Birthstone of the Month: July

By Morgan Garrison

The color red has long been synonymous with heat, passion and love. So what better birthstone for a month that falls in the height of summer than the fiery red Ruby. Rubies are considered to be one of the most important stones on the modern colored gemstone market. But what makes rubies so special? It might seem obvious but color is the most significant factor in determining a ruby’s value. Keep reading to learn all about them! 

The name ruby comes from the Latin word “ruber” which means red but, rubies are definitely not just basic red. Their color can range from red-orange to true red to a deep purplish red. Rubies are a member of the corundum mineral family and the trace element chromium is what gives it its red color. The finest rubies grow in marble where the higher chromium and lower iron content of the rock make for very intense, fluorescent gems. Rubies also grow in basalt rocks but the higher iron content makes the rubies darker in color and can mask it’s fluorescence. 

If you know a little bit about diamonds, you may have heard of fluorescence and have probably heard that it’s a bad thing. In diamonds it is, but in rubies it’s actually a good thing. Fluorescence means that the gem will appear to glow under black light or even sunlight. In fact, it was the fluorescence of rubies that was used to create the very first laser in 1960.

A ruby’s Mohs hardness rating is a 9 which makes it suitable for everyday wear. It can also withstand ultrasonic and steam cleaning. You probably don’t have these types of cleaners at home but warm soapy water and a toothbrush will do the trick. If your ruby has undergone a filling treatment to help reduce inclusions, you should, only ever clean it with a damp cloth. Your jewelry retailer is required to disclose what treatments your stone has undergone. 

Today, ruby is one of the most expensive per carat colored gems, but it has been an important gemstone to many cultures throughout the ages. Its Sanskrit name, “Ratnaraj,” means “King of the gems.” The name could not be more appropriate as Ancient Hindus believed that offering fine rubies to the deity Krishna would ensure one was reincarnated as an Emperor. Warriors in Burma (now Myanmar) once believed that rubies would protect them and would wear them into battle. Medieval Europeans associated the gem with blood and the power of life and believed they could bring good health as well as wealth and luck in love.

Whether or not they actually bring luck in love is yet to be proven, but rubies are the traditional gem for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary. If you have one of these anniversaries, or any relationship milestone coming up, consider a ruby stackable ring! Starting at just $299, our stackable collection is available in 10 and 14 karat white, yellow and rose gold in a wide variety of designs.

What better way to show your love than with a ruby set in a heart? This adorable set from our “Rhythm of Love” line is set in sterling silver with simulated rubies and diamonds. The earrings are $249 and the necklace is $125. 

We’d love it if you stopped by to check out all the ruby pieces we have in store. But you must be sure to say hello to the most precious ruby of all, Ruby! I could not let this post end without a shout out to Fernbaugh's mascot and arguably best employee. 

 

Sources:
Ruby Gemstone | Ruby Stone – GIA
Ruby Description (gia.edu) 
https://www.gia.edu/ruby-history-lore