The rich red color of rubies has always been associated with fire, and therefore, power. The ruby was believed to be the favorite gem of the Ancient Egyptian goddess of war, and ruby rings were worn by Egyptian warriors. The elite of in Victorian England and America proudly donned ruby necklaces and ruby earrings in an effort to display their perceived importance. Even the birthstone poem talks of the ruby's power, stating that those who wear ruby jewelry are “exempt and free/From love's doubts and anxiety”.
While rubies have long been associated with power, they look less than powerful when they are first mined. Rubies naturally occur with a number of flaws and treatments for these flaws have been developed over the years. For blemishes which may occur in the ruby, the gem is heated, which then removes the blemishes. Heating also intensifies visibility of the stone's asterism, or star-like shapes which can be seen within the stone when the stone is passed through a single light source. This treatment also intensifies the ruby's primary red hue. Along with blemishes, fissures may also be present. To treat these, the stone is again heated and melted glass is inserted into the fissures. These treatments increase the ruby's value and are used on almost every ruby in preparation to be sold.