Rubies are one of the most visually stunning gemstones out there. Ranging in color from pinkish to purplish red, they certainly are eye-catching. It's no wonder that rubies were once known as the "king of gems." Looking at a gorgeous, vivid red ruby, you can certainly feel a royal connection!

Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, same as sapphires. What differentiates them is color. Red corundum is ruby, and any other color (including colorless!) is sapphire. The color differences come from trace elements in the mineral. Red corundum is colored by trace elements of chromium, the same element that gives emeralds their stunning green color. Why the difference? It comes down to mineral: chromium in corundum produces ruby red, whereas chromium in beryl produces emerald green.

Because they are a variety of corundum, rubies are some of the toughest jewels out there. They are second only to diamonds in terms of hardness, ranking a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Because of their good wearability, rubies are incredibly popular for jewelry -- but they are also fairly rare, making them expensive stones. Some of the most expensive stones ever have been rubies!

Red corundum is the most rare of all colors of corundum, making rubies more exclusive than sapphires. Rubies are mined in a variety of places, though Southeast Asia (particularly Myanmar) produce the most vivid and sought after rubies. These rubies are known as Burmese rubies and feature a "pigeon blood" coloring. Rubies are also found in Africa, Australia, and even the United States! North Carolina, in fact, is a minor producer of rubies.

Rubies are the birthstone for July, but they are a good gift for anyone! Due to their blood-red coloring, rubies are believed to have health benefits. They are also tied with romance, due to the romantic red coloring.

These earrings feature stunning rubies set in 14K yellow gold. The rubies are cut in cabochon style. Cabochon style means that, rather than faceting the stones, the rubies were cut to showcase a smooth, rounded exterior. Cabochons are highly polished to create the smooth surface. Although rubies are usually faceted, these cabochon earrings show that there's no reason not to love a cabochon ruby!

Beautiful as these earrings are, though, the real showstopper is this ruby ring. Set in 10K yellow gold, the ring features 12 pear cut rubies set in a halo around a central cabochon cut ruby. The overall effect is a beautiful, ruby-red flower.

What really makes this ring special is that the central, cabochon ruby is a star ruby! Star rubies are rubies that feature asterism, an effect of lighting. Due to rutile inclusions in the stone, light refracts off star rubies differently. This creates a star-like effect on the surface of the stone. Asterism is one of the main reasons to cut a ruby as a cabochon! Star rubies are even more rare than regular rubies, so this ring is extremely unique! It's a real showstopper, whether paired with the earrings or on its own.

If you're looking for a one of a kind ring, look no further than this dazzling ruby piece! You're not going to find another ring like it.

Malak Jewelers has an extensive collection of estate jewelry for sale. Come check out our vintage and pre-loved pieces. You might just find your next heirloom!

Malak Jewelers is Charlotte, North Carolina’s premier direct diamond importer, supplier of loose diamonds, and custom design jewelry. When you buy from Malak you receive 100 Day Price Protection and a Lifetime Upgrade Promise. Be sure to check out our wide variety of diamond engagement rings both in our online catalogue and at our store in Charlotte, North Carolina's Arboretum Shopping Center.