Did you know that July’s birthstone, the ruby, is one of the most highly prized and sought-after gems in history? Read on to learn all about the stone.
History of the Ruby
The word ruby comes from the Latin “rubeus,” meaning red. Rubies have been mined for at least 2,500 years, if not longer, and were first found in ancient Burma. The gems were so well loved in India that even modern Sanskrit has quite a few beautiful, descriptive names for them, the most popular being “ratnaraj,” meaning “king of precious stones.” The Indian people believed rubies symbolized tolerance, incredible strength, passion and protection. In fact, ancient warriors used to bring them into battle. Of course, as word spread about these lovely gems, they became prominent in other cultures too, including among the wealthy and royalty in medieval Europe. Today, they’ve become a representation of love, passion, power and desire—not to mention being designated the official birthstone of July and the 50th anniversary stone.
What Are Rubies?
Rubies are made of a mineral called corundum, which is technically what sapphires are made of too. The gorgeous red hue comes from the mixing of corundum with the tiniest bit of chromium oxide, which is responsible for the varying color spectrum of rubies.
These gems aren’t just known for their gorgeous red color—they’re also known for their durability, coming in second only to diamonds, which makes them the perfect choice for lifelong jewelry and family heirlooms. If you have jewelry with a large natural ruby in it, you’re one lucky duck. While smaller rubies aren’t too hard to find, large rubies over a carat in size are pretty rare.
Wondering what the absolute rarest type of ruby is? Some rubies display an “asterism” star with three or six points, or sometimes a cat-eye effect known as chatoyancy. Rubies without imperfections are also incredibly elusive—tiny needlelike clusters referred to as “silk” are almost always present in any natural ruby. Keep that in mind when buying rubies, because if you’re being presented a flawless natural one, it should cost you approximately your firstborn child. Inclusions in a ruby should not be seen as a flaw, but as an indication that it is not synthetic.
Famous Ruby Jewelry
We know you’ve heard of the Hope Diamond, but have you ever heard of the Hope Ruby? The cushion-shaped Burmese ruby is 32.08 carats and is featured in a ring you can wear! Of course, we cannot forget the famous Rosser Reeves ruby, a gorgeous star cabochon weighing in at a whopping 138.72 carats!
Shane Co. Rubies
Are you ready to start looking for some wonderfully gorgeous ruby jewelry of your own? Shane Co. specializes in beautiful, all-natural ruby jewelry. If you want to treat someone special or even yourself for a July birthday, or if you want to send somebody a hint, we’ve got a couple of suggestions:
This gorgeous ruby and white gold bracelet features 18 hand-selected round rubies (that’s 1.36 carats) with 36 diamonds. It’s the perfect staple piece to have in your jewelry collection. Pair it with a little black dress, anything in your work wardrobe or even a more casual outfit to dress it up.
Talk about heirloom jewelry! This is a timeless vintage-inspired piece that you can hand down for generations. Eleven round rubies sparkle with 74 brilliant diamonds in 14 karat yellow gold. This is one that will become a family treasure.
A .41-carat ruby is the centerpiece of this delicately swirling 14 karat white gold and diamond pendant. It is a perfect everyday piece that will add a little something special to any outfit.