Rubies are deep red, lustrous stones that are known for having symbolic and special meanings throughout time. For centuries, rubies have represented purity, passion, and nobility. And in the modern-day, ruby rings for men are becoming more popular—ruby is known as a stone of kings.
Not surprisingly, the lore and symbolism of rubies is associated with wealth and power. We’ll get into the symbolism of rubies more in a moment, but first, let’s talk about the history of the gem.
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The History of the Ruby
Red—the color of intense emotions like love and passion and anger and fury—is associated with power and desire, from fast cars to red roses. Early cultures believed that rubies, because of their similarity to the color of blood that flows through their veins, held the power of life.
A host of legends have accumulated over the centuries about this red stone. In India, people believed that owning rubies allowed you to live in peace with your enemies. In Burma, which has been a significant ruby source since 600 AD, warriors wore rubies to protect them in battle.
With the creation of the western world, rubies retained their importance and quickly became the most sought-after gem for royalty and upper-class Europeans. Many wore these gems to gain health, wisdom, wealth, and love.
The desire for rubies is as great today as it’s always been. Ruby rings for men symbolize passion and power, making it the perfect accessory. The lush dark red color of the gem signifies wealth and success—sounds good, right?
Next, let’s delve into the different symbols of rubies.
The Symbolism of the Ruby
From protection and healing to power, wealth, and passion, here’s what ruby—the July birthstone—rings for men symbolize.
Protection & Healing
When worn, the ruby’s mystical properties include personal protection. Many people believed that wearing the stone on your left side would allow the owner to live a peaceful life. No one would take their rank, land, or assets. They also believed that the stone would protect them from peril.
The blood-like color of the ruby gave it a strong association with life. Those that risked their lives—like soldiers—were believed to have a personal connection with the gem. Ancient Burmese warriors would insert rubies into their bodies with the belief that it would protect them from wounds on the battlefield.
Others believed that rubies could increase body temperature, remedy bleeding, and help inflammation.
Rubies almost seemed to glow, which led many cultures to believe that the gem contained an inner fire. This look inspired much lore around the gem; for example, people believed that placing a ruby in water would cause it to boil, and if you hid a ruby, you would be able to find it because it would shine through its wrapping, revealing its presence.
Many stories of rubies talked about the gems emitting their own light, shining like a torch. This inner fire is where rubies got their reputation for representing passion.
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Wealth & Success
In India, rubies are referred to as the king of precious stones and hold more value than other gems. In Hindu culture, the Kalpa Tree is composed of many other precious stones and bears rubies as fruit. The people who gift large rubies to this tree are said to be reborn as powerful emperors, and the ones who gift small rubies will get reborn as kings.
In an 8th-century book about dreams, written by Achametis, he discusses the significance of rubies. A king dreaming of a ruby crown will have great fortune and joy, and his enemies will fear him. For businessmen, dreams of rubies signify financial success, and for farmers, they show a future of great harvests.
With a long and varied history, rubies have garnered much mystique. Ruby rings for men symbolize wealth, love, success, and passion, but they also are believed to bring about protection from harm. And if nothing else, they are one of the most stunning stones to set in a ring.
Great Ruby Ring Designs for Men
Most commonly, rubies are cut into cushion and oval shapes. Rubies’ shapes follow the same design and styles as most diamond cuts. However, because rubies retain more carat weight at the bottom, they appear smaller when you look at them faceup. That fact means that if you have a diamond and ruby of the same carat weight, the ruby will look smaller, which is especially true of round-cut rubies.
Also called a round brilliant cut, it’s by far the most popular. In round rubies, the facets get cut in a way that optimizes the stone’s light dispersion. In earlier years, this cut was exclusive to diamonds, but now you can get other precious gems, including rubies, in this stunning design.
Oval cuts surfaced in the 1950s, and it offers the fire and brilliance of a round cut stone but with a more unique shape. It’s a great cut for rubies because the elongated silhouette helps create the illusion of a larger stone.
Popular for many precious gems, the cushion cut (or pillow cut) invokes a certain softness with its gently rounded corners. It’s a stunning cut to maximize the raw look of a ruby, and cushion designs produce a lot of bouncing light, highlighting the brightness of the gem.
The emerald cut, once exclusive to emeralds, helps emphasize the color of the gem, making rubies appear an even deeper red. It’s similar to a rectangle design but has the top corners trimmed, causing light to bounce between the step-cuts.
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5 Most Popular Ruby Ring Settings for Men
Big hands need thick bands. In comparison, most men's rings use smaller stones in their unique, distinctive designs. Classic silver and gold are still highly used in men's jewelry. Furthermore, you will also see metals like Tungsten, Titanium, Platinum, and even Stainless Steel being used in men's rings.
Below are five of the most popular men's ring settings today:
In a channel setting, metal channels will hold the ruby in place, giving the appearance of the gemstone almost floating there. This style is so popular in men's jewelry because it has a classic, sophisticated, vintage look.
Men like the durability of the channel setting ring. A ruby can become damaged in a more exposed setting like a prong setting, popular with women. The channeled design of the ring keeps the stone safe. Unfortunately, you must occasionally wipe down this setting to remove excess dirt or debris.
The bezel setting is a very contemporary design. In fact, it is one of the oldest types of ring settings to exist in jewelry making. The bezel, a metal piece, will wrap carefully around the stone. It is bent over the ruby so it securely holds the gem.
This type of setting is popular with men's wedding rings due to its security while at work. Although it is never really all about the size of the ruby, this type of setting can make a smaller stone seem a bit larger than it is.
Similar to the bezel setting, however the burnish setting is unique because a hole is drilled so that the ruby will eventually line up flush with the metal's surface. Something like a rubbing tool is used to push the metal around the ruby to hold it in place perfectly.
The Burnish setting in rings is a more modern men's style and looks best on men's bands with smaller gemstones. This secure setting is built for men with an active lifestyle or those involved in hard labor.
Pave and Bead Setting
Super popular for wedding or anniversary bands, men seem to love the security and look of the pave or bead setting style. In a bead setting, the rubies are placed into the ring but are secured by smaller gems or beads.
Some say the gemstones line up like bricks or cobblestones on the band, which is done precisely. Because pave translates to cobblestone or paved street in French. A pave is different from a ring with side stones because of the sheer density and amount of tiny rubies used on the ring.
The prong setting is a popular ruby settings for men. While this may expose the ruby, it's a great way to highlight the stone. The prong setting is popular because it allows more light to hit the stone, making it appear brighter and sparkly. The prong setting is also popular because it is very secure, meaning the ruby is less likely to fall out of it. This type of setting is also popular because it allows for more of the ruby to be visible, which can be important when choosing a ruby ring.
Choosing the Right Ruby Ring Design
Men’s ruby rings hold a unique symbolism and make a powerful statement. Rubies can range from light pink to deep red, and if you’re looking for a deep, stunning color, ensure that you look for high-grade stones.
When it comes to the stone’s setting, you’ll want to choose a metal that flatters the ruby. White metals, like white gold and platinum, are perfect for a ruby ring. Yellow gold rings work well for lighter-colored rubies, and we don’t usually recommend rose gold as it can clash with the gem’s color.