In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Ruby Rescue Excavation. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about rubies, gemstones, geology, and more.


Fun Fact: Rubies are the birthstone of February. 


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Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Small Styrofoam coffee cup

Rubies - You can find these at your local rock shop, buy bags or rough rubies online, or get free rubies here to use in your Ruby Rescue Excavation.


Check out our Gemstone Journey Extreme excavation kit that comes with amethyst, rubies, garnet, emeralds, topaz, and many more real gemstones! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more!




  1. Place some rubies in the cup.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the rubies.
  5. Wait about five minutes to allow the mixture to set and firm up.
  6. Add some more rubies. This will put some rubies at different levels in the excavation.
  7. Place the Ruby Rescue Excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  8. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome rubies you have hidden inside.


Ruby Rendezvous: Exploring the Majestic Gemstone of Passion!

Fun Facts about Ruby:

  1. Ruby is a precious gemstone known for its captivating deep red color, often symbolizing love, passion, and courage.

  2. Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, with their distinct red hue caused by the presence of chromium.

  3. Ruby is one of the hardest gemstones, measuring 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamonds, making it durable and suitable for everyday wear.

  4. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby was referred to as "ratnaraj," which means "king of precious stones," highlighting its esteemed status.

  5. The largest ruby ever found is called the "Sunrise Ruby" and weighs over 25 carats, displaying a mesmerizing deep pigeon's blood red color.

  6. Rubies have been treasured throughout history by various cultures, including ancient Egyptians, who believed they could bring prosperity and protection.

  7. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is renowned for producing the finest rubies, known for their intense red color and exceptional clarity.

  8. Rubies are often associated with the month of July and are considered the birthstone for individuals born in that month.

  9. In folklore, rubies were believed to possess mystical powers, granting the wearer health, wealth, and wisdom.

  10. The vibrant red color of rubies comes from a combination of the element chromium and the presence of certain impurities within the crystal.

  11. Ruby is not only used in jewelry but also in various technological applications, such as lasers and optical instruments.

  12. In some ancient cultures, warriors would wear rubies on their armor to protect themselves in battle, believing that the gemstone could bring invincibility.

Remember, ruby is like a fiery jewel that holds the essence of passion, bravery, and timeless beauty, captivating the hearts of all who behold its radiance!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Styrofoam containers make great molds for excavations. Once the excavation is dry, the Styrofoam is easy to peel away to reveal the excavation inside. 


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Question 1: What mineral is ruby made of? A) Diamond B) Quartz C) Corundum D) Garnet

Correct answer: C) Corundum

Question 2: Which country is renowned for producing the finest rubies? A) Myanmar (Burma) B) Brazil C) India D) Sri Lanka

Correct answer: A) Myanmar (Burma)

Question 3: What is the hardness of ruby on the Mohs scale? A) 5 B) 7 C) 9 D) 10

Correct answer: C) 9