Celebrating July’s birthstone, the ruby

July's birthstone is the ruby

July’s birthstone is the ruby

“A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies.”

If your birthday is in July (or if you’re celebrating your 40th anniversary), your special stone is the ruby, the epitome of richness. The American Gem Society says that rubies “arouse the senses, stir the imagination, and are said to guarantee health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.” That’s a lot to live up to, but rubies, the symbols of great love, do.

According to the GIA, in ancient Sanskrit rubies were called “ratnaraj,” or “king of precious stones.” It’s certainly the king of colored stones, and can command some of the highest prices in jewelry.

th-6The story of rubies

Rubies are from the mineral corundum, the same mineral base as sapphires. Chromium accounts for their red color. The depth of the hue—from orangey red to purplish red—depends on the amount of chromium in the stone. It’s a 9 on the Mohs scale, which makes it harder than any gem other than a diamond. So it’s a great choice for any kind of jewelry, from ring to pendant.


According to the GIA, a ruby became the first gem to be created in a laboratory in the 1880s. Synthetics can look identical to the naked eye as natural rubies. There are ways to determine if your stone is a synthetic. Its price point will be lower, and if your stone is very large, that’s another tipoff. Of course, an expert jeweler or gemologist can see the difference under a microscope. There are structural patterns that develop when a ruby grows naturally that are missing in a synthetic. You should always get a certificate of authenticity when buying a ruby. A professional appraiser can also analyze the stone for you.

th-8Happy birthday, July boys and girls. Celebrate your special day with a brilliant, fire-red ruby. And if I can help you with your ruby purchase, let me know!

Brilliantly yours,


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