Anyone with a birthday in July is lucky enough to have ruby as their birthstone, with its opulent iconic shade that sparks images of romance, passion and power! Ruby is the most valuable of all the coloured gemstones, with the exception of fancy coloured diamonds; making it a beautiful investment as well as an eye-catching piece to wear. The ruby gemstone is the symbol for the 40th wedding anniversary, emphasising the love and passion that the ruby gemstone emulates through its iconic red colour.
We take you through some interesting facts which you may not know about this classic gemstone!
The ruby gemstone is the red version of a mineral called corundum; the same mineral which creates the blue sapphire. Rubies vary in colour and depth of saturation and many display a secondary hue of fiery orange or purple. A purple secondary hue is often the most desirable due to the richness it can bring to the gemstone, enhancing its magnificent colour. If a ‘ruby’ becomes pink in colour it is known as ‘pink sapphire’ as opposed to ruby.
Rubies were believed to hold the power of life during ancient times, with the red colour representing the flow of blood through the body. Rubies are said to have spiritual power, bringing passion, prosperity and protection to the wearer – perhaps the ideal gift to celebrate a goal financially or romantically!
Rubies have been favoured by royalty for many centuries but some famous rubies have more recently been found to be spinel! Spinel and ruby share a lot of characteristics and can be hard to differentiate. Perhaps the most famous non-ruby is the ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ which features in the crown jewels and was only recently found to be a spinel.
Historically the best source of rubies came from Burma (now Myanmar). These rubies often have fine inclusions which reflect the light and give the gem the soft ‘silky’ appearance we envision when we think of the ruby gemstone. Furthermore, Burmese rubies sometimes fluoresce and this phenomenon increases the vibrancy of the ruby.