reveal the presence of poison by changing colour and rubies are believed to attract friends and good fortune. In China and Japan Rubies are also worn to confer long life, health, and happiness.
History of Rubies - The Romans
The ancient Roman author Pliny describes the ruby as the Lychnis, and says the Star Rubies were considered by the Chaldeans to be most powerful in protecting from evil and attracting the favour of those in authority. Throughout the whole of the Orient the Ruby was believed to possess the power of foretelling danger by a loss of brilliancy and colour, a belief also common throughout Europe.
History of Rubies - The Middle Ages
A German author writing in the year 1600, said whilst travelling with his wife:
"I observed by the way that a very fine Ruby (which she had given me) lost repeatedly and each time almost completely its splendid colour and assumed a blackish hue."
He goes on to tell that the threatened evil was fulfilled by the loss of his wife, and that after her death the ruby regained its colour and brilliancy. Queen Catherine of Aragon, the second wife of King Henry VIII, is reported to have also possessed a ring set with a ruby that indicated in the same manner the approach of misfortune. Rubies were also believed to protect the body from plague, poison, and fevers, and to secure love and friendship, preserve health, vitality, and cheerfulness, against disorders of the liver and spleen, and to drive away evil dreams and spirits.