The ruby is actually a red corundum, or sapphire. Its name is from Sanskrit "ratnaraj" meaning "queen of gems". It is the second only to the diamond as the hardest type of gemstone. The ruby is said to warn of danger to the wearer and would grow dark in the presence of evil; only to regain its original splendor after the threat had passed. It was said to secure ones rank and lands and to safeguard the wearer even when surrounded by his enemies. In fact there is a legend that states that if one were to insert a ruby under his flesh it would actually render the individual immune to any form of weapon or projectile. This however is not a bit of folklore I would recommend testing.
               A star ruby was said to protect ones home and gardens from storms and tempest, this was done by warding the area by touching the coroners or posts with the stone. A ruby ringed hand cupped over the nose and mouth would dispel noxious vapors and render poisons inert.
               Finally a bit of disturbing folklore on the ruby, even though ruby is a red stone and most red stones are thought to incite passion, the ruby is said to "quill amorous desire" and has a long history of being though of as an exceptional poor gift for a lover. Indeed strangely enough no matter how often this myth is tested it seems the only thing that might rival the ruby's ability to definitively obliterate a relationship is to have their name tattooed on you.

Various shades of red                     
Australia, Brazil, Burma, China, Egypt, Norway, Pakistan, and the USA
Al2O3Cr, aluminum oxide with chromium

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