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July Birthstone

Ruby is the birthstone of July. It is also the gem for 15th and 40th anniversaries. It is a rare and expensive precious gemstone and the red variation of the mineral corundum. The name ‘ruby’ is derived from the Latin word ‘rubeus,’ which means ‘red ‘. It receives its color from the trace element chromium; any non-red variant of corundum is considered a sapphire. 

 

 

Because rubies are susceptible to cracking and breakage due to their chromium composition, they rarely grow and form into large gemstones. This makes large, fine-quality rubies extremely rare and valuable. Rated as a ‘9’ on the Mohs hardness scale, the only harder gem is the diamond. Surprisingly, large, high-quality rubies are, in fact, usually more expensive and valuable than diamonds of comparable size and quality.

 

 

Like diamonds, they are assessed and valued according to their color, clarity and inclusions, cut and weight. The deeper the red and the better its color saturation or, how evenly the color is distributed throughout the stone, the higher its color grading. Additional parameters used to grade rubies are transparency, where having a higher level of transparency translates into a higher quality stone, as well as the geographical location where the ruby was found which has significance regarding their color. 

 

 

Myanmar produces most of the finest and deepest blood-red rubies in the world. Other ruby-producing countries include Thailand, Vietnam, India, the Middle East, Africa and the United States. More recently, rubies have been discovered in Greenland as well.

 

 

With its warm fiery hue, this brilliant red stone has been used in majestic jewelry pieces, amulets, talismans and even adorned ancient buildings. Revered throughout the ages, rubies were known to symbolize and endow vitality, good fortune, love, joy, passion, protection and invincibility. They are thought to bestow good health, energy, improved concentration and to remedy a wide range of ailments such as poor circulation and bad eyesight, among others. 

 

 

Today, rubies are a popular choice for a center stone in halo rings, earrings and pendants. Set alongside diamonds in a tennis bracelet or an exquisite pair of chandelier earrings are other favorite ruby jewelry designs. Wherever this regal and striking gemstone is found, it is sure to awaken love, beauty and joie de vivre in those who are lucky enough to wear it.

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