Ruby is the July birthstone – and it’s one of the most coveted of gems. The name is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red” – the color of love and passion. Few things catch the eye like the ruby birthstone. The finest color of the birthstone for July is a deep red with a hint of purple, called “pigeon’s blood” in the trade. A variety of the mineral corundum, ruby gets its color from trace amounts of the element chromium. The more chromium, the stronger the red. Here’s what you need to know about this beautiful July birthstone so you can better choose one for yourself or a loved one who was born in the month of July.
Rubies are often heat treated to remove purplish coloration, leaving a purer red. The process can also remove “silk” (minute needle-like inclusions) that can cause a gem to appear lighter in tone and be more opaque. The trade typically accepts heat treatment, as it is stable to normal conditions of wear and care. However, rubies may also be subjected to lattice diffusion treatment and dyeing. In lower-quality material, surface-reaching fractures and cavities may be filled with a glass to decrease their visibility so the gem appears more transparent. Some of these treatments may make the ruby more vulnerable to damage during normal wear and care.
Before you buy, always ask if your ruby has been treated and by what method. The Federal Trade Commission requires disclosure of treatments that affect a gemstone’s perceived value.
In most cases, the July birthstone can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated, heat-treated and lattice diffusion–treated stones. Glass-filled or dyed stones should only be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Whether or not you have a July birthstone, owning a beautiful ruby is a rare and precious thing.
Ruby is called ‘The King of Gemstones’. The name “ruby’ comes from the Latin word ‘Ruber', meaning ‘Red’. Ruby is considered a symbol of Love & Power. Ruby has been cherished & admired by the famous Kings & Queens in history.
Ruby belongs to corundum mineral species. Corundum includes Sapphire of all colours. Ruby too belongs to the sapphire family. Ruby is the special name given to the Red Colour Sapphire. All other sapphire are prefixed with the name of the colour that they exhibit like yellow sapphire, purple sapphire, white sapphire etc.
Corundum is an allochromatic mineral, which means that in its purest form, the mineral corundum is colourless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause various like Yellow, Blue & Red (Ruby). Chromium is the trace element that causes Ruby’s Red colour.
Ruby is special because of its strong red colour, which is rare among gemstones. Ruby’s best shade is compared to Pigeon’s-Blood colour or the colour of Pomegranate. It should be pure Red without any secondary tone. Ruby with Pinkish and Brownish tones are less expensive than Pure Red Ruby gemstones. The Transparency of a gem-quality Ruby may vary from Transparent to Translucent. Opaque Rubies are considered as low on the quality scale