For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most precious gemstones on Earth. For a long time India was regarded as the ruby's classical country of origin. The Sanskrit word for ruby is 'ratnaraj', which means something like 'king of the gemstones'. Whenever a particularly beautiful ruby crystal was found, the ruler sent high dignitaries out to meet the precious gemstone and welcome it in appropriate style. 

Some rubies display a wonderful silky shine, the so-called 'silk' of the ruby. This phenomenon is caused by very fine needles of rutile. Now and then one of the rare star rubies is found. Here too, the mineral rutile is involved: having formed a star-shaped deposit within the ruby, it causes a captivating light effect known by the experts as asterism. The most common ruby cuts are oval, cushion or round. Heart cut and Emerald cut rubies are also available but they are not common.