All About July Birthstone
If you find yourself on this page, it is a pretty safe bet you or someone in your life has a July birthday. If you weren’t born in July but find yourself enamored with this stunning rich red gemstone, you will be glad to know that the ruby is also traditionally given for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Rubies are also finding traction as alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring. Of course, no one will hold it against you if you have no occasion in mind but simply wish to own a piece of ruby jewelry.
July’s birthstone, ruby, is a stunning, long sought-after gemstone. Associated with the life force due to its rich red color, the ruby has long been coupled with youthful vigor and power. While ancient Burmese warriors thought ruby gemstones protected them in battle, Medieval Europeans felt that these beautiful stones invoked health, wisdom, wealth, and romantic success.
Rubies have a long history with early recordings tracing back to Myanmar (or formerly Burma) and Rome. However, you will also find natural rubies that have been mined in Vietnam, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri lanka, Keny, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Tajikistan.
How are Rubies Made?
Rubies form naturally deep below the earth’s surface when compressed aluminum and oxygen atoms turn to corundum. When Chromium is introduced into this high heat extreme pressure environment, it lends a red color to the crystals produced.
Characteristics of Rubies
Naturally occurring rubies are composed of corundum, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide and have a strong red hue. However, it is possible to find rubies on a continuum from deep blood red stones to a lighter pinky-red. You will also find rubies with a reddish brown color or purple or orange overtones. Pure red rubies with an intense color are the most highly valued. rubies with orange overtones are less valuable, and rubies that are either too dark or too light in color will have less value. In fact, rubies with a very light pink color will often be called pink sapphires.
Rubies have a hardness score of 9 out of 10 on Moh’s scale making them an extremely hard and durable gemstone. The durability of rubies make them an ideal option for jewelry that is worn frequently. Indeed, a rugged ruby makes a striking option for those wishing to add a splash of color to the traditional engagement ring.
Determining if a Ruby if Real
Try a Scratch Test:
As we discussed above a ruby is a very strong stone. So, one easy way to ensure you are looking at real ruby is to perform a scratch test. If you can scratch the gemstone with your fingernail, you should doubt that you're dealing with a real ruby.
Try a Streak Test:
If you run a ruby across a porcelain plate and it leaves a visible trail of color behind it, this isn’t a real ruby.
Consider the Size of the Gemstone:
It is very rare to find a large natural ruby. If the ruby you are considering seems inexpensive for its size, you are likely ont dealing with a real ruby.
Look for Inclusions:
It is very common for a natural ruby to have inclusions. However, synthetic rubies can be flawless. Also, if you notice bubbles within the ruby gemstone, you may be dealing with a fake ruby that has been made from glass.
Ask a Professional:
Perhaps the simplest way to determine if you are dealing with a real ruby is to ask a gemologist. A professional gemologist will be able to tell you if you are dealing with a real, synthetic, or heat-treated ruby.
What are treated rubies?
Rubies may be heat treated to improve color or minimize inclusions within the gemstone. Although some heat treatments are stable and will last for the life of your ruby, some are not. Poor quality treatments may actually make your ruby jewelry more vulnerable to damage. Therefore, it is imperative that you trust your jeweler and know what has been done to any ruby you are considering buying.
Popular Ruby Rings
starting at: $1,225
starting at: $1,245
starting at: $1,425
Rubies have a long history and have been believed to symbolize wealth, health, wisdom, passion, and vigor. Rubies were often found set into the armor of ancient warriors as the deep red gemstone was believed to imbue the wearer with courage and to act as protection against enemies.
Rubies are most often set in yellow gold as the richness of this metal perfectly accentuates the depth of the ruby’s color. However, you will also often find rubies set into rose gold. This pairing is particularly engaging when the ruby has a pink overtone similar to the pink tones of the gold itself.
Although rubies are generally less expensive than diamonds, you will find it harder to find gem quality rubies than diamonds. Some rubies can command prices similar to or even higher than those for diamonds. Only rubies that have an exceptionally rich natural color will command this level of price.
Although rubies can have a wide range of overtones, it is the deep pure red ruby that is most valuable. Rubies that are either too dark or light in color will be less valuable.