July Birthstone: Ruby

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Ruby and white sapphire ring handmade by Chloe Michell in Cornwall
Ruby and white sapphire ring handmade by Chloe Michell in Cornwall.

Ruby is the fascinating birthstone for July. As the hardest mineral after diamond this beautiful gemstone has some fascinating properties and has a rich history. It also happens to be one of the most valuable and highly sought after gemstones in the world! Another fun fact is that rubies and sapphires are chemically the same stone. They’re both part of the corundum family.

Rubies are best known for their deep red colour. But they can actually be found in a wide variety of shades, ranging from near-burgundy to a pale pink. The variation of colours in a ruby will determine its cost, with darker and brighter stones commanding the highest prices. The name ruby comes from the latin word ‘Rebeus’ which means red. Often being considered to be the stone of the Sun in old cultures of Europe and India. It represents the life force, inner fire, love and passion. Emotionally it enlivens, rejuvenates the fire within us with enthusiasm and lifts us out of lethargy and exhaustion. However, this being said, it can always have a balancing effect on hyperactivity.

Chromium is what gives this birthstone, the ruby it’s rich red colour. It also causes red fluorescence which further enhances its colour. The most desirable colour of ruby is known as ‘pigeons blood’, which is pure red with a hint of blue. Myths of ancient times include that the wearer of a ruby was blessed with health, wealth, wisdom and outstanding success in heart affairs. Spiritually it lends style and vigour to life. 

Historically, Burmese warriors believed that rubies made them invincible, so they would insert them in their flesh before going to war. Ruby was also said to be the most precious of the 12 stones created by god when he created all things. It says in the bible, “wisdom is more important than rubies” – showing how valued it has been for so many years. They are renowned for their captivating beauty, rarity and hardness (Mohs scale ranking of 9). A part of the elite group of four precious jewels in the world, rubies are often referred to as the ‘king of gemstones’. 

Ruby is believed to encourage passion for life but never in a self-destructive way. It is said to improve motivation and setting realistic goals.  Mentally is leads to joyful commitment to all social tasks. Making us awake and aware in thought and action. It helps us to perform well, keep active, be courageous and spontaneous in equal measure.

Ruby can be worn on the body as a pendant, carried as a touchstone, or placed on the pubic bone. The latter will activate a great deal of ‘power’. Alternatively, internal consumption as a precious gem essence or elixir also produces an intense effect.

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