Rich, radiant red rubies are perhaps the most romantic gem, and they are the birthstone for the month of July. What should you know about rubies?
Rubies have been adored throughout history in cultures around the world. Today, they are a symbol of romance and luxury. But if you are giving or receiving a piece of jewelry featuring a ruby, what should you know about this sumptuous gem?
Rubies are almost as hard as diamonds. Diamonds, the hardest gem, rate a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness; rubies rate a nine. That means that even the most dazzling ruby can survive everyday wear. (How much the stone’s setting can endure is another issue.) We think of rubies as being deep red, but they can also be pink, almost purple or even brownish in color.
A ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum alone is colorless, but combined with other materials it takes on colors. When corundum combines in nature with traces of chrome, iron, titanium or vanadium, it creates ruby. (Corundum combined with other minerals creates sapphire.)
Ruby Is July’s Birthstone
Rich and warm, the red ruby calls to mind love and passion as well as power. Rubies are not subtle. They are stunning, dazzling and utterly gorgeous. Rubies of every shade look elegant and regal in settings of gold, white gold or silver.
Ruby is the birthstone for people born in July. A pendant or simple ring with a ruby is a spectacular gift for any woman having a milestone birthday in July from sweet sixteen to sixty. Combining a birthstone with images from one’s heritage such as the Claddagh or knot work designs is a wonderful way to celebrate someone on her special day.
Paired with diamonds, they are romantic and seductive, making an ideal engagement ring. A ring featuring rubies and diamonds makes a clear statement of love, passion and devotion.
Such a ring has a wow factor that turns heads. When a woman receives such an engagement ring, she can expect friends, family and coworkers to leap up and congratulate her the moment she enters a room.
Rubies have been important in Asian cultures from China to India, and in ancient times they were used to decorate the accessories of noblemen, including their weapons. They were also believed to bring good luck. A ruby known as the Sunrise Ruby is the most valuable non-diamond gem in the world.
The largest known sources of mined rubies have been Myanmar and other Asian nations from Afghanistan to Vietnam. Some rubies have been found in East Africa as well, and it is believed there are rich lodes in Greenland. Rubies have even been found in Scotland and Montana.
But naturally occurring rubies are rare, which is why they were once only owned by royalty. We now have the ability to create rubies as illustrious as those made by Mother Nature, meaning that you don’t have to be royalty to ask a woman to be the queen of your heart forever with a ruby engagement ring.