July Birthstone: Ruby

July’s birthstone is Ruby, the stone of passion and heart’s desire. Throughout the ages Ruby has been associated with gods, life, and good health. Thanks to its intense red color, the Ruby has been associated with blood, fire, heart and passion throughout the millennia.

These days, Ruby is the July birthstone, the stone for the 40th and 50th anniversary, and the stone of Capricorn.


Ruby Symbolism and Legends

They were first found in ancient India and they were valued there for three purposes. Healers thought they could help get rid of diseases of various organs. The army used them to protect them from enemy’s arrows, and mystics used them to stimulate divine creativity.

In Asia, Ruby is called the “Lamp Stone” and during the Middle Ages, Ruby was thought to protect its wearer from evil thoughts and provide good health.

In ancient Greece and the Renaissance Europe rubies became wedding stones that would keep the passion alive for ever.


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Ruby colors

Rubies come in various shades of red. The ones that have a more intense color tend to be more valuable. Some of them are treated to enhance this color and to give them more durability.
The genuine Ruby is made up of a mineral called corundum. Its color varies from deep scarlet to pale rose red and, in some cases, displays a bit of purple.

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Ruby Care and Cleaning

They do not need any special care. There are also some stones that present cracks and they are treated with a glass like material. These ones should be dealt with a little more care.

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Where are rubies mined?

In the last few decades there were opened more ruby mines across the globe, meaning that gem lovers can now get them easier at a lower price, something that can only make them happy.
The Rubies most valued are the Pigeon-blood red colored ones. Ruby has a limited distribution and sources are found in Burma and Thailand, as well as other locales that produce a Ruby which most consider fine garnets, such as mines in Australia and Arizona.

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Red Gemstone Alternatives to Rubies

There are several more affordable alternatives to July’s birthstone. Garnets have several shades of red. Red tourmaline also offers some light and dark reds.

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Are Rubies more expensive than diamonds?

Rubies in large sizes are quite rare, so the value of a Ruby is substantially higher than other precious gems such as diamonds, emeralds and sapphires in larger sizes.
Synthetic Rubies have been produced with much success and provide a beautiful alternative to the rarer and more costly genuine Ruby. The synthetic Ruby containing at least 2.5 percent of chromic oxide displays the gorgeous and rare Pigeon-blood color characteristic.

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