July’s Birthstone – Ruby

Ruby is the most well-known and popular gem in the world! Its name comes from Latin “ruber”, the word for red. And with good reason, seeing as this is the most popular red stone. In the Sanskrit language, it was called “ratnaraj”, King of Gems.

Burmese warriors wore rubies to make themselves invincible in battle, even inserting rubies into open wounds.

Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in romantic endeavors.

They are a 9 on the Mohs scale and have excellent toughness, making them a very durable stone.

Deep, pure, vivid red is the most valuable color. Rubies can have a little pink, purple, or orange tint.

The only difference between ruby and sapphire is the hue of red. If it’s too pink, the US may classify it as pink sapphire, but other countries may consider it ruby. Ruby has the same chemical structure as sapphire, besides the minerals that make it red as opposed to blue, yellow, etc.

Rubies were the first stone to successfully be grown in a lab, in the late 1800s by Auguste Verneuil. He created the flame-fusion process for lab grown stones, a method still used today.

Most rubies are heat treated to bring out their deep red color. In addition, some rubies are fracture-filled using an epoxy resin or colored oil. This seals fractures and cavities in the stone, improving clarity, but can make the stone more susceptible to heat damage from sources like a jeweler’s torch.

Rubies are generally safe to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner, but as always warm soapy water is the best home cleaner for mild debris.