The July Birthstone – The Ruby
The Ruby has always been associated with passion, devotion, courage and romance. Named for its rich red color (ruber is the Latin word for red), the ruby is considered one of the four most precious gemstones on earth (the diamond, the emerald and the sapphire are the other three). Among these three gemstones, the ruby is the second strongest stone after the diamond. Because fine-quality natural rubies are scare they often command a high price when purchased loose or in jewelry.
The Bible and The Ruby
The ruby’s history dates back to 2,500 years ago. Of all the precious gemstones, the ruby can boast to being referenced in “the big book”, the Old Testament. In the bible, the ruby is used as a measurement of value. The value of wisdom and a noble wife is compared to and exceeds the value of a ruby.
The “king of stones”, which it what it was called many centuries ago, was believed to provide protection, fortune and luck to those that wore it. It was also believed that the ruby attracted heat and passion. To date, giving the gift of a ruby to your partner is a symbol of your undying passion and love for that person. It is not uncommon to see engagement rings featuring a ruby, which was a common practice among royalty for centuries.
When a ruby is valued, the color and size of that ruby is most important. In fact, fine-quality rubies are so rare that in some cases they could rival the value of a diamond.
Similar to the emeralds, rubies are often treated with heat to improve the color and heal cracks. If the cracks are significant, the ruby may also be treated with lead glass, which dramatically improves the clarity of the stone.