In ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July. Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BC. Legend has it that they considered them so valuable that Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan offered to exchange a whole city for a large ruby. Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies, because they believed the gem would grant protection.