Ruby: July's Fiery Birthstone

Flaming red and the color of passion, rubies are one of the most coveted gemstones. Prized for their deep red hue and durability, rubies are recognized as one of "The Big Three" gemstones, alongside emeralds and sapphires. Rubies are the perfect birthstone for July babies, as their birthdays are celebrated during summer's peak. Let's take a closer look at this precious gemstone.

We feel right at home with Dorothy's ruby red slippers.

Ruby History and Lore

Rubies were first discovered in Myanmar (formerly Burma). For several centuries, the Mogok area of Myanmar has remained a top source for rubies.

Until the late 18th century, red-colored spinel gemstones were often mistaken for rubies. Technological developments in gemstone identification allowed gemologists to correctly identify this radiant gem.

In 1966, gem quality rubies were found on a small island off the shores of Greenland. It was named Ruby Island and was the first corundum mine in Greenland.

The word ruby is derived from the Latin word ruber, which means "red." In Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, which means "king of precious stones."

Throughout the centuries, rubies have been associated with wisdom, wealth, and power.

Ruby and Diamond Cocktail Ring

Ruby Characteristics

Rubies are comprised of the mineral corundum, as are sapphires. In its pure form, corundum is colorless - the presence of chromium in corundum gives it a red color. The more chromium present, the stronger the ruby's red is. Rubies have small traces of purple in them, so it is common for them to undergo heat treatment to dilute the purple and enhance the red. Rubies have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, making them suitable for everyday wear.

Vintage Solitaire Mogok Ruby Ring

Ruby Information

Hardness 9
Color Pink, Red
Treatment Routinely Enhanced
Top Countries of Origin Myanmar, Vietnam, Mozambique
Synthetic Ruby and Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Ruby Care

As with many gemstones, rubies can be gently cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Many rubies can withstand a cleaning trip in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Consult with a trusted jeweler to determine the best method for cleaning your ruby jewelry.

Browse our ruby jewelry here.