July Birthstone Ruby
The birthstone for July is ruby. Ruby is not only a beautiful colour, for who doesn’t like ruby red lipstick or nail polish, it’s also a stunning gemstone.
How are Rubies Formed?
A ruby is the most valuable variety of corundum. Corundum is an extremely hard crystalized alumina. When some of the aluminium ions have been replaced by chromium and small impurities occur, a ruby is formed.
Chromium causes cracks and fissures which makes it difficult for rubies to grow large enough to make quality gems. Rubies are therefore rare and often more expensive than diamonds.
Only a red formation becomes a ruby, a white formation is known as a sapphire.
Sapphire is also a variety of corundum.
Ruby gets its vibrant red colour from fluorescence caused by the element chromium.
July birthstone ruby in its natural form, corundum
Where are Rubies Found?
For centuries the Mogok Valley in Myanmar was the world’s main source for mining rubies. Rubies are now found and mined in Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, India, Nambia, Japan, Madagascar, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Sri Lanka has lighter red-coloured rubies known as pink sapphires.
Are Rubies Heat-Treated?
Yes, most rubies commercially offered have had some kind of treatment. An untreated ruby is rare and the most valuable of rubies.
For centuries rubies have usually been heat-treated to improve the colour and clarity of the gemstone.
Often during heat-treatment, rubies are coated with fillers to fill cracks and prevent the gemstones from sticking together during heat-treatment.
What Colour is a Ruby?
Burmese rubies, also known as Pigeon Blood Rubies are found in Myanmar’s Mogok Valley and are the finest Rubies to be found, deep blood red with purple hues and are superior to the brown-orange gemstones found in Vietnam, Thailand India, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.
July’s birthstone ruby is a vibrant red and the more orange or purple hue contained in a ruby decreases the value of the gemstone.
If a ruby doesn’t fall into the correct red it is considered to be a sapphire with a “fancy colour”. The colours are orange, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, violet, black and colourless.
Do Rubies Scratch Easily?
Rubies score 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, only a diamond is harder. Ruby does not scratch easily, however, always take good care of your jewellery and avoid hard knocks and contact with strong chemicals.
How do I Clean my Ruby Jewellery?
Clean your ruby birthstone jewellery with mild soapy lukewarm water, if needed, use a soft toothbrush. Rinse well and dry with a soft lint-free cloth.
How much is a Ruby worth per Carat?
Rubies are rarer than diamonds, therefore, large rubies can be worth more than a diamond of the same size.
As with most gemstones, colours, clarity, and size dictate the value.
The strength and the red fluorescence make the ruby valuable in the production of medical instruments, laser industry, watchmaking and of course making of jewellery.
Can a Ruby be used in an Engagement Ring?
Fun Facts, Myths and Legends
The July birthstone Ruby gets it’s name from the Latin word for red Rubeus
In ancient Sanskrit, ruby translated to Ratnaraj, रत्नराज, meaning “King of precious stones”.
July birthstone ruby was prized gem traded along the North Silk Road of China as early as 200 BC.
Until 1800 the ruby wasn’t recognized as a variety of corundum and found itself often mistaken as Red Spinel, Tourmaline or Garnet and vice versa.
One of the famous gems in the Crown Jewels of England “Black Ruby”, considered to be one of the rarest rubies found, turned out to be a spinel.
Imperial State Crown part of the Crown Jewels of England
The blood-red colour of the ruby is associated with life and vitality and is believed to amplify energy and health awareness as well as promote courage and bring success in love, wealth and battle.
Rubies were embedded in armour to protect the warrior in battle, Burmese warriors believed doing this would make their armour invisible.
Ancient Hindus believed they would be reborn as Emperors if they offered rubies to the God Krishna.
Celebrated by many cultures as a symbol of love and passion, rubies are to this day considered the perfect wedding gem.
Chinese legend tells of the Emperor using ruby to light his room.
Greek legend tells the story of a female stork who repaid the kindness of Heraclea by bringing her a brilliant ruby, so bright it lit her room at night.
Ancient Burmese, Ceylonese and Hindus believed sapphires were unripe rubies which, when planted would grow into rubies.
The ruby was believed to warn its wearer of misfortune, it is said Catherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII, saw the ruby she was wearing darken and predicted her own downfall.
There are very few large and famous rubies. Marco Polo tells of one of his 13th Century books of travels, great in size belonging to the King of Ceylon. Kublai Khan, the Emperor of China offered an entire city in exchange for the enormous stone. The King of Ceylon refused.
Now I will quit these particulars, and tell you of the most precious article that exists in the world. You must know that rubies are found in this Island and in no other country in the world but this.
They find there also sapphires and topazes and amethysts, and many other stones of price. And the King of this Island possesses a ruby which is the finest and biggest in the world;
I will tell you what it is like. It is about a palm in length, and as thick as a man’s arm; to look at, it is the most resplendent object upon the earth; it is quite free from flaw and as red as fire.
Its value is so great that a price for it in money could hardly be named at all. You must know that the Great Kaan sent an embassy and begged the King as a favour greatly desired by him to sell him this ruby, offering to give for it the ransom of a city, or in fact what the King would.
But the King replied that on no account whatever would he sell it, for it had come to him from his ancestors.
The July birthstone ruby is the National Stone of Thailand and Burma.
A ruby wedding anniversary is celebrated at 40 years of marriarge.
The chemical formula for ruby is Al₂O₃
The Birth Colours for July are Red, Green and Russet
July Birth Flowers are Lakspur, Water Lily and Delphinium
July Birthstone Ruby
A Few Ideas For You
Ruby Birthstone Rings
Ruby Birthstone Necklaces
Ruby Birthstone Earrings
Ruby Birthstone Bracelets
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