Ruby, a genus of precious stones, which display a variety of shades, and are divided into four classes : namely,

1. The deep-red ruby, is found in various parts of the East Indies, and also in Brazil.

2. The spinell, the shade of which resembles that of a bright corn-poppy flower: it is dug out of the mines of Hungary, Bohemia, Silesia, and South America.

3. The balass, or pale-red ruby, inclining to a violet, is supposed to be the mother of the different species of these gems. It is imported principally from Brazil, though a few are sometimes brought from the East Indies.

4. The rubicell is of a reddish-yellow, and is likewise obtained from the Brazils.—There is a variety of this gem found, in considerable numbers, on the sea shore, near Ely, in the county of Fife ; also near Portsoy, Banffshire, and at Inverary, Argyleshire, in Scotland.

Rubies are held in great esteem, on account of their lustre, and the beauty of their water: hence they are sold at high prices, and often counterfeited by Brazilian topazes, which are gradually heated in a crucible previously tilled with ashes, till they become red-hot.

Rubies, when imported, are sub-to no restrictions of entry, registry, etc. as they pay no duty whatever.