Ruby: King of the Gems - Greenland Ruby

RUBY – KING of GEMS

July Birthstone

Happy Birthday, July babies!

Since the early 1900’s the signs of the zodiac, and more specifically months of birth, have been linked to gemstones.  July is the month allocated to Rubies, so thought this would be a good time to tell you more about our favorite gem.

Photo Credit: Anthony Friend
Photo Credit: Anthony Friend

Red is the color most associated with courage and sacrifice, seduction, and sexuality, as well as some of our most intense emotions such as love and passion.  No wonder Ruby is considered the most powerful gemstone in the world!

Ruby’s brilliant radiance has captured the imagination of human beings throughout time. Early cultures treasured these marvelous gemstones for their similarity to the redness of blood that flows through our veins, believing rubies held the power of life. This fascination has created a host of legends and lore over the centuries, from Hindus and Chinese ornamenting their armor to bestow protection, Greeks who considered that rubies are the zest of life, Burmese who adorned their bodies with bright rubies to grant invulnerability, up to the present day’s interconnectivity between these gems and the power of love.

These myths and legends have even found their way into performances and films, like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz, which were meant to protect her from evil, or in books, like George R. R. Martin’s more recent Game of Thrones, in which one of the character’s lives is taken when his rubies fall from his armor.

Although Greenland Ruby’s ruby deposit was recorded and documented only in the 1960s by Dr. Martin Ghisler, with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the dazzling gems sit on the shoulders of an extensive and entrancing history!

Location and Deposit

When it comes to the question – where do rubies come from? – these beautiful gems are mined in a few locations around the world, now primarily in Burma (Myanmar), Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, U.S.A, and Greenland, the most recent discovery.  The Greenlandic gems differ from those of other origins by their unique inclusions, as well as the fact that they are believed to be the oldest gem on earth, at nearly 3 billion years old.  Despite this, Greenland Ruby is one of the most modern and sophisticated colored gemstone mining operations in the world.

The Greenland Ruby gems are found in Aappaluttoq, {Ah-puh-lu-tok} meaning ‘Red’ in Greenlandic, named after the rock formations in this Arctic landscape.  Locals in the south west of Greenland have known about these rubies for centuries and appropriately named the ruby-bearing rock “RED”.

Photo Credit: Vincent Pardieu
Credit: Lotus Gemology

Treatment

Like most rubies and sapphires, Greenland Ruby gems undergo treatment to bring out their best attributes and create a stable environment making it safe and responsible to cut, polish and set gemstones into jewelry. Heat treatment with borax is done in Thailand, the world’s capital of ruby trade and expertise, where gemstone treatments have been practiced and perfected over generations.

Given the nature of the hard-rock deposit, as well as the primordial age of the rubies and pink sapphires from Greenland, the tiny fractures commonly found within these ancient gems are the consequences of that incredible journey through time, heat, and pressure.

Gems for a New Generation

While rubies have been around for as long as we can remember, the introduction of a new and responsible source of the rarest and more precious of all the gems will bring a fresh approach to the market!

As a new mining operation, Greenland Ruby was able to set up an industry-standard in traceability, responsibility, and environmental best practices. Each gem has a Certificate of Origin approved by the Government of Greenland and can be tracked and traced from the mine.

According to Accenture Strategy’s Global Consumer Pulse Research, more than six in ten younger consumers closely consider a company’s ethical values and authenticity before buying their products. This shift started in the past ten years, but is now imperative, as Millennials and Gen Z are becoming the main buyers in our marketplaces.

Photo Credit: Vincent Pardieu

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