A perfect match for the hot, hot days of summer, July’s birthstone is a fiery selection fit for any engagement ring or piece of jewelry. That’s right, we’re talking about the elegant ruby.
A rare gem with a history worth exploring, the ruby has been coveted for centuries. Learn more about this intriguing stone and discover how to properly care for it in this informational blog. Plus, we’ll discuss fun ways to incorporate the ruby into your everyday style, like in gemstone engagement rings and wedding rings, so that you can flaunt your birthstone with pride.
Ruby Birthstone Meaning and History
The name “ruby” originates from the Latin word for red, “Rubeus.”
Across ancient traditions, the ruby gemstone is associated with royalty. In Sanskrit, fine rubies are referred to as ratnaraj, which translates to, ‘king of precious stones.’ Ancient Hindus offered rubies to the god Krishna in hopes of being reincarnated as an emperor. Even one of the major sun signs affiliated with July, Leo, is referred to as the king of the zodiac.
In addition to bringing good fortune and prosperity to those who adorn them, these red stones are also believed to attract other desirable qualities such as good health, wisdom, and success in love. Some early cultures even believed that the July birthstone color, red, gave it the power of life itself.
Where Are Rubies Found?
It’s believed that rubies were first discovered around 2,000 years ago in India. The gem was instantly adored and rose to popularity in Asian countries. According to the American Gem Society(AGS), records show that red rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as long ago as 200 BC.
The world’s most prized rubies come from Myanmar(Burma). However, many Burmese mines have since been exhausted causing the Mong Hsu region to start producing a heat-treated version of the stone in the 1990s. That being said, natural rubies are found in many other places around the world, most notably in places like Viet Nam, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, East Africa, and parts of the United States.
It’s also worth noting, that ruby gemstones from different regions can vary in quality. An article from Turley Jewelers explains it this way, “Although not finest quality, rubies acceptable for jewelry are mined in Viet Nam (slightly purple color), Thailand (dark red color tending towards brown and a modulated deep red), Ceylon-Rubies (raspberry-colored), and East Africa (gorgeous colors from light to dark red). Poorer quality rubies can be found in Northern Pakistan, Cashmere, Tadzhikistan, Laos, Nepal, Afghanistan, and India.”
How Are Rubies Formed?
Consisting of the mineral corundum, also referred to as aluminum oxide, rubies are formed when the stone is exposed to extreme heat and pressure beneath the earth’s surface. During this process, some of the aluminum atoms present in the corundum are replaced with other minerals or substances causing the precious gem to take on color.
The mineral chromium is specifically responsible for the deep red to purplish hue commonly seen in rubies.
How to Care for Rubies
Rubies rank as a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, a ranking system created to measure the hardness of all gemstones. The diamond, which sets the bar at 10 on the Mohs scale, is the only natural precious gemstone that’s harder than a natural ruby.
Corundum stands up well to normal wear and tear caused by heat, light, and common household cleaners. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be extra mindful when wearing your precious stone jewelry around town. Consider removing any gemstone jewelry or engagement rings before partaking in strenuous activities that could damage stones.
Caring for natural rubies is easy. Simply create a mix of warm water with a splash of dish soap and allow your red ruby ring or fine jewelry to soak for a few minutes before patting them with a clean towel or air drying. If you have a heat-treated ruby opt to clean the stone using a damp cloth instead.
Are Rubies Valuable?
Because they are so rare, natural rubies can be highly valuable. These coveted stones are the most in-demand amongst colored gemstones and are sometimes even more costly than a high-quality diamond.
“Although some rubies are incredibly valuable and can command very high prices, most rubies are considerably less expensive than diamonds of the same size. This lower pricing makes a ruby an appealing alternative to a diamond for an engagement ring or other jewelry,” Said The Diamond Pro. “Very high-end rubies can be far more expensive – in some cases, either as expensive or more expensive than diamonds of the same size.”
Similar to diamonds, rubies are graded according to their cut, carat, color, and clarity. The quality of these factors will impact the stone’s overall price. The value of a ruby will also fluctuate depending upon if the stone is natural or heat-treated.
How to Wear a July Birthstone
As one of the most elegant birthstones around, those born in the month of July will fall head over heels for an engagement ring or piece of jewelry featuring a marvelous ruby. Best of all, there are tons of varieties of birthstone jewelry to choose from at Diamond Nexus.
For something minimalistic, try a simple pair of stud ruby earrings to summon good luck. Alternatively, consider an elegant pendant necklace for a look that will never go out of style. For something more eye-catching create a custom jewelry charm bracelet complete with a charm for you or the wearer’s zodiac sign or birthstone of choice.
Due to their durability, rubies make for a great center stone for an engagement ring. Pair this gem’s stunning blood-red hue with a yellow gold setting for a truly head-turning piece.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.