The July birthstone, ruby, evokes images of ancient royalty. You can’t think of rubies without arousing the vibrant power of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. People have long held these gems in high esteem for their beauty and beneficial properties. Fine quality ruby brings the highest price of any colored gemstone.
Ruby and sapphire are the hardest colored stones, (other than colored diamonds). So naturally, out of all the options on the official birthstone list, we highly recommend both of these stones for engagement and wedding rings.
Ruby Mineral Composition
The trace mineral chromium gives ruby its red color. Both rubies and sapphires come from the mineral corundum and, while sapphires come in almost every color, rubies ONLY occur in shades of red, exhibiting tones from orangey to the purplish spectrum.
More chromium creates more red and, most importantly, chromium typically causes fluorescence. Fluorescence creates extra fire or glow within these gems. With some stones, you’ll even see this fluoresce red in the ultraviolet of natural sunlight.
The most acclaimed rubies, mostly from Myanmar (Burma) and the Himalayas, form in marble which is very low in iron. Therefore, ruby forming in marble also has a low iron content, allowing these stones a more intense red color. These stones bring a higher price tag because of their fiery intensity.
History & Lore of July’s Birthstone, Ruby
Of all the colored stones, ruby likely holds the most historical significance.
- Both the Bible and ancient Sanskrit writings proclaim ruby as the most precious of all gemstones.
- In fact, the Sanskrit word for ruby is ‘ratnaraj’, meaning ‘King of Gemstones’.
- The Bible mentions ruby no less than four times, referring to wisdom and beauty.
- Ancient Burmese warriors inserted rubies under their skin, believing it made them invincible in battle.
- It was believed in India that a ruby empowered you to live in peace with your enemies.
- Revered for its red color that mimics the color of blood and holding the power of life.
Ruby is equally important to the western world as the eastern. From Medieval times, European royalty and its upper classes were totally enamored with these vibrant red stones. Wearing them to guarantee wisdom, health, wealth and love.
Ruby Metaphysical Properties
The July birthstone, ruby, is the gem of love, romance & passion, health, power & protection. Because of their blood-red colors, people identify rubies with healing and health as well. Over the centuries, people revered rubies for the following proposed properties:
- Ruby increases the vitality of your body as well as your spirit.
- It promotes a clear mind and increases your concentration.
- This vibrant gemstone boosts motivation.
- Rubies increase desire, sexual energy and passion.
- We associate ruby with real love, of the passionate and faithful type. Therefore, rubies were considered to be the perfect wedding stone.
- It connects you with your sense of power, your self-confidence, and determination. For example, Dorothy’s ruby slippers!