Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, colored by the element chromium. All other colors of gem-quality corundum are called sapphire, which means color is key for this royal gemstone.
Accordingly, the name “ruby” comes from rubeus, the Latin word for red. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby translated to ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” These fiery gems have been treasured throughout history for their color and vitality.
Burma’s Mogok Valley historically produced the finest ruby material, famous for its deep blood-red color with purplish hues. These Burmese Rubies, also called Pigeon’s Blood Rubies, command a premium over brownish or orange-tinged varieties from other regions.
The Mong Hsu region of Myanmar began producing rubies in the ‘90s after discovering that heat treatment improved the color saturation. Other ruby deposits exist in Vietnam, Thailand, India, parts of the Middle East, East Africa, and even the United States.