Yesterday’s post on the book Death Among Rubies got me thinking about gems and rubies in particular.  I know more about diamonds and emeralds, my two favorite gems than I do about rubies.  Let’s investigate together, shall we!!

I found that rubies are often more valuable than diamonds and are in the same category as sapphires.   They are graded with the same four C’s as diamonds, color, cut, clarity and carat weight.  They are also valued by where there are found, the most prized are from the Far East.  They are the July birthstone and are said to be a symbol of love and passion…obviously with their depth of color. Just a teeny overview of this incredible stone.  Isn’t nature a wonder….look at what rock can produce, extraordinary!!!

imageA ruby in its natural state.

imageExamples of cut stones.

If you have not visited the Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum it is a must see.

imageNatural ruby crystals in marble in the Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum.

The Field Museum was (and still is) one of my most favorite museums anywhere (my other Chicago favorite is the Art Insitute but all our museums are amazing).  I remember as a child going with my parents and all areas were exciting to me but the two exhibitions I always had to visit were the butterfly collections and the Hall of Gems. Both were jewels in my mind.

imageFrom the Field Museum bookstore.

The Hall of Gems, as well as the entire Museum, has seen extensive changes since my childhood but it still features not only exquisite gems and jewelry but also gives the visitor an in-depth education of the story behind the stones using all the technology we have today.

imageNinety carats of rubies set in platinum encircled in diamonds on a diamond chain from the Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum. I’m starting to love rubies!!!!

imageElizabeth Taylor’s famous Cartier ruby and diamond necklace and earrings gifts from Mike Todd in 1957, Van Cleef and Arpels ring from Richard Burton in 1968.

imageNew York City Ballet performing the Rubies Suite from George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels. I was extremely fortunate to see the premiere in New York in April 1967.  It is a stunning piece.  Along with Rubies, the other two acts are Diamonds and Emeralds.  The next time I saw it performed was at Ravinia many years ago.

imageThis is how I envision the dagger from the pages of Death Among Rubies, a horrible way to use such a magnificent piece.

What is your favorite gem?  Do share.

All images from Pinterest photo credits unknown.


  1. Heather Farley May 11, 2017 / 1:40 am

    Nina,I, like you, are fascinated by precious stones!Love the read!I would have to say my favorite is an Emerald, my May birthstone!  😊See you soon!Heather

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    • nenasnotes May 11, 2017 / 1:43 am

      Emeralds are my favorite as well. Thanks for your comments, I’ll look forward to seeing you soon.

  2. Karen Ryan May 15, 2017 / 12:56 am

    Nena – As you know, my oldest grandchild is named Ruby, and it is my favorite gem! After she was born, I gifted my engagement diamond to my daughter, and Hubby replaced it with a ruby! Great blog. Karen

    • nenasnotes May 15, 2017 / 1:26 am

      Yes, I did know Ruby’s name. Didn’t know the story to date, love it. Glad you enjoy the post.

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