Since ancient times, the color red has been universally associated with the most intense emotions—love, anger, passion, and fury. A perfect expression of love for Valentine’s Day, the ruby (from the Latin “rubeus,” meaning red) is a gemstone associated with love, passion, power, and energy.
Revered throughout human history, the ruby has attained a special place in modern popular culture. Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” both protected her from evil and had the power to transport her back home to Kansas. The Sorcerer’s Stone that gave Harry Potter such a hard time was blood red in color and resembled a lumpy uncut ruby with the power to restore and prolong life. Powerful dragons are often depicted with glowing red eyes, a trait that signifies their ability to breathe fire.
Cherished today as the ultimate symbol of love and passion, the ruby was valued in ancient times for various enigmatic properties. Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. In addition to their protective powers, they reputedly helped control evil thoughts, dispel anger, and resolve disputes. In some cultures, it was said that a ruby gives its wearer the strength of a lion, the fearlessness of an eagle, and the wisdom of a snake.
Known in many ancient cultures as the “stone of kings,” ruby symbolism and lore are closely associated with power, wealth, and protection. People believed wearing the stone on the left, the heart side, would allow the wearers to live peacefully. They also thought the blood-colored stone would preserve them from all perils, including keeping their homes safe from storms. The Burmese regarded the ruby as the stone of soldiers. They believed inserting rubies into their flesh bestowed invulnerability, keeping them safe from wounds in battle.