Some Interesting Facts about July Birthstone: Ruby
What do rubies do? What do they represent? Rubies are often associated with wealth and prosperity. Many ancient crowns were decorated with rubies because they represented good fortune and courage. The ruby's deep red color also has ties to love, passion, and raw emotion.
Ruby is one of the four precious gemstones. The others are emerald, sapphire, and diamond. Ruby comes from the Latin "Rubens" meaning red.
Rubies are gifts for milestone anniversaries, including the 15th and 40th anniversaries. Husbands, keep this in mind if you have a big anniversary coming up with your wife!
Rubies are made of corundum. Corundum comes in many other colors, but those colors are classified as sapphires. Pink corundum is sometimes referred to as pink sapphire and other times is referred to as pink ruby depending on the hue, region, and personal opinion. Ruby gets its red coloring from trace amounts of chromium.
Ruby measures 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, second only to diamond and matched with sapphire. This makes ruby an extremely hard and durable gemstone.
In some Asian cultures, rubies were laid below the foundation of a building to promote fortune and wealth. Rubies were also used in harnesses and armor for noblemen in China and India. Hindus believed that rubies would shield them from oncoming enemies.
Thailand is one of the leading hubs for ruby mining and production, with other leading countries including Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and India.
One of the rarest types of rubies is the Star Ruby. The surface of the stone has a six or twelve rayed star on it, created by tiny needle-like inclusions in ruby. These inclusions give the stone a silky sheen after it's been polished, and it allows the ruby to shimmer as it moves in light. Star rubies come in the same shades as traditional rubies, but pigeon's blood star rubies are the most sought after.
Rubies are graded much like any other gemstones based on clarity, color, cut, and carat weight. Traditionally the most valuable and sought after rubies on the market were of Burmese origin, known for its pure red color. Today fine Mozambican and Malagasy stones rival the quality and color of the traditional Burmese sources.
Large rubies with strong color and clarity are rare to find. These stones increase exponentially in value as they get larger, as long as the clarity and color are still intact. Stones with a lot of inclusions or disruptions in color are less valuable than clear, rich stones.
Choose the gems that hold the most meaning for you. Choose those pieces that carry your day-to-day stories and your unique journey.