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  • Writer's pictureOlivine Moss

Ruby Myths Legends Poetry and Uses

Updated: Dec 8, 2023









Darker ruby male, lighter ruby female.

Myths and Legends

Rubies throughout history are fraught with mystique and rarity, so much so, that most of the famous rubies are not rubies at all. Often some of the most famous rubies were later found to be Spinel. The imperial state crown worn by King George VI contains the Black Prince Ruby, which turned out to be Spinel.

Rubies have been documented as far back as 1100 to 1700 BC. Ancient people in the middle east wrote in vedic sanskrit of a legendary battle between Gods and Man. The sun God Surya and the King Ravana . King Ravana attacked the Sun God after an intense battle with a demon when the Sun God was fleeing piercing its flesh. The injured Sun God Surya bled rubies from its wounds that spread all across India and the middle east. The Vedic Sanskrit of Rigveda, dating back as old as 1500 BC are some of the most sacred scripts in the Hindu religion.

Legends and symbolism around the ruby go far back in history, a sought-after possession of kings and queens. Famously, the most sought-after gems are found in Burma. Burmese kings of the past draped themselves in rubies and believed the ruby to provide protection. In order to get the most protection, the soldiers of Burma would place rubies under their skin. Queen Elizabeth the second gifted the Burmese Ruby Tiara from the Burmese people in 1973 which held 96 rubies.

In ancient Rome and Greek, red garments on a man indicated command, nobility, lordship, and vengeance; on a woman, pride, obstinacy, and haughtiness. This was the color of the planet Mars and of Tuesday; it was represented by the ruby.

Rubies were thought to stop bleeding, create warmth and heal inflammation.

Rubies were helpful in controlling evil thoughts, dispel anger and solve conflict.

Dreaming of rubies had significance in 8th-century Arabia. Achametis wrote that dreaming of rubies would bring fear into the Kings enemy's hearts and great wisdom and joy for the king,

The Ruby is mentioned in the Bible, in relation to wisdom and high value. Of the twelve precious stones of God, the ruby is the most precious.

Rubies in Indian lore were very valuable and if offered to the God Krishna , Krishna will make you an emperor or empress in your next life.

A famous medieval book called The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, explored various mythologies from all throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. His reputation has been challenged but his book "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" is still historically significant, and leans more towards the mythical discusses the Great Chan of Cathay. Cathay is what China was called by medieval Europeans.

"And , when they choose their king , they take him that ruby to bear in his hand ; and so they lead him , riding all about the city . And from thence - fromward they be all obeissant to him . And that ruby he shall bear always about his neck , for if he had not that ruby upon him men would not hold him for king . The great Chan of Cathay hath greatly coveted that ruby , but he might never have it for war , ne for no manner of goods ." Sir John Mandeville



Ruby is rare and mainly used for jewelry. Can be used for lasers and medical equipment.



“ The ruby and the amethyst In it are lovely met ; This in each petal bright impressed, That in the middle set."

"Give me an amulet That keeps intelligence with you , —

Red when you love , and rosier red ,

And when you love not , pale and blue ."


" the ruby , called the lord of gems ; the highly prized , the dearly loved ruby , so fair with its gay color . "

A Fairy Song

Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier,

Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire!

I do wander everywhere,

Swifter than the moon's sphere;

And I serve the Fairy Queen,

To dew her orbs upon the green;

The cowslips tall her pensioners be;

In their gold coats spots you see;

Those be rubies, fairy favours;

In those freckles live their savours;

I must go seek some dewdrops here,

And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

William Shakespeare



Further Information and Resources

Sarah Maria Burnham. (1886). Precious Stones in Nature, Art, and Literature.

Kunz, George Frederick, et al. The Mystical Lore of Precious Stones: The Classic Writings of George Frederick Kunz. Borgo Press, 1986.

“Ruby History - Famous Rubies and Ruby Jewelry in History: The Natural Ruby Company.” NRC Education, 15 Apr. 2021,

:“Ruby Symbolism and Legends - International Gem Society.” International Gem Society, Accessed 31 Dec. 2022.

Vedic Sanskrit language | language. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica.

Ruby, the Biblical Stone of Power and Passion. (n.d.). Valentin Magro.


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