "blooded" jewel.

A similar belief grew popular in a human cult of Mularos that appeared roughly two decades ago in the small barony of Mestanir. Although the cult was quashed ruthlessly when Jantalar invaded in 5092, other Mularosians have adopted the belief that Mularos watches his followers through ruby jewelry, and few human followers of Mularos are without a piece of the jewel somewhere on their person -- a practice that usually goes without notice, yet which can serve as identification when coupled with the proper words and actions. By the same followers, it is said that if you give someone a ruby, you give that person power over you, and a gift of a ruby heart will enslave you eternally to its recipient.

The peculiar association between rubies and Krolvin is also worthy of mention. As a general rule, Krolvin do not make jewelry of any kind. Crafting jewelry, after all, is slave work, and the Krolvin are above that -- they do wear jewelry, but they wear only what they take from the throats of their captives, and they never exchange jewelry among themselves. However, rubies are an exception, and the Krolvin both force their slaves to mine ruby for ornamentation and craft crude amulets from unfaceted chunks of ruby bound in metal wire. Some theorize that ruby holds religious significance to the Krolvin; others suggest that Krolvin just like the intense red color. Garnets, spinels, and other red gems are not given the same status.

Ruby has been the world's most valued gemstone for thousands of years.   Ruby was said to be the most precious of the twelve stones God created when he created all things, and this "lord of gems" was placed on Aaron's neck by God's command.   In the Bible, Job says that "wisdom is more precious than rubies"

Among the multitude of legends and strange beliefs of ancient times, it was thought that the wearer of a ruby was blessed with health, wealth, wisdom, and outstanding success in affairs of the heart.  Furthermore, the wearer acquired the ability to live in peace with his enemies.   In some places ruby was even thought to confer invulnerability.  Red stones including rubies were thought to cure bleedings. A stone which turned darker was thought to warn its owner of coming misfortunes, illness, or death.

All colors of corundum except red are known as sapphires, which has created controversy about where ruby ends and sapphire begins, particularly in pink shades of corundum.   The close relationship of ruby and sapphire has been known since the beginning of the 19th century.  Up to that time, red garnets or spinels were also thought to be rubies and due to this misclassification the so-called "Black Prince's Ruby" as well as the "Timor Ruby" decorating the British Crown Jewels are probably actually not rubies at all, but spinels.

Eastern legends believe that rubies contain the spark of life "a deep drop of the heart's blood of Mother Earth."  Some ancient Orientals believed that the ruby is self-luminous and called it "glowing stone" or "lamp stone."  It is believed that the Emperor of China used a ruby to light his chamber.  Hindu priests believed that the homes of the gods were lighted by emeralds and rubies.

Greek legends also speak of ruby.  It was said that a female stork repaid Heraclea for her kindness by bringing her a ruby so bright that it illuminated her room at night.

Ancient Hindus, Burmese, and Ceylonese believed that rubies ripen with age.  The believed that sapphires were unripe rubies and that inclusions in stones meant that they were overripe.

Ruby is the birthstone for July but on some ancient lists, it can be the birthstone for December.   It is also the gemstone for the astrological sign Capricorn.   Ruby is the anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 40th year of marriage.