The Sanskrit word for ruby, ratnaraj, is loosely translated as lord, king, or leader of precious gems, and for more than a millennium, ruby has been the king of colored stones. Ruby’s value accounts for its exalted status. The price per carat of top-quality large rubies easily surpasses that of any other colored gem, except colored diamonds. Its deep-red, saturated hue is the standard against which every highly prized red object is measured, whether it’s ruby red Texas grapefruit or ruby red lipstick. Magical powers have long been associated with the gem—ancient ruby amulets warded off bad luck and evil spirits, and, more recently, ruby slippers helped send Dorothy (and Toto, too) back home to Kansas. The name ruby originates from the Latin ruber, meaning red. Gemologically, ruby is one of a dozen or so varieties of the species corundum, which includes sapphire in all its forms a

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