The Gemological Institute of America reports that rubies originated in Burma (modern-day Myanmar), based on historical references dating back to the 6th century during the Shan dynasty. The Mogok ruby mines were taken over by Burma's king in 1597.
One of several legends surrounding the origin of the ruby tells a story of a serpent that laid three eggs about 2,000 years ago, according to the Gemological Institue of America. The first one hatched the King of Bagan. The second egg produced an emperor of China. The third egg bore the first rubies found in the gemstone mines of Mogok.