Rubies can be found in various countries around the world, but they are especially plentiful and beautiful in the country of Myanmar. Some of the finest rubies ever mined have historically been found in the Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar, also called “Burma”. These rubies are known for their “pigeon’s blood red” color. In the 1990s, the area of Mong Hsu also started producing ruby material and is currently one of the world’s main ruby mining areas. Most recently, a place called “Namya” (Namyazeik) in the state of Kachin has begun ruby mining.
Other notable countries and areas within Asia where rubies can be found include Thailand, the Pailin and Samlout districts of Cambodia, India, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. In Sri Lanka, lighter shades of rubies (which should really be called “pink sapphires”) are more commonly found.
Outside of Asia, rubies have also been found and mined in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Namibia, Scotland, Madagascar, and Tanzania. Within the United States, rubies have been found in four states: Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wyoming.
The city of Prilep in Macedonia is home to naturally occurring rubies with a distinct “raspberry” color. They are featured on the Macedonian coat of arms.
Experts have stated that peridot may be one of the world’s oldest gems. According to the Earth scientists at the Natural History Museum in London, the Imilac meteorite is 4.5 million years old and contains olivine material (peridots) from the origin of the universe. It also contains meteoric iron because the Imilac is a type of pallasite meteorite. When this ancient meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere long ago, it exploded and scattered pieces across the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. In 1822, these pieces were discovered. It is estimated to have a total weight of 920 kilograms.