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Ruby the July Birthstone: Exploring the Timeless Ruby
Ruby the July Birthstone: Exploring the Timeless Ruby
The July birthstone marks the middle of the year with a vibrant red throughout the calendar, reminiscent of the middle of the year with the bold blood red of the gem's ruby. Second in desire only to the diamond, rubies have been associated with royalty and luxury for hundreds of years. Take a look at why rubies have remained so popular with jewelry lovers today and see the different ways you can incorporate them into your everyday ensemble.
July's Birthstone - The Ruby
Rubies are red colored gemstones derived from the mineral corundum and range in shades from milky pink to intense crimson red. These stones have been mined all over the world, but the most valuable rubies come from Myanmar and are commonly referred to as Burmese rubies. Along with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, rubies make up the quartet of most valuable gemstones available, and rubies are especially loved for their exceptional durability, ranking 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means that only diamonds and other rubies do not pose a risk of scratching and wear of red stones.
Rubies throughout history
Ever since rubies were first discovered, mankind has revered the gemstone and used it for jewelry. Even religious texts admire the ruby, and Western civilizations have included it in elaborate jewelry and accessories for their kings and queens. Given their luxurious hue, rubies are found in some of the finest jewelry and ornaments from the past. Here are just a few examples of these outrageous historic rubies:
Elizabeth Taylor Ruby and Diamond Necklace - Known as much for her jewelry collection as her acting prowess, Elizabeth Taylor's Cartier ruby and diamond necklace was given to her by her husband, Mike Todd.
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria's Ruby and Diamond Brooch - This delicate bow brooch/hair ornament with a large ruby center was gifted to the Austrian noblewoman by her father in 1900 and recently sold for $372,304 at auction.
Queen Victoria's Ruby and Diamond Brooch - Prince Albert presented this 4.5 carat ruby brooch to his wife Queen Victoria in 1849.
The Jubilee Ruby - This 15.99 carat Burmese ruby sold in 2016 for $14.2 million.
Ruby Properties and Symbolism
Because of their red color, rubies have been associated with passionate anger and love, as well as protection and affairs of the heart. Some ancient cultures used rubies as a blood connection, while others wore them as protective amulets. Similarly, rubies are closely associated with the heart chakra and can be used to promote honor, loyalty and compassion in its wearers. Considering this, it is no wonder that these gemstones have been associated with the monarchy for so many years.
The cost of luxury
Since rubies are one of the most iconic gemstones ever cut and polished, their prices can be incredibly high. This is why many people choose to buy garnets because of their strong resemblance to rubies. That said, you can find small rubies for a few hundred dollars. what you sacrifice in size and quality, you can make up for in price. However, rubies can certainly give diamonds a good run for how expensive the most valuable examples can cost. For example, a stunning 4.10 carat oval-cut Pigeon Blood ruby from Mozambique is currently listed by Leibish for just over $52,500. Now, don't worry too much about that eye-popping amount, most good quality rubies will cost you between $1,000 and $5,000.
How to care for ruby jewelry
Rubies tend to accumulate a lot of dirt due to their hardness, so you'll want to clean any of your ruby jewelry frequently using a mild soap and water. Make sure you don't soak your ruby jewelry in the liquid for too long or you may strip the rubies from their settings. You can also visit a local jeweler to have your rubies ultrasonically cleaned to go very deep and attack the layers of dirt creating long lasting sparkle. After cleaning your ruby jewelry,you can polish them using an appropriate gem polish and wipe them with a lint-free cloth. Since very few other gemstones can harm rubies, you may think it is safe to store them with your other jewelry. However, placing rubies near softer stones will put those other stones at risk of scratching and chipping. The best way to store your ruby jewelry is in a cloth or velvet bag or box, by itself.
Thankfully, you don't have to have a summer birthday to justify owning this July birthstone, as they offer perfect ways to mark an anniversary, start an engagement, or just treat yourself.
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