The July birthstone is the Ruby, a beautiful stone that represents love, passion, courage and emotion, and it’s believed wearing an elegant red ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner.
The ruby gem has been the prized possession of Kings, Queens and Emperors throughout the ages and is considered the premier and most valued gemstone.
The brightest and most expensive Red ruby is often the “ Burmese Ruby” which is found with a rich, full red colour with just a slight blue undertone. The deep red colour is often referred to as “pigeon blood ruby red ” and often comes from Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar formerly known as Burma, interestingly the pigeon blood ruby is actually associated with the colour of a white pigeon’s eyes rather than the pigeon’s blood.
Rubies come in a variety of colours
Rubies are available in many shades of red hues from purplish and bluish red to orange-red and pinky reds with a price to suit all budget and can be found in a variety of cuts to suit taste and style.
As well as being the July birthstone the ruby gemstone is traditionally given for both the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Probably the most the spectacular and famous setting incorporating the ruby is the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” the red slippers including 4,600 rubies with an estimated weight of 1,350 carats and when created in 1989 they had a price tag of 3 million dollars.
Qualities to look for in a Ruby
Colour: is the essential form factor for the July birthstone with the most beautiful rubies having a pure and vibrant red to slightly purplish red colour. Stones that have too much orange or purple hues are considered less desirable. Rubies with the highest quality have vivid colour and are not too dark
Clarity: expert traders in rubies would expect rubies to have some natural inclusions in them because it is scarce to find inclusion free rubies.
Just like with a diamond the impact of the position of the inclusions will affect the value of the stone. Visible inclusions that reduce the transparency or brightness will lower the ruby’s value
Cut: The crystal shape of a ruby dictates its suitability for specific cuts, they often have a flat tabular hexagonal shape, but crystals from some sources may be elongate.
Carat weight: Rubies can be found in a wide of sizes, but exquisite rubies over one carat in size are and not surprisingly come with a very expensive price tag
July Birthstone: Ruby treatment, care and cleaning
Just like with diamonds and other gemstones a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water is the safest option for cleaning your ruby stones and jewellery.
Using an ultrasonic and steam cleaner are safe for untreated, heat-treated and lattice diffusion-treated stones. This form of cleaning should be avoided if the ruby has been fracture-filled, cavity-filled or dyed stones and should only be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Heat treated rubies
Just like with many coloured gemstones rubies are often heat treated to remove purplish colouration, leaving behind a purer red. This process can remove needle-like inclusions that can often lead the stone to appear lighterin tone.
The jewellery trade typically accepts heat treatment to enhance the colour of the stone as the treatment is stable for normal conditions of wear and tear.