Although Roberto Coin began signing his jewelry with a hidden ruby in 1996, ancient civilizations around the world had been doing so hundreds of years earlier. Of course, it was these historical accounts that inspired the Italian jewelry designer to harness the power of the ruby himself. So, in partnership with CNN Courageous Studios, we traveled to Italy — Venice and Vicenza, the latter which is home to the designer and his factory — to discover the mystery behind this storied gemstone.
The secret ruby in Roberto Coin’s jewelry is inspired by ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs believed if a ruby touched a woman’s skin, it would grant her immediate prosperity, love and happiness. But the legend of the ruby does not begin or end there. For example, the early Burmese civilization believed that if male soldiers went into battle wearing a ruby, it would equally promote virility and guard against opposing forces. And the ancient Indian civilizations believed rubies to be the fruit from “the Tree of Life”, in which they derived a deep red color from the rays of the sun.
Today, Roberto Coin sees the ruby both as an ancient symbol of protection and a modern symbol of luxury. Whether he finds the beauty of this rich, red emblem in a bouquet of roses or a Valentino dress, the designer always has his eye on the ruby. In essence, a piece of his heart is fused into each one of his jewelry masterpieces.