The birthstone for July is one that sparkles with promise and offers plenty of color, the ruby. This deep red stone was particularly popular during Victorian times, but it is still popular today.
The rich red color of the ruby is considered to symbolize fire and the ruby has long been thought of as a gem of power, giving the wearer a certain importance. Rubies are part of the four precious stones, with the others being diamonds, emeralds and sapphires.
These beautiful red gemstones are found in several African and Asian countries including Burma, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kenya and Tanzania, among a few others.
The Value of a Ruby
You aren’t stuck with the traditional dark red when you buy ruby jewelry. This gem actually comes in a few shades, ranging from pink to blood red, which is the most expensive.
When there is a significant lack of red color in the stone, it will be marked as a pink sapphire, rather than a ruby. This distinction seems to exist only in the U.S., however and the International Colored Gemstone Association still considers pink corundum to be rubies.
While the color of the stone is important in determining the price of a gem, the price will also depend on the cut. A nicely cut gem will demand a higher price and rubies are frequently cut in the commonly known emerald cut, though there are plenty of other options available.
When purchasing ruby jewelry, be careful of subpar stones that have been treated to make them look better. A truly perfect ruby will demand a higher price, but lower grade gems can be heat treated to bring out the color. They may also have cracks filled in with lead glass. Rubies filled with this substance will be appear more transparent and therefore worth less.
A Symbol of Devotion
Rubies are said to be a symbol of courage, integrity and devotion and many believe that these precious stones bring happiness to the wearer. Those who use crystals for healing keep the ruby as a treatment for infections in the blood, as well as for keeping thoughts positive and giving the wearer energy. They are also said to help those who wear them become rich and successful.
Caring for Ruby Jewelry
Rubies are the third hardest gemstone available on the market today, with diamonds and moissanite being harder. It’s very difficult to damage a ruby, but because of this hardness, you will want to store ruby jewelry separate from other gems, as they can become scratched by the hard rubies.
To clean your jewelry, you can either have a jeweler do it for you, or do it yourself at home. If you go the DIY route, simply wash with warm, soapy water, using a soft bristled toothbrush to clean away any dirt and grime that may have built up on the stone since it was last washed. The toothbrush will also help clean the findings of the jewelry.
Rubies, whether in necklaces, earrings or rings, are beautiful and bright, bringing a bit of color into the July birthdays. For those born in this month, passion and happiness are attached to their birthstone.