A little wine with your rubies?
In times past, rubies, among other gemstones, were considered medicinal and magical. Hold them under your tongue, wear them, or grind them up and drink them down—probably in wine—and they were alleged to cure a number of ills. (Or maybe it was just the wine.) The catch was that often any red stone was considered a “ruby” and an appropriate amount of cash was charged for the cure. When the potion failed to work, it was easy to blame the failure on an adulterated powder or a stone of impure color. Of course, if the patient did not survive, there would be no one to complain, so…
Rubies have a way of getting under your skin…
But still, with their extraordinary hardness and remarkable color it’s probably no wonder that miracles have been attributed to rubies. Because of their color, they were associated with passion and thought to relieve anger and discord. They were believed to staunch bleeding, and the toughest Burmese warriors would have rubies inserted into their flesh in order to be rendered invulnerable to an attack by any weapon. (Again, if they survived this procedure, they were probably already pretty tough.)
Or just finding a way to your heart.
Even today we’re in thrall to gemstones. Modern science may have disproven the medicinal attributes of gemstones, but looking at the rich color and beauty of these stones, it’s hard to believe there isn’t some kind of latent, personal magic in our birthstones.
At the very least, looking at a beautiful ruby can lift the spirits, and sometimes that’s all the miracle we need.