People born in July have only one choice of a birthstone, but it’s definitely a good one – the ruby.
With their rich red color, rubies are perfect for representing this hot summer month. Along with diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds, rubies belong to the traditional Big Four precious stones of the highest value and are the most sought-after gems.
In this article, we’ll find out more about the cherished ruby, its different physical properties, symbolism, and jewelry.
Origin and Physical Properties of July Birthstone
Rough ruby gemstone by the GEMHUB store. See it here.
The name ruby is derived from the Latin word rubeus, which means red. This fiery gemstone has been loved and treasured throughout the ages and different cultures for its exceptional vitality and color. Evidence shows that the ancient Hindus called it The King of Precious Stones and they believed that offering rubies to the god Krishna would grant them rebirth as an emperor.
Historically, the mountainous Mogok area in Burma, known as The Valley of Rubies, produced the best-quality rubies in the world, famous for their deep red color with purplish undertones. Due to their exceptional shades, these Burmese rubies are also known as Pigeon’s Blood Rubies.
Today, there are many ruby deposits around the globe and the biggest are those in Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, and Madagascar. Recently, these gemstones have also been found in Greenland.
What Is Ruby?
Most people don’t realize that a ruby in any other color than red would be called a sapphire. Both gems are essentially mineral corundum. When corundum appears red, dark purplish-red, or pinky-red, we call it a ruby.
The exact point when the pink variation of ruby transitions into a pink sapphire isn’t very clear and is still up for debate. Basically, both rubies and sapphires have the same mineral structure and chemical composition. Whether the gem turns out to be a royal blue sapphire or a brilliant red ruby depends on the trace amounts of impurities in the mineral. Traces of chromium in the stone’s composition are responsible for the beautiful red shade of rubies.
Ruby Hardness and Durability
Like sapphires, rubies score nine on the Mohs scale of hardness which means it’s an exceptionally tough stone, suitable for various jewelry items, especially those that are worn daily. Rubies are also quite stable and are not affected by light, extreme heat, temperature changes or common cleaning chemicals.
Pigeon blood red rubies by NNJ Gemstones. See them here.
The Pigeon Ruby or Pigeon’s Blood Ruby is the most desirable and also the most expensive color of the ruby. These are deep and rich red gems with a hint of blue or purple.
Typically, the finest quality gems are those that are neither too dark nor too light in color. If the red is too dark, it could affect the brightness of the gem. On the other hand, if the color is too light and almost pink, the gem might be regarded as a pink sapphire instead of a ruby.
There are no inclusion-free rubies and all rubies on the market will have some form of inclusions (imperfections in the stone) that can be more or less visible. Inclusions that are obvious will affect the gem’s brightness, reduce the transparency and lower the price of the stone. Prominent and large inclusions that can be seen on the surface, will affect not only the gemstone’s transparency but also its durability.
Natural cabochon-cut ruby with inclusions by VH Jewelers. See it here.
In some cases, however, inclusions can have a positive effect on the ruby’s appearance. Needle-like inclusions, also called rutile silk, can help the light travel through the stone, increasing its brightness. If these long and slender inclusions intersect, they can cause a beautiful star effect in cabochon cut rubies.
The end-result cut of a ruby will depend on its original crystal shape. Pleochroism, the appearance of different colors in a stone when seen from different angles, plays a vital role in the gemstone’s cut. Rubies are usually red, showing off orange-red in one angle and purplish-red in the other. Jewelers often try to cut the stone in a way so as to minimize the orange-red turnout.
Flat table facets with hexagonal shapes are perhaps the most common cut of a ruby. Other common shapes include cushions and ovals with triangular or kite-shaped facets. Square or rectangular facets are also possible in step-cut pavilions.
A beautiful gold ring with cabochon-cut ruby gemstone by TNS Diamonds. See it here.
Marquise, emerald-cut, pear, triangular and cabochon-cut rubies are also available, but these are usually significantly smaller in size.
