Named from the Latin word for its hue, rubens, meaning red, the gemstone ruby epitomizes the boldest of colours, and has come to represent the values of desire, passion and power. For centuries, the ruby has been regarded as one of the most valuable gemstones. In ancient Sanskrit, the ruby is called ‘Ratnaraj’ or ‘King of Precious Stones.’ In the eleventh century, the Persian sage al-Biruni was only conveying the popular wisdom of the time when he wrote that the ruby has “the first place in colour, beauty and rank” among all gems. The source of the world’s finest rubies is Burma or present-day Myanmar, whose pure-red rubies are regarded as precious treasure. For more than 800 years, the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma has remained the classical source for the finest quality rubies. Its geological conditions are ideal for the formation of ruby crystals that are exceptionally vivid red. The absence of diluting effects of iron, coupled with fluorescence, gives the Burma ruby a vivid saturation. So admirable are the quality elements exhibited by these rubies that they have emerged as the standard by which others are judged. Those over 5 carats, and in particular, those gems that have not undergone any thermal enhancement are extremely rare. This is largely due to the fact that the famous Mogok mines are yielding fewer and fewer stones of an important size. In addition, the market has also seen a diminishing number of antique Burmese ruby stones and jewellery appearing for sale.