Those who were born in July are fortunate to have one of the “Big Four” gemstones as the representative of your month. In case you were wondering what the other three in the “Big Four” are, the answers are emeralds, diamonds, and sapphires.
Ruby comes from the mineral corundum, which is typically clear or white. If corundum contains a trace element called chromium, that will give the ruby its signature red color. (If it contains iron or titanium impurities, it becomes a sapphire). Technically, rubies are red sapphires, but they are so rare they earned their own name. Sapphires come in all colors of the rainbow.
The most prized rubies are the aforementioned Burma rubies, which offer the best color that is historically known as “pigeon blood.” Due to their rarity, Burma rubies are very expensive.
Rubies are also found in basalt rocks. Because these have a higher level of iron, this results in darker stones with less intense color. The iron makes the stones less fluorescent, and if chromium is not present, the stones will become sapphires. Overall, rubies run the gamut from shades of orangey red to purplish red. On the Mohs hardness scale, the ruby ranks as a 9, meaning it is extremely durable for all types of jewelry pieces.
For thousands of years, rubies have been a symbol of passion, power, and success to cultures around the world. Ancient Hindus believed that offering a fine ruby to the god Krishna would grant them rebirth as an emperor. The name of the stone derives from the Latin word rubrum, which means “red,” the color of the stone. This is also the color most commonly associated with love and passion. In Sanskrit, the ruby is referred to as ratnaraj, which means “king of the precious stones.” And in medieval times, Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. Other cultures believed that the ruby could predict danger and bad luck while curing inflammatory diseases and soothing anger.
While we may not have the same beliefs about the ruby today, one thing is sure: it is a rare, valuable stone. Now through July 31, 2021, save 30% on all in-stock ruby pieces and loose stones here at Jonathan’s Jewelers in Bedford, N.H.