As with other colored precious stones, the ruby’s value will depend on its color saturation, clarity, and cut. In general, the clearer the stone, the more valuable it is.
As one of the four precious stones, ruby is the cardinal gem and can be quite expensive. However, it’s possible that you would come across less expensive rubies, such as the highly included ones which are also still beautiful. They come in various beautiful colors, but will be more opaque and not as clear, translucent and sparkly as a more expensive ruby.
If you still find rubies expensive, you can go for a pink sapphire, which is very akin to a ruby but will be less expensive. Another option would be to consider buying a ruby. From as early as the 1940s, rubies have been made in labs and look beautiful and highly attractive. They’re also much more affordable than genuine rubies.
Symbolic Meaning of July Birthstone
From the earliest times to the modern-day, rubies have been loved and valued in numerous cultures throughout the world. They have been a universal symbol of power and protection and it was a common belief that they had the power to protect the wearer from adversaries and injuries. For this reason, the ancient warriors often brought them into battle.
Rubies were also considered to represent purity, nobility, and wealth. People often wore ruby jewelry to accumulate riches as well as to invite wisdom and virtue into their life.
Thanks to their fiery red color, rubies were seen as protective gems, bringing positive energy, happiness, and passionate love to the wearer. Since the stone’s red hue resembles blood, these beautiful gems have been closely associated with vigor, vitality, and courage.
For all these reasons, rubies make for a perfect engagement ring as well as Valentine’s or anniversary gift.
July Birthstone Jewelry
Measuring 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, rubies are remarkably tough and durable stones next to diamonds, which makes them suitable for any type of jewelry. They’re ideal for daily use since they don’t damage easily. No matter how you choose to wear them, these stones with their magical hues, will always look stunning and never fail to capture attention.
Here are some beautiful ruby jewelry which would make excellent birthstone gifts for anyone born in July or for a 15th and 40th wedding anniversary.
Rings adorned with this fiery gem are available in many different styles and settings, including halo, three-stone setting, shared prong and the classic solitaire. Rubies are paired with different metals and look exceptionally gorgeous with white, yellow, rose gold, and platinum.
As symbols of passion, friendship, and romance, rubies are the perfect choice for engagement rings or Valentine’s gift for your special someone, such as this delicate infinity ring:
Infinity ruby birthstone ring by James Allen. See it here.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more oomph, try out this avant-garde ruby ring with a double halo design.
Double halo ruby and diamond ring by James Allen. Check price here.
Gorgeous ruby hoop earrings by Roche Jewels. See them here.
Whether in dangle, drop, or hoop-style, ruby earrings are an excellent way to doll up any outfit. For a playful yet elegant appeal, consider a lovely pair of hoop earrings featuring rubies and sparkling diamonds. For a more sophisticated allure, a pair of beautiful, classic stud earrings will do the job.
Natural ruby round-cut stud earrings by Wedding Place Boutique. See them here.
Ruby Necklaces, Bracelets, and Pendants
To spruce up any piece of jewelry, you can’t go wrong with brilliant rubies, especially when you want to add a splash of color and elegance to your ensemble. You can always go one step further and pair up your jewelry with a colorful ruby bracelet with dazzling diamonds like this one:
Beautiful ruby bracelet with diamond accents by Star Gemstones. See it here.
If you’re someone who’s not interested in loading up on jewelry, a simple necklace with a gorgeous ruby pendant can add a pop of color to your look while keeping things from going over the top.
Russian ruby pendant with rose gold filigree by Store Russian Jewelry. See it here.
On the other hand, if you enjoy wearing a lot of heavy jewelry, a unique statement necklace like this one might be just the thing for you.
Royal inspired ruby statement necklace by Lavina Jewelry Design. See it here.
July babies are truly lucky with this birthstone of timeless beauty which will take the looks and charm of any jewelry piece to a whole new level. Whether you’re getting a ruby piece for yourself or your special someone, this fiery red gemstone will bring happiness, prosperity, love, passion and vitality into the wearer’s life.