Precious Stones-The Big Five-Part 2 The RubyWritten by Sam Serio
What fairy tales of enchanted princesses and legendary lore of Arabian Nights does not mere mention of ruby conjure up to our imagination! No stone has been more intimately connected with poetry and romance, and few gems can compare either in beauty or value with a perfect ruby. When Solomon exclaimed that “a virtuous woman was more valuable than rubies,” and Job, that “the price of wisdom is above rubies,” they both mentioned what to them was most valuable thing in existence. And its value and rarity have not decreased since their time. Today a perfect ruby of five carats will fetch at least five times value of a diamond of same size and quality, while rubies without flaw or blemish, and of true pigeon-blood variety, weighing as much as ten carats, are so rare and valuable that ten times value of a perfect diamond would be considered a very low price to pay for so perfect a gem.
The ruby is oldest or first known of all precious stones, dating far back in early history of Chaldea and Babylonia. The finest specimens, as well as largest quantities, are found in Upper Burma, and at present time over one-half of world’s supply comes from this locality. The rubies found in Ceylon, Siam and Australia have not deep rich color of Burmese ruby which is a shade of red slightly inclined to purple and is often called “Pigeon Blood Ruby.” The value of rubies depends upon their color and transparency.
The red sapphire or ruby is most valuable of corundum family, and when found of a good color, pure and brilliant, and in sizes of one carat and larger, it is much more valuable than a fine diamond of same size.
Rubies and Sapphires are scientifically same stone, differing only in color. Corundum, predominating mineral of both, is composed of nearly pure alumina. The coloring substance, which differentiates rubies and sapphires, is believed to be chromium. In scale of hardness gem ranks as No. 9 and is thus hardest of all substances excepting diamond. Color is most important factor in determining value of ruby. The gem is always more or less imperfect, but its freedom from bad imperfections is also important. Since fine rubies of all sizes are extremely rare, price increases very rapidly with an increase in size, and a fine ruby of more than four carats commands an extraordinary price and can be said to be most valuable of all gems, exceeding greatly a diamond of equal weight. The color of ruby varies from lightest rose tint to deepest carmine, but rarest and most valuable shade is known as Pigeon Blood. This is color of arterial blood. The ruby has always been greatly admired, and many say that ruby in British Crown is most beautiful gem they have ever seen.
How the Internet Helps MusiciansWritten by Scott Richards
Everyone talks about negative impact of Internet on music business. Illegal file sharing and copyright violations have decimated profits in industry. Record labels are less willing to take risks with new artists because profits have dried up. Sales have steadily declined over past several years to in large part to proliferation of illegal downloads. All of that is true, but there are two sides to this coin. Sure, things are tougher today for new musician than ever before, but there are also new opportunities thanks to Internet.
The Internet has reduced barriers to entry into music business. Today thanks to rapid evolution in technology, a musician can record a song and share it with listeners around world. In past, distribution was controlled by record labels. Unless you had a record deal it was almost impossible to reach listeners outside of your immediate area.
Distribution was not only controlled, but there was no way around high costs of physical distribution. Manufacturing a batch of CDs or tapes could be prohibitively expensive for starving artist. However, with free MP3 distribution via internet, an artist’s music can reach across world. An up and coming Latin diva can share her tunes with someone in Europe. The next rock star in Africa can share his music with someone in Japan. The Internet has opened a door that allows artists to share their art with anyone, anywhere, at any time.