July Birthstone 2021 – Ruby

July babies (like myself) only have one birthstone and that is the ruby. Ruby is considered as one of the cardinal gems. Meaning that the ruby is one of five gemstones that are considered precious above all others. The diamond, emerald, sapphire, and red coral are also considered cardinal gemstones. This blog post dives into the July birthstone ruby and all that you need to know about it. 


July Birthstone: Ruby


Ruby gemstones.

The name ruby comes from the Latin word Rubens, meaning red. In the language of Sanskrit, they called the ruby “King of Precious Stones”.

Before the 1800s all red gemstones were described as ruby including red spinel and red garnet as gemology advanced, it became easier to distinguish between ruby and other red gems. 

The ruby is a form of mineral named corundum. Any shade of red corundum (red, a dark purplish-red, and a blue-red) is called a ruby. All other colors of corundum including pink are considered sapphires. Of all the corundum species, rubies are perceived as the most valuable due to their relative rarity. The most desirable and therefore, the most expensive kind of ruby is a pigeon ruby. Which is described as a dark red with a hint of blue. 

Rubies are most often found in Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Thailand. However, they have recently been found in Greenland. For the past few years, it has been difficult to find rubies in the United States and that is because we have banned trade with Myanmar. The good news is that the ban has since been lifted so you will see more and more rubies enter the market in the United States.

Ruby fluorescence.
Ruby fluorescence. (Image Source: Pinterest)

Ruby gets its red color due to the element chromium. The root word for this is Chroma which means color to the ancient Greeks. Chromium doesn’t just give rubies their deep dynamic color. The element is also responsible for ruby’s vivid fluorescence. Ruby exhibits both fluorescence and phosphoresce. Although the phosphorescence is very short-lived. Fluorescence varies from gem to gem and is dependent on its origin. Ruby from Myanmar generally glows an intense red under UV light.

Like a sapphire, a ruby is a 9 on the Mohs Scale. Meaning that rubies are considered very strong gemstones. This also gives you the freedom to wear ruby in all kinds of jewelry from a ring to a pendant for everyday use. 

The value of a ruby is determined by color but it also is determined by cut and clarity. The clearer a ruby is, the more valuable it is. You can purchase rubies that are less expensive but they may be highly included. 

Symbolic Meaning

Rough ruby.

The ruby symbolizes power and protection. Ancient warriors often brought them into battle. The ancient Hindus believed that offering rubies to the God Krishna would grant you rebirth as an emperor.


Famous Ruby Jewelry

Queen Elizabeth II’s Oriental Circlet Tiara

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Oriental Circlet Tiara.
Oriental Circlet Tiara: Queen Victoria’s $8.9million tiara Queen Elizabeth II has only worn once. (Image Source: Express UK).

When Elizabeth II became Queen in 1953 she officially had access to crown heirlooms which include a ruby tiara called the Oriental Circlet but the Oriental Circlet was one of her mother’s favorite pieces and rather than steal the tiara from her newly widowed mum, she had her own made. The Oriental Circlet became the Queen’s after her mother died in 2002 but she has only worn it in public once. 


Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby.
The Sunrise Ruby. (Image Source: Pinterest).

The Sunrise Ruby is a pigeon’s blood ruby from Myanmar and named after the work of a 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi. This extremely rare ruby and diamond ring weighing 25.59 carats sold at Sotheby’s for $30.3 million back in 2015. 


Liberty Bell Ruby 

Liberty Bell Ruby.
Liberty Bell Ruby. (Image Source: JCK).

The Liberty Bell Ruby is a sculpture crafted from the world’s largest mined ruby (weighing four pounds to be exact), discovered in East Africa in the 1950s. The sculpture was carved in honor of the Liberty Bell that was sadly stolen from a Delaware jewelry store in 2011. 


DeLong Star Ruby

DeLong Star Ruby.
DeLong Star Ruby. (Image Source: Smithsonian Institute).

The DeLong Star Ruby, a gorgeous cabochon exhibiting asterism was stolen in a famous 1964 jewel heist. Although, the thieves ransomed the ruby off and businessman John MacArthur of the MacArthur Foundation paid the $25,000 ransom. Which was considered a substantial amount of money back in the 1960s and the DeLong Star Ruby was recovered in a phone booth near Palm Beach. 

Shop Ruby Jewelry.

Do you own ruby jewelry? Natural or lab-grown, show them off by clicking the comments button below.

Written by Bianca Mac Donald 

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