Ruby, the July birthstone, is a gemstone that has been treasured for thousands of years. It's no wonder that ruby is the traditional gift for those born in July. This beautiful red stone is not only a symbol of passion and love, but it also symbolises strength and confidence. The deep red colour of the jewel has commonly been associated with blood and also the power of life itself. With its rich red colour and natural brilliance, ruby makes an elegant, meaningful gift for those born under the sign of Cancer or Leo. This birthstone could be made into any type of jewellery or decorative piece for your home. In this article, we explore everything about the ruby birthstone including its history, characteristics and how to look after a ruby birthstone.

History Of The Ruby As The July Birthstone

The ruby has a long and interesting history going back thousands of years. Burmese warriors believed that wearing rubies made them invincible in battle and medieval Europeans believed that wearing rubies held powers of health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.

Today, many people still believe in the power of this gemstone. Rubies are traditionally given as gifts on the 15th or 40th anniversary of a couple's wedding, though it's not unheard of to give them on other occasions as well. Many adults continue to wear them as jewellery today.

Characteristics Of Rubies

Rubies are red precious stones that are often considered to be the most valuable of all coloured gems. The main part of a ruby is its colour, so the price increases with the intensity and purity of its red hue.

The word "ruby" comes from the Latin word for red, which is rubeus. Rubies are always pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red in colour. However, some rubies may contain needles composed of other minerals or small crystals that give them an asterism effect when viewed under magnification. Their chemical formula is Al2O3 (aluminium oxide) which means that they are silicate minerals with an aluminium core surrounded by oxygen molecules (SiO4). They are also formed under immense pressure and heat making them fairly durable.

Symbolism Of Rubies

Ruby is the birthstone of July and is associated with passion, love, and vitality. It is also the main birthstone for Cancers and Leos. In ancient India, ruby was called the "king of precious stones" because of its beauty and seemingly mystical powers. It symbolized power and youthful energy in Indian jewellery. Ancient warriors in Burma and China adorned their armour with rubies to protect them in battle. Today, ruby has become a symbol of love and commitment.

Modern Uses Of Rubies

Rubies are the red variety of corundum, which is a mineral that forms in rock. They are considered to be one of the hardest minerals on earth, making them perfect for use in jewellery and watchmaking. Newer uses include medical instruments and lasers due to their incredible strength and red fluorescence. These stones can be cut into a cushion or oval shapes; they tend to be more round and larger than sapphires. Synthetic ruby has the same chemical and crystal composition as natural ruby but was grown in a laboratory rather than on the earth.

How To Choose A Quality Ruby

Choosing a quality ruby is all about looking for the right colour. The ruby must be neither too dark nor too light to be considered the finest quality. The best colour for ruby is an intense red with a hint of blue, but it should not have any hint of yellow or brown in it.

Ruby Birthstone Care & Cleaning

Before you start wearing your ruby jewellery, you need to know how to care for it. First of all, ruby jewellery should never be worn when exercising, cleaning, gardening or doing any other kind of physical activity. Ruby is a soft birthstone that can get very easily scratched or damaged.

Another thing to consider is how to store your ruby jewellery. Avoid keeping it in the same box as other gems that might scratch the ruby. Also, make sure not to store them near heat sources or in direct sunlight because this can damage the gem's colour.

The best way to clean a ruby is with mild soap and warm water. Soak your ruby jewellery for 20-30 minutes before gently removing dirt with a soft brush or cloth while rinsing frequently with warm water until all traces of soap have been removed.

Hopefully, this article taught you all you needed to know about the ruby birthstone. From ancient origins in China to battle amulets in Bhurma the ruby is enriched with cultural significance. If you have a birthday in July, appreciate the beauty of the ruby when you next consider buying jewellery with your birthstone on.

Want to learn more about birthstone meanings? Check out our birthstone guides by month: