Colour:  Red

Lustre:  Vitreous to adamantine

Hardness:  9

System:  Trigonal

Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum, coloured to chromium oxides. (The blue variety is sapphire and there are also yellow and colourless conundrums). High-quality gem rubies of rich colour and translucence are rare, hence their great value. Much more common are red and purple-blue opaque stones with a heavy metallic sheen. But even low-quality rubies have a mouth-watering beauty that makes them hard to resist. Traditionally the gemstone of the sun, ruby is believed to confer wealth and power, long life and health.

Identification and care:

  • Ruby has distinctive barrel-shaped, hexagonal crystals, which narrow toward each end.
  • The tone is sometimes cut into a cabochon to show asterism (star-like pattern), caused by inclusion of rutile.
  • Hexagonal cross-sections are most commonly used in healing.


  • Acts like the sun – as a reliable source of life-energy – and brings the wearer benefits associated with the sun (for example, vitality and success).
  • Smooths relationships with other people.

Healing functions:

  • Balances the heart, both subtly and physically
  • Helps to engender feelings of confidence, security, enthusiasm and self-esteem
  • Warms and steadies

Practical ideas:

  • To re-establish balance with the Self, use six rubies: place one at the top of the head, one below the feet, one near each knee, and one near each elbow. The effect is amplified if you lie on a yellow cloth.