Rubies were treasured by early cultures as they represented the redness of the blood that flowed through their veins. Many believed that rubies held the power of life, and these stones were often carried into battle for protection.

Today, fine-quality rubies are commanding the highest prices per carat of any coloured gemstone, often breaking auction records. In 2012, a 6.04 carat Burmese ruby ring sold for US$3.33 million (S$4.13 million),or a record US$551,000 per carat.

The most famous source of fine rubies is Myanmar. Gemfield's rubies are from Montepuez, Mozambique, and their quality is similar to the famous Burmese "pigeon blood" rubies.

4 Just like diamonds, the 4Cs matter when it comes to choosing a ruby - colour, clarity, cut and carat weight.

5 Rubies vary in colour from brownish-red to orangey-red to purplish-red to pinkish-red. Traditionally, the most prized colour of rubies is a vivid crimson, with a hint of blue.