July Birthstone: Ruby – The King of Gems

Rubies are the birthstone for anyone born in July, under the Cancer zodiac sign. Rubies have been around for centuries and are famous for their powerful and vivid red color. This precious gemstone is the red variety of the mineral Corundum. All other Corundum colors such as blue, green, yellow, black and colorless are all known as Sapphires. Some people refer to rubies as the Red Sapphire.

Natural rubies are extremely valuable, especially large gemstones which are very rare. They can hold even more value than a diamond depending on the size and type of red color. The most sought-after ruby color is a deep blood red with a hint of blue, known as Pigeon’s Blood Ruby, or Burmese Ruby.

This fine and exceptional type of ruby is usually found in the Mogok valley of Burma (although some Burmese Rubies aren’t necessarily from Burma). To give you an idea of worth, a flawless large Burmese Ruby can be valued at millions of dollars.

Thailand (Bangkok) is also known for being an important source of rubies, although gemstones from there are usually found in dark, brownish-red colors, but still with excellent clarity. While clarity is of some importance in rubies, this is a secondary factor compared to color. It’s possible to find a ruby that has inclusions but is more valuable than a flawless natural ruby, providing the color is of the highest quality.

The process of making synthetic rubies began in 1902 (the Verneuil process). Synthetic rubies don’t have any inclusions but are much less valuable than natural rubies with inclusions. Experts can tell whether rubies are manmade or natural by looking at flaws within.

Rubies can be heat treated in order to improve color and remove certain inclusions. This is pretty much a standard practice these days, so finding a natural ruby that is excellent quality and untreated would be a very rewarding find indeed – it would be exceptionally valuable.

The significance of rubies

The color ruby-red speaks of passion, fire, power, warmth and love. For centuries, people have believed the ruby to protect against evil and bear witness to intense love and passion. Kings, political leaders and heads of warrior tribes were said to have worn blood red rubies because of their alleged power properties, to aid them in courage, leadership and success. Long ago, the ruby was named the King of Gems, because of its intense color and attributes.

Rubies are said to symbolize the sun and can provide energy and vitality when worn as well as improve circulation. They are the ultimate sensory stone, associated with love and often worn as wedding stones throughout history.

For more information on the metaphysical properties of rubies, take a look at this article.

In summary

Rubies have always been seen as a prized gemstone for many centuries. With their brilliant red color, in larger forms, they can be even more precious than diamonds. Rubies signify power, courage, success and above all love and passion. If you happen to come across a ruby that is deep blood red with a hint of blue, hang onto it – it could be worth a fortune.

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