Welcome to Malak Jewelers' Monday Message! Each Monday we will post an informational blog post. Check in each week to learn more about the history of jewelry, rare gemstones, the diamond industry, and more! This week, read all about July's stunning birthstone: the radiant ruby!
Unlike June, July only has one birthstone. Ruby is both the traditional and modern birthstone for July. All images in this post come from Malak Jewelers' own stunning collection of ruby jewelry!
Rubies are one of the most popular -- and most expensive -- gems. They are rarer than diamonds, hence the demand. Rubies are a subset of the mineral corundum, the same as sapphire. The difference between rubies and sapphires comes down solely to color: red corundum is a ruby, while any other color is considered a sapphire. (That's right, sapphires come in more than blue! Non-blue sapphires are called fancy sapphires!) Rubies are less prevalent than sapphires, the higher scarcity contributing to greater prices.
The vibrant red that defines a ruby comes from trace elements of chromium, the same element that colors emeralds. The red color can vary slightly, from more purple reds, to pinkish reds, to orange reds, or even to brownish reds. The most valuable is a deep, vivid red known as a Burmese Ruby, since traditionally rubies that came from Burma (now Myanmar) would display this vivid red.
Like sapphires, some rubies display asterism, leading to star rubies. These stones show a star-like shine on the surface of the stone due to inclusions of rutile. Star rubies are considered extremely lucky! Luck or no luck, though, it's undeniable that a star ruby is certainly striking.
Most rubies come from mines in Asia, particularly Myanmar. These rubies are coveted for their "pigeon blood" coloring. Other sources for rubies include Africa, Australia, and even the United States! In fact, stunning star rubies found in Asheville astounded the gem world when a North Carolina man found them. These rubies are incredibly rare anywhere, let alone in the United States. The rubies are expected to fetch a very hefty price when they go to auction -- possibly over $100 million!
Rubies are great for any type of jewelry as they are one of the hardiest gems out there! They are second to only diamonds in terms of hardness, and are likely to last a long time if taken proper care of.
Of course, the fun of a birthstone is not just the gemology but the history as well! Birthstones have a fairly mystical reputation, and lucky July babies have one of the most mystical stones out there!
The Sanskrit word for ruby is "ratnaraj," which means "king of gems." Rubies have a long history of being associated with royalty. The vivid red color of a ruby was supposed to bring power. It was also believed that rubies would bring the wearer greater material wealth -- that wearing a ruby would attract more gems.
The blood red color of a ruby also connected it strongly to questions of physical health. The ruby was considered the gem of soldiers in ancient Burma. It was believed that wearing rubies as a talisman would protect you from harm. If you were willing to go further and insert the ruby into your skin, you would supposedly become invulnerable to any attack.
Rubies' beautiful glow inspired stories that the stones were living. Some people believed that rubies contained an eternal inner fire. That fire would bring protection and guidance. Others believed that the glow came from good spirits, who would bless their wearers.
Whether or not you believe in gemstone lore, it's undeniable that rubies are stunning. They have long been one of the most popular stones for good reason. If you're looking for a stone that inspires protection, wealth, and power, rubies are for you! If you want a stone sure to catch anyone's eye, look no further!
Malak Jewelers has a beautiful collection of ruby jewelry! Come by today to find the perfect gift for the July baby in your life -- or anyone else, for that matter!
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.