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July's Birthstone: The Radiant Ruby
I am a July baby, so I hold a special place in my heart for the magnificent red ruby. Regardless of the size or cut of a ruby, the red color symbolizes love, passion, and life. The special pieces of jewelry that I wear that contain one or several rubies are so special to me because it symbolizes my birth month and so much more. The beautiful red ruby is so vibrant in color, and it's said to represent feelings of love, passion, life, wealth, and vitality. The ruby is a meaningful, lovely, and historic stone that has so much significance in the jewelry industry today and was treasured in past decades and centuries as well.
This History of the Ruby
The ruby has been a popular stone throughout history. As far back as biblical times, the stone was considered extremely precious and fit for a king. The ruby is called "ratnaraj," meaning "king of the precious stones," in the Sanskrit language, which is an ancient Indian language. It was believed by the ancient Hindus that an offering could be made to Krishna and you would come back as a king in your next life. Rubies were worn by Burmese warriors, as they believed that the beautiful red stone would make them unconquerable. They wore them inserted into their skin for protection. During medieval times, Europeans felt that rubies brought love, intelligence, wealth, and good health.
Colors of the Ruby
Although the word "ruby" is a derivative of the Latin word "ruber," which means "red," the most sought-after color for a ruby is a deep red with a touch of blue. This color is referred to as "pigeon's blood" and is definitely the most desirable color for a ruby. Of all of the colored gemstones, the ruby is highest in value, as it has been for centuries. The ruby consists of corundum, which is a type of stone found in nature. Corundum also occurs in blue, and then, it is called a sapphire. The ruby gets its red color because of the presence of chromium.
There are ruby mines worldwide, but the majority of larger mines are located in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Thailand, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. Other ruby mines are located in Vietnam, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Mozambique, Madagascar, Cambodia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Australia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Zimbabwe, and the United States.
Fun Facts About Rubies
- One of the largest and most famous rubies in the U.S. is the Carmen Lucia Ruby, which is more than 23 carats in weight. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. It was brought to the museum in 2004.
- The majority of natural rubies have had a treatment in order for their color and strength to be improved greatly. The American Gem Trade Association accepts this practice, so it has become standard in the gemstone industry.
- Most natural rubies have flaws within the body of the stone. Any rubies found without flaws or imperfections are very uncommon and are priced extremely high.