Birthstone July - Ruby

Rubies are a fiery staple of the gemstone world, the birthstone for July, and one of the most coveted of gems. The name is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red” – the colour of love and passion.

What sets this stone apart from less prized gemstones is ruby's inherent beauty. But there's more to rubies than just a beautiful guise. Whether its biblical references or cases of mistaken identity, ruby is a gemstone you'll want to know more about and so read on.

As well as July's birthstone, ruby is traditionally given for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. And so, if you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary this month then checkout our own unique and affordable collection of Ruby gemstone jewellery.

 

RUBY BIRTHSTONE MEANING & HISTORY

A Ruby is the most valuable gemstone and its value increases based on its colour and quality. Rubies have been the prized possession of emperors and kings throughout the ages, and to this day remain the most valued gemstone. A Ruby’s colour is its most important feature. Rubies are available in a range of hues from purplish and bluish red to orange-red. The brightest and most valuable colour of Ruby is often “a Burmese Ruby” — a rich, passionate, hot, full red colour with a slight blue hue. This colour is often referred to as “pigeon blood” red, a Ruby colour only associated with the Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar.

In ancient India, ruby was called the “king of precious stones” for its rarity, hardness (second only to diamond), beauty and seemingly mystical powers. Long associated with the life force blood, ruby was a symbol of power and youthful energy in Indian jewellery. In past centuries, some believed this birthstone for July could predict misfortune or danger, and others claimed it would cure inflammatory diseases and soothe anger. Burmese warriors believed it made them invincible in battle. Medieval Europeans maintained that rubies bestowed health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.

 

WHERE ARE RUBIES FOUND?

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is one of the oldest recorded sources of fine rubies. For more than five centuries, the Mogok area in Myanmar has produced some of the most sought-after rubies – vibrant red beauties softened by light-scattering inclusions and a glowing red fluorescence. The region is a place of weathered marble and ancient Buddhist temples.

Since the late 20th century, Vietnam has been another important source for the July birthstone. The Luc Yen region in northern Vietnam, where rainforest-clad mountains rise over broad paddy fields, produces rubies of red to purplish red colour. Further south, the Quy Chau district has also yielded many fine rubies. Today, artisanal miners work the soil in the hope of finding a gem that will change their fortunes.

Mozambique is an important new source for the July birthstone. This African nation is home to the prolific mines at Montepuez. Rubies found there have been compared to the famed gems of Mogok.

 

RUBY BIRTHSTONE CARE & CLEANING

Rubies are often heat treated to remove purplish coloration, leaving a purer red. The process can also remove “silk” (minute needle-like inclusions) that can cause a gem to appear lighter in tone and be more opaque. The trade typically accepts heat treatment, as it is stable under normal conditions of wear and care. 

In most cases, the July birthstone can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated, heat-treated and lattice diffusion–treated stones. Glass-filled or dyed stones should only be cleaned with a damp cloth.

If you're looking to own a ruby or just simply love red gems in general, then checkout our own unique and affordable collection.

 

SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RUBIES

    1. The word ruby comes from the Latin rubens which means red.

    2. Rubies are found in shades of red, from rich darkish red to pigeon blood red and pinkish red. The red hue comes from traces of the mineral chromium.

    3. Ruby is the birthstone for July. It is also a traditional gift for those celebrating 15th or 40th anniversaries.

    4. Rubies are extremely strong, registering 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. They are as resilient as sapphires and only slightly softer than diamonds.

    5. Rubies have been found all over the world, including in Myanmar (formerly Burma), Africa, Australia and the USA. The majority of rubies for sale at Israel-Diamonds originate in Myanmar, Thailand and other locations in Asia.

    6. The most precious rubies are those with a full, rich red colour with just a hint of blue tones. Originally, the finest rubies were mined in Myanmar and it is from there that the term Burmese ruby began to describe the finest rubies.

    7. Almost all rubies have flaws. Rubies without imperfections are exceptionally rare and command prices even higher than diamonds of a similar weight and quality.

    8. The world’s third-biggest precious stone, the Chaiyo Ruby, weighs 109,000 carats, which is roughly the same weight as an eight-year-old child. The stone has been valued at around $448 million.

    9. Rubies, because of their brilliant red hues, are often related to themes concerning the essence and vibrancy of life. If there is one gemstone that represents the passion of love, it is the ruby.

    10. Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their colour and strengthen them. This is standard practice in the jewellery industry and is accepted by the American Gem Trade Association

    11. Rubies symbolise power and protection.  One modern allusion to this legend is in The Wizard of Oz. Dorthy's ruby slippers were thought to protect her from evil.

    12. Rubies are referenced four different times in the bible. The Bible associates these gems with beauty and wisdom.

    13. Until the beginning of the 19th century, red spinels were thought to be rubies. Famous stones including "Black Prince's Ruby" and "Timur Ruby" were considered to be rubies until it was discovered that they and many other red stones were, in fact, red spinels.

    14. Some famous rubies include the "Rosser Reeves Star Ruby" and the "De Long Star Ruby".  In 2011, an 8.24-carat ruby ring belonging to Elizabeth Taylor sold at auction for $4.2 million.

    15. The most expensive ruby ever sold was the "Hope Ruby" which weighs 32.08 carats and sold for $6.74 million.

    16. Synthetic rubies which have been in production since the 1850s can be identified by their lack of imperfections aka inclusions