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Ruby & Sapphire

One Hindu legend says that these red varieties of corundum were created when a maharani (a queen) was stabbed to death by a jealous courtier. Her blood stained the colorless diamond she wore and all others like it. Other early myths held that rubies gave off heat, and a gem placed in a bowl of water would bring it to boil. In places where rubies were mined,  people believed that the gems had to ripen like fruit, and those that did not have a strong coloration had been removed too early. The red coloration of this gem gave rise to many beliefs that they could heal problems with the heart and blood. Attributed to the red planet, Mars, rubies were said to ward off plague, banish foolish thoughts, make the wearer prudent, and also guarantee marital happiness. Some also believed that rubies would preserve the freshness of youth if rubbed on the face.

Over the years, sapphires have always been held in high regards, and many have attributed great powers to these stones. Some believed that sapphires could protect them from sorcery and plots of their enemies. Others that a little powdered sapphire in milk could cure ulcers. It was often held that the stones could also heal and protect the eyes. In the Orient, they were thought very potent against poison, so much so that people believed they could instantly kill venomous animals. A Persian legend believed that sapphires were made of the last drops of amrita, the elixir of immortality. In medieval Europe, sapphires were advertised as charms against plague, smallpox, and headaches. They were also used as love gifts, ones that would turn pale if the lover was ever unfaithful.

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