Ruby – The Birthstone for July
The beautiful ruby is the birthstone for July and is associated with the zodiac signs of Gemini and Sagittarius. Its name is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red” – the colour of love and passion.
A variety of the mineral corundum, the ruby gets its rich red colouring from the presence of the trace element chromium and can range in colour from a from light pinkish-red to a deep vermillion.
The origins of ruby have been lost in time, but some believe they were first mined millions of years ago in Burma (now Myanmar). Rubies are found throughout the world, but Myanmar remains one of the top producers today.
Considered the “king of gems,” rubies are one of the world’s oldest and rarest gemstones; and with a 9.0 Mohs Hardness rating, ruby gems trail only diamonds on the list of hardest naturally occurring gems.
Because of its rarity, Ruby can command the highest prices of any colored gemstone. As with most coloured gemstones, the value of a ruby is primarily based on the purity of color. The finest ruby has a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red colour.
Did you know?
In addition to being the July birthstone and the zodiac sign of Gemini and Sagittarius, ruby is traditionally given for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Ancient warriors in Burma and China adorned their armor with the gem to provide protection in battle. Some went as far as inserting the gems into their flesh, believing it made them invincible!
When exposed to sunlight, the UV rays make the chromium inside the ruby glow!
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