June flew by at the speed of light, so now it’s time for the July birthstone: Ruby. Vibrant, luxurious and a gem that packs a punch, rubies need a place in your jewellery collection. For a powerful injection of colour, rubies are the obvious choice. Here’s everything to know about rubies, fun facts and our top picks for ruby jewellery.
What is ruby?
Rubies are one of the traditional cardinal gemstones, along with sapphires, emeralds, amethysts and diamonds. Ranging from blood-red to a more pinky hue, rubies are a variety of the corundum mineral and have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale. Due to the vibrancy of their colour, rubies are rated in value by their hues and tones. While rubies exhibit secondary underlying colours like purple, pink and orange, their main colour is red. The red colour comes from the element chromium and the word ‘ruby’ derives from the Latin word ‘ruber’, which translates to red.
Rubies have been found and mined in various places, like Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Japan, Madagascar, Pakistan, Scotland, Thailand and Vietnam. Macedonia is the only country in Europe to have naturally occurring rubies, which is why ruby is on the Macedonian coat of arms. South Asia is the most popular and recurring place to find rubies.
Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum & Kate Middleton in ruby
Facts about ruby
The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive coloured gemstone, most expensive ruby and most expensive gemstone that isn’t a diamond. The ruby was named after a poem and was mined in Myanmar. It is a 25.59-carat Burmese ‘pigeon-blood’ ruby which is mounted by Cartier and surrounded by diamonds. It is considered one of the rarest gemstones and sold at auction for $30.42 million.
There are many records of famous rubies around the world. Notable rubies are those that made up Elizabeth Taylor’s personal collection, that consisted of a ruby ring set and a necklace that sold for $3 million at auction. Another notable ruby is the Liberty Bell Ruby, the largest mined ruby in the world, which was stolen in 2011.
Rubies are adored by many cultures and religions. Many ancient cultures believed that rubies grew on trees, much like fruit, and when they were of a true vibrant red colour, they could be picked.
Rubies are believed to contain mystical properties. They were referred to as the stone of prophecy, as they were thought to turn darker when danger was near. Rubies were also thought to help physical ailments and solve problems with the heart and brain. It was also believed that rubies could cure liver problems and counteract poison, by rubbing them on the skin.
Due to their traditional red colour, rubies are known as the stone of love and passion. As well as being the birthstone for July, they are also given as 15th and 40th wedding anniversary gifts.
Penelope Cruz, Rihanna & Taylor Swift in ruby
For a bold and colourful statement, introduce a gorgeous ruby gemstone into your jewellery repertoire. From OTT necklaces, to delicate earrings, to dazzling rings, rubies complete any look, for extra glitz and glamour.
As rubies are one of the more expensive gemstones, a ruby necklace is a real investment and a piece that should be saved for special occasions. For extra glitz and glamour, indulge in a ruby necklace. The vibrant colour will work well with any outfit. Keep it simple with a silver chain or go OTT with an embellished collar necklace, like Heidi Klum (pictured above).
Ruby bracelets are a ‘not-so-seen’ accessory but they are a sweet accent and add a pop of colour to a casual outfit. Rubies also work perfectly with other gemstones. Ruby and emerald is a bold combination for those who aren’t afraid of colour. For some classic elegance, rubies and diamonds are an iconic pair. For something similarly coloured that balances each other well, pick a deep garnet.
The colour of love and the gemstone of passion. Rubies are not only the glamorous birthstone for July, but are also a beautiful addition to your wedding day jewellery. Rubies are an obvious option for an engagement ring, symbolising the love you and your other half share. To add more colour to your white wedding dress, wear a simple ruby accessory, like a ruby ring.
Earrings are the perfect way to add a touch of luxury to your jewellery. Earrings are an everyday staple, so if you want to splurge on rubies and get your money’s worth, pick a glamorous pair of ruby earrings.