Happy birth month, July babies! Your birthstone is ruby and your birth flower is larkspur. Here at Starling, we love rubies for their radiant red color that symbolizes passion, health, and love. Known as the king of gems throughout human history, rubies have adorned the likes of gods, Hollywood royalty, actual royalty, ancient warriors, and all jewelry lovers in between. Shop our ruby products.
Color ranges from pink to orangey red to purplish red to blood-red, with the blood-red with hints of purple or “pigeon blood” shade considered to be the most valuable. Rubies are the red form of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide) and are colored by the element chromium. The more chromium present in a stone, the more vibrant the red color of the ruby. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, rubies are tougher than most natural gems excluding moissanite and diamond. You can care for your ruby jewelry with the usual warm water, soap, and soft brush combination, though they are tough enough to be cleaned with the more intense ultrasonic and steam cleaners.
Ruby is the birthstone of July and also the stone of 15th and 40th anniversaries. Found on multiple continents and mined in Myanmar, as well as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Australia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Colombia, Japan, Scotland, Brazil and Pakistan. The mines of the Mogok region of Myanmar have small deposits of rubies have even been found in the United States in Montana, North and South Carolina, and Wyoming.
The name ruby is derived from the Latin word "ruber," meaning red. They have been particularly prized in Asian countries, where records show that they were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. In China, Burma, and India, rubies were used to decorate the armor and battle gear of nobles, and also laid in the foundation of buildings to bring good luck and energies. Rubies were greatly revered by European royalty in Medieval times and later centuries. Notably, the British Imperial State Crown is set with what was believed at the time to be a massive, 170 carat cabochon ruby, named the Black Prince Ruby. The stone is one of the oldest precious gemstones in the Crown Collection and had been in possession of English rulers since the 14th century. You can imagine the Brits' surprise in the 18th century when spinels were distinguished from rubies and the realization was made that the Black Prince Ruby was actually a spinel!
Queen Elizabeth II of England in the Royal Burmese Ruby Crown
Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark in the Danish Royal Ruby Parure
The largest ruby ever mined was the Liberty Bell Ruby, which weighed in at a whopping total of 8,500 carats and 4 pounds. Carved in the shape of the Liberty Bell and set with 50 diamonds to celebrate the United States Bicentennial in 1976, the ruby was valued at $2 million. In 2011, the ruby was stolen from a jewelry store and never recovered.
Rubies symbolize passion and energy, and are said to bring love and success. Centuries ago in India, rubies were treasured as the "king of precious stones," a literal translation of the Sanskrit word for the gemstone. It was believed that anyone who donated rubies to honor the God Krishna would be reborn as an emperor in a future life. Hinduism recognizes rubies as the gemstone of the sun with the belief that wearing the precious stone will bring the wearer the protection and favor of the sun and associated sun deities.
Mentioned four separate times in the Bible, rubies were purported to create spiritual associations with wisdom, beauty, and power. Many cultures have associated the blood red color of rubies with our own similarly-colored, sustaining life force, imbuing the gem with mystical powers over life and death in battle and in health.
Ruby is often linked to the root chakra based on its red hues, however the heart chakra is another natural association with the gemstone, said to provide energy and stimulation to the heart chakra. Rubies have also been praised in spiritual practices for their abilities to support and heal leakages in the chakra system.