Ruby, the July Birthstone

Happy birthday to all of you July babes! Your birthstone is actually one of my favorites too, and when I was a kid I actually wished my birthstone was a ruby instead of aquamarine when I went to get my ears pierced for the first time. Rubies are known as the king of all gems, which makes sense given their symbolism and the role they’ve played in history. Rubies have been having their moment nothing compares to the fire and romance of these gems. So here are a few interesting facts about rubies:

  • Rubies were first traced to Myanmar as early as 600AD, and Myanmar’s Mogok Valley has been a legendary source for them throughout the ages.

  • Burmese warriors believed that rubies would make them invincible in the battle field, but it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to be inserted under the skin to gain the magical benefits.

  • Rubies were believed to hold the power of life, and many wore them as talismans that guaranteed wealth, beauty, and everlasting love. 

  • In the middle ages rubies have also been thought to predict danger, soothe anger, and cure inflammatory illnesses. 

  • Being made of the mineral corundum, rubies are a hard stone (8 on the Mohs scale) that is resistant to a lot of wear and tear, making it a great choice for all types of jewelry, even rings.

  • While pure corundum is colorless, it’s the inclusion of the mineral chromium that gives rubies their vibrant red color. And the more chromium present, the deeper red the gem is.

  • The most valuable shade of ruby red is called pigeon’s blood (although we really need a better name for it, one without dead birds ideally), a deep red with purple hues. 

  • Rubies can be found in many areas of the world including Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and the state of Wyoming.

  • One of Queen Elizabeth II’s most famous tiaras from her personal jewelry collection is actually one of the few she commissioned for herself, the Burmese Ruby Tiara. The gems were originally a wedding gift from the people of Burma, and the rubies were fashioned into a tiara in a wreath of roses motif. 

  • Another woman who owned and loved some legendary ruby pieces was Elizabeth Taylor. This Cartier masterpiece, gifted to her by her third husband features cushion cut rubies surrounded by round and baguette diamonds.