Friday, July 10, 2009

Ruby - July's Birthstone

The Ruby is the red variety of the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind: corundum. Although pure corundum is virtually colorless, trace amounts of chromium result in the Ruby’s red color. Other elements, such as iron will result in different colors, but all these varieties are referred to as sapphires. Only the red variety is eligible to be called Ruby.

Like other gemstones, Rubies are formed by intense heat and pressure beneath the Earth over millions of years. Interestingly enough, the chromium within the corundum tends to cause cracks within the crystalline structure. These cracks make it very difficult to find Rubies larger than about 3 carats. Consequently, larger Rubies, as well as those with minimal inclusions bring some of the highest prices paid of any gemstones in the world.


Rubies have been prized stones for thousands of years. The finest Rubies are considered to come from Burma, but other important sources include Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Madagascar, Brazil, Afghanistan, Ceylon and Vietnam. Rubies of varying quality are found in many other places in the world, including the United States.

Hindus considered the Ruby to be the king of all gemstones, believing that they lit up the homes of the gods. In fact, reference to the Ruby has been found in Indian literature for more than two thousand years. In mythology, the Ruby was the gemstone chosen as an offering to the Hindu deity Krishna. The Ruby is also the most often named gemstone in the Christian Bible. And in the Middle Ages, the stone was thought to darken when you were in danger, warning and guarding against evil, and giving its wearer the ability to then make clear decisions.

The name Ruby was derived from the Latin word 'rubens', meaning 'red'. What better name for a such a vibrant and prized stone who's fiery, blood-red color represents the embodiment of life for mankind?


The classic Ruby, with its deep, rich red has been treasured through the ages. After all, what other color better embodies the feelings of love, passion and power? It’s no wonder that Dorothy wore Ruby slippers on her way to meet the Wizard in L. Frank Baum ‘s The Wizard of Oz.

Bearing a Mohs' Hardness rating of 9, the Ruby is the second hardest substance known to mankind, though the Diamond is nearly four times harder. Since the color of the Ruby is its most important characteristic, most inclusions do not affect the quality of the stone, but rather help create the rays which leave us with our mouths open. The Ruby is also the birthstone for the month of July and is used to celebrate the fifteenth, fortieth and eightieth wedding anniversaries. It's also an alternate for the sixtieth wedding anniversary. If your birthday is in the month of July, consider a ruby birthstone ring or pendant with the gemstones of your choice, including a beautiful, deep red Ruby.

1 comment:

  1. I think the Ruby would be a benefitial stone for everyone, regardless of their birth month!