The Ruby Birthstone - July Birthstone

Every month has a birthstone, and July is lucky enough to be the month of the ruby.  There is something warm and irresistible about a ruby. Perhaps it is its crimson colors or perhaps it is a particular association such as the one with Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Either way, rubies make stunning stone choices for ruby jewelry pieces such as earrings, necklaces, and rings. Other gemstones are often mistaken for rubies and rubies are often mistaken for various gems as well.  Here is a closer look at the beautiful red stone, its history, and how it differs from similar colored gemstones.

 

Leibish & Co. Ruby Ring

A Leibish & Co. Unheated Ruby & Diamond Dress Ring

 

What is a Ruby?

Rubies are essentially red sapphires.  Both gemstones come from the corundum family, which is the mineral form of alumina. The mineral crystalizes in the hexagonal system. Corundum is the second hardest mineral, after diamonds of course.  The red variety of this mineral, otherwise known as the ruby, is found in a range of colors from the highly desired pigeon-blood-red ruby that resembles a Fancy Red Diamond shade, to an almost pink shade of red that resebles a Purplish Pink Diamond shade. All other colors of corundum other than red and white are known as sapphires. The red color is caused by a small admixture of chromic oxide in the mineral.

 

A ruby next to a colorless diamond

A ruby next to a colorless diamond

 

 

Rubies Throughout the Times

Throughout history, rubies have made appearances, as far back as Biblical times. In the Book of Exodus, the high priest, Aaron, wore a breastplate with a “sardius,” which is the ancient name for a ruby.  Rubies have been known to represent love, success, passion, integrity, and promise. Rubies come from all over the world but are mostly found in India, Thailand, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, North Carolina, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

 

Rare Roman Medallion with Ruby

 

                                                                                 Rare Roman Medallion with Ruby

 

Rubies and Other Red Gemstones

Red gemstones are often assumed to be rubies when in fact they may be one of several other precious stones. Some of these include the Garnet, Beryl, Tourmaline, and the Spinel.  Though they may appear similar to the untrained eye, they are in fact quite different. Natural red diamonds are also sometime mistaken for rubies although they are much rarer and far more valuable. As beautiful as a ruby may be, and there some that are quite stunning and rather pricey, it will never have the sparkle that a red diamond possesses nor will it ever be as hard or as durable as a diamond.

Fancy Red Diamond

Fancy Red Diamond

 

The ruby is one of the most precious of birthstones. Its rich color and inviting appearance makes it one of the most desirable gems.  Owning a beautiful piece of ruby jewelry, though it is not as unique as fine color diamond jewelry, it is still unique, rare, and special.

 

Related Diamond Articles

article image
Alexandrite, Pearl & Moonstone - June birthstones
article image
Emerald Birthstone - May Birthstone
article image
Aquamarine: The March Birthstone
Video Gallery
icon scroll icon scroll