Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ruby ~ Birthstone of July

  Ruby and its "twin" - sapphire - are both made of the mineral Corundum. Corundum is notable not only because it is an oxide of aluminum, but also because Corundum is second only to Diamond in terms of its hardness. The beautiful rich red or magenta color of Ruby is due to traces of chromium; large transparent rubies are quite rare.

  Another close relative, emery (familiar in emery boards) is a granular form of corundum which is colored gray or black by hematite or magnetite.

  Quality rubies and sapphires generally come from Burma, Thailand and Ceylon; corundum may be found in Canada, South Africa and the states of Montana, Georgia and North Carolina in the USA.



  Some believe that the Ruby influences the passions and vitality; it can bring prosperity and happiness.It often occurs with other minerals, such as zoisite, and in this context is thought to increase psychic abilities and ease stress. 


  Many are familiar with the use of ruby in the first laser (Lightwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore Maiman, using a synthetic ruby crystal rod. Ruby was used because:

     "...Ruby has very broad and powerful absorption bands in the visual spectrum, at 400 and 550 nm, and a     very long fluorescence lifetime of 3 milliseconds. This allows for very high energy pumping, since the pulse duration can be much longer than with other materials. While ruby has a very wide absorption profile, its conversion efficiency is much lower than other mediums..." (Ruby laser - Wikipedia)

  Ruby has been treasured by mankind for many centuries, and will most likely continue far into the future. 





From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:

{Romeo speaks of Juliet upon first seeing her:}

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night

And, such are the ELEMENTS of LIFE....

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