10 Facts about the Prilep Ruby

Here are 10 interesting facts about the Prilep Ruby that we bet you didn't know! 

1. The Prilep Ruby is the only naturally occurring ruby in mainland Europe.

2. It was recently discovered in marble dolomites in Prilep, Macedonia.

3.  One of the most beautiful specimens of the Prilep Ruby ​​was embedded in the cross made for Pope Benedict XVI as a memorial from Macedonia.

4. The most famous rubies in the world are blood red.  After processing, the Prilep Ruby acquires a unique pale pink or raspberry -purple color.

5. The Prilep Ruby is the national gemstone of Macedonia.

6. It originates from the metamorphic dolomites created in the Precambrian period, that is - from the beginning of the creation of our planet until 600 million years ago. 

7. The Ottoman Turks actively mined the only known European rubies at this location for nearly 300 years after their conquest of the region in the year 1389. Due to the mainly opaque nature of the ruby from this locality, most of the stones were used for decorative purposes to adorn daggers, swords, armor and turbans of the pashas and high ranking Turkish officials. 

8.  Present day production is very sporadic and accidental finds are associated with the mining of dolomite marble at the quarry near the city of Prilep.

9. There exists a blue version of the Prilep Ruby, but it is extremely rare.

10. The  Prilep Ruby appears to be a mixture of diaspore and corundum, and it is the only ruby in the world with inclusions of diaspore (white, pearly hydrous aluminum oxide).
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