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The July Birthstone: The Ruby

As we approach the height of summer, we take a look at the ruby, July's birthstone.

What do rubies symbolise?

Fiery and enchanting, the ruby birthstone is as storied as it is beautiful. The ruby birthstone is said to represent power and triumph as well as romance and passion. Throughout history it has been a symbol of endurance and strength, making it a meaningful gift for a loved one or a personal reminder of your inner strength.

Along with being the birthstone for people born in July, the ruby is also the traditional gift given on a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary.

Ruby Basics

The ruby is one of the most beloved gemstones on earth. Durable and captivating, rubies have been used in fine jewellery for thousands of years. Prized for their rich red hues, rubies have become synonymous with the colour of love, fixating them at the heart of cultures around the world. 

The ruby is known for its colour with the preferred shade being a deep, blood red. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), ruby quality is judged by the criteria as a diamond—known as the four Cs: clour, cut, clarity, and carat—with special importance given to the stone’s colour grade.

Rubies are found across the world but primarily in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, the USA, Canada, and Mozambique. But the largest supplier of rubies is still Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Rubies from Myanmar are famous for their exceptional colour and have been historically known as “Pigeon Blood Rubies” or “Burmese Rubies”.

Do rubies make good engagement rings?

Rubies are a great choice for an engagement ring. They’re the second hardest gemstone after a diamond, meaning it’s very unlikely that your ruby will chip or become damaged over time, making it perfect for a lifelong piece of everyday jewellery such as an engagement or wedding ring. Their rich red colour brings dimension to any ring design and pairs perfectly with any colour of metal, including platinum, yellow gold, or rose gold. 

Ruby is good for an engagement ring because it can be cut into any shape, with round and oval cut rubies being most popular. Brilliant cuts (such the round, oval, or marquise cut rubies) have a dynamic facet structure that helps rubies reflect light and sparkle. It’s always good to look for a ruby with a good cut grade, as not all rubies have perfect clarity, meaning less light is able to enter the stone and refract out again. This means a good cut can make all the difference when it comes to your ruby engagement ring’s scintillation.

That being said, an Asscher or emerald cut ruby (eg. rubies with a step cut facet structure) are also a popular choice for ruby engagement rings due to the compelling contrast created by the ruby’s colour and the angular lines of a square or rectangular cut.

Why are rubies expensive?

Rubies have always fetched a premium price compared to other gemstones. This is due to their rarity, strength, and colour.

Scoring a 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, the ruby is one of the hardest gemstones on earth, second only to a diamond. This is because a ruby is technically a sapphire. It’s made of the same crystal as all other sapphires (corundum), the only distinction being that a red to reddish-pink sapphire is classified as a ruby to differentiate it by its colour.

Finding a natural ruby with a strong red hue is hard to come by, especially rubies that are over 3 carats. This is why you’ll find more rubies with inclusions and naturally occurring marks in them than diamonds, because finding a natural ruby with high clarity is so rare. But rubies are also celebrated for their imperfections, as these are simply markings of the millions of years it took for the precious stones to form deep beneath the earth.

History of a Ruby

The name ‘ruby’ comes from the Latin word for red, ‘ruber’. Due to their rich colour, rubies have been a favourite symbol for love and power for millennia.

Historically, rubies were revered in many different cultures, as the colour became symbolic for emotion, fire, and blood. Rubies are mentioned numerous times in the Bible and in the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ‘ratnaraj’, meaning ‘king of precious stones’.

In ancient Hinduism, it was believed that those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be granted rebirth as emperors. In Myanmar, rubies were kept by soldiers in war to give them strength and invincibility.

Our Signature Ruby

We craft each and every one of our rings with a Signature Ruby set within the band. This hidden personal touch acts as a small reminder of the love you share with your partner and the life you’ve built together. 

Invisible to the rest of the world but worn lovingly against your skin, the Signature Ruby represents the intimate nature of your bond while celebrating the care that went into crafting your ring.

The ruby is also a great way to incorporate the July ruby birthstone into your jewellery and engagement ring. But if you’re looking for other ways to make your engagement ring feel personal, the Signature Ruby can be swapped out for 26 other types of diamonds or gemstones. Read about our other Signature Gemstones here.

All of our Signature Rubies are ethically sourced from a trailblazing mine, Greenland Ruby. Their sustainable practices, commitment to natural restoration, and best-in-class working conditions are changing the future of our industry. 

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