Ruby, The Birthstone of July

Have you ever wondered what is your birthstone and what that means?

Although the concern about one’s birthstone had been associated with religion in some parts of the world and with astrology in others, the modern day birthstones have less to do with historical origins. Many jewelry and gemology associations mainly in the USA and UK have contributed to the formation of the modern list of birthstones.

If you were born in July, your birthstone is ruby. Rubies come in every variety of red, from a delicate pinkish hue to the dramatic shade known as blood-red or pigeon blood which is considered most valuable; indeed, the word ruby is derived from ruber, the Latin word for red. Like a diamond, the value of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Rubies have long been associated with strength – they are harder than all gemstones except for diamonds – so they have been prized by warriors and rulers. In India and China, they were used to decorate armor and scabbards, as well as being placed beneath the foundations of buildings to encourage good fortune.

For centuries, rubies have adorned the crowns and jewelry of royalty in many countries. One of the most famous contemporary examples is the Burmese Ruby Tiara owned by Queen Elizabeth, which the Queen personally commissioned using gemstones presented to her as a wedding present. Each of the tiara’s 96 rubies is meant to protect the wearer from different illnesses.

Rubies are also enduringly popular with Hollywood royalty. In 2011, an auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s world famous jewelry collection included several ruby-set pieces, including a ring that set a new price-per-carat record and a necklace that sold for more than US$3.7 million. The auction raised a total of $116 million, more than double the record for a single collection. 

While we can only ever dream of wearing such extravagant jewels, the timeless beauty of rubies is happily accessible beyond royal palaces and Beverly Hills mansions.

Shop for ruby jewelry here.