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(Rubies; images courtesy of Pinterest.)

There are numerous beliefs tied to the ruby and they span over different cultures. Indians, for instance, believe that the ruby is of highest significant value. The king among gems is what the ruby was referred to by Indians. Hindus would offer gems to their deities and it is said of those who offered rubies (to Lord Krishna in particular) that they would be born again in their next lives as rulers. It is believed that the ruby has the power to bring peace to whomever it is in the possession of; peace between them and their enemies. Yet another belief suggests that the ruby brings peace to the wearer of the jewel, especially if it is worn on the left side, closer to the heart.

The ancient Burmese warriors held on firmly to the belief that the blood-red life affirming ruby, if kept close, brought them fortune when going to war. It is said that these warriors had rubies inserted into their flesh, wearing them under their skin, as a part of them; making them invincible.

ruby slippers

(The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., displays a pair of Dorothy’s slippers; image – Associated Press file photo)

Then of course we have Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), brought to life courtesy of popular culture and cinema. The Good Witch of The West making sure Dorothy knows to click the heels of the Ruby Slippers thrice, saying, “There’s no place like home.” Those beautiful ruby slippers put on display in all of their technicolour glory. The original props used in the film had red sequins sewn on in place of actual rubies. The idea, however, was that they were Ruby slippers.

Safe to say, the king of all gems is tied to health, wealth and protection.