The ruby is a hard gemstone and its name means “red.” It ranks 9 on the Mohs scale, just below diamond. It belongs to the corundum group of minerals, in which the ruby is the only stone that is not called sapphire. The raw stone is matte, while a cut ruby glitters almost like a diamond. Genuine rubies are unbelievably valuable, but it is also possible to create synthetic rubies. It is said that no ruby is absolutely flawless, which is why counterfeiters have begun to implant small artificial inclusions to make synthetic rubies look like genuine stones. Rubies may be found in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, Thailand and Kenya.
On 31t July, Galartis will hold their first auction of haute couture jewellery in the glamorous Swiss resort of Verbier. The sale will include a rare "Pigeon's Blood" ruby from the now-closed Mogok mine in Burma as well as an intense royal blue sapphire from Kashmir.
A mysterious sphinx talisman unearthed in the Netherlands is now rumoured to have once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Barnebys sat down with the team at Napoleon’s Talisman to discuss their research as well as their ‘decoding’ of the esoteric symbolism in the piece.