The July birthstone is the Ruby, a beautiful stone representing 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”. It usually comes from Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma; interestingly, the pigeon blood ruby is 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 budgets and can be found in various cuts to suit taste and style.
The hardiness of the ruby gemstone makes it the perfect choice for everyday wear, such as an engagement ring and evening wear in a dress ring, matching earrings, pendants and necklaces.
As well as being the July birthstone, the ruby gemstone is traditionally given for both the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Probably the most 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 included 4,600 rubies with an estimated weight of 1,350 carats. When created in 1989, it had a price tag of 3 million dollars.
Qualities to look for in a Ruby
Colour: this 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 many orange or purple hues are considered less desirable. Rubies with the highest quality have vivid colours 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 inclusions’ position will affect the stone’s value. Visible inclusions that reduce the transparency or brightness will lower the value of the Ruby.
Cut: The crystal shape of a ruby dictates its suitability for specific amounts, they often have a flat tabular hexagonal form, but crystals from some sources may be elongated.
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 costly price tag.
July Birthstone: Ruby’s treatment, care and cleaning
Like diamonds and other gemstones. a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water is the safest option for cleaning your ruby stones and jewellery.
An ultrasonic and steam cleaner is safe for untreated, heat-treated and lattice diffusion-treated stones. Rubies that have been fracture-filled, cavity-filled or dyed stones should only be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Heat treated rubies
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 often make the stone appear lighter in tone.
The jewellery trade typically accepts heat treatment to enhance the stone’s colour as the treatment is stable for everyday wear and tear conditions.
If you would like to learn more about the beautiful ruby