Ruby - The July Stone

There’s no better way to demonstrate your love than by giving a Ruby - derived from the Latin word "Ruber" meaning red - in celebration of a July birthday. Like a perfect red rose, the rich color of this gem speaks of love and passion.

Ruby stone

Symbol

Prized through the ages - even by kings - as the "gem of gems", this gemstone surpasses all other precious stones in virtue, and said to be the most powerful gem in the universe.

Historically, this gem has been the symbol of love and passion while being associated with vitality and royalty. It arouses the senses, stirs the imagination, and is said to guarantee health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.

The superlatives used to describe it and to praise its virtues are endless. In Sanskrit, it has got many names, all of which clearly shows that this gemstone was valued by Hindus more than any other culture.

Following are few of its Sanskrit names:

  • Ratnaraj (king of precious stones)
  • Ratnanayaka (leader of precious stones)
  • Padmaraga (red as the lotus)

It is one of the varieties of the gem species Corundum and is found as crystal in metamorphic rocks. Corundum comes in a variety of colors, and is considered a Sapphire in any color except red, which is designated as a Ruby. It is harder than any natural gemstone except diamond, which means it is durable enough for everyday wear. Because of these characteristics, this gemstone makes an unusually fine choice for engagement rings.

In jewelry - be it a ring, earring or necklace - it is often teamed up with diamonds and set in gold or silver. The contrast of red rubies with the white brilliance of diamonds makes for a beautiful combination. Ruby jewelry in antique patterns has timeless beauty, while the contemporary patterns have made it extremely popular among youngsters.

Color

The color of this stone lies in the range of bluish-red to yellowish-red. Finest color is a vivid, almost pure spectral red with a very faint undertone of blue, as seen in Burmese rubies, which are considered the finest among ardent collectors. Light to very light red or purplish-red stones are mined in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).

Some rubies from Thailand and Tanzania have the beauty associated with the good Burma qualities. Other sources of fine rubies include Vietnam, Cambodia, Kenya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Brilliant cut (facets pattern that radiates from the center of the diamond toward the edge with triangular or kite shaped facets), Step and Mixed cut style are used for transparent material, although very dark and/or semi-transparent stones are sometimes cut in cabochon (non-faceted stones). Pale stones are often cut with heavy backs to deepen the color.

Stones that have ruby-like color and also display a distinct asterism (star-like effect) when cut in cabochon, are called Star Rubies.

Star Ruby

Star Ruby

This Translucent variety exhibits a six ray star effect when cut as cabochon. It is one of nature’s most beautiful and interesting gifts.

But, as with so many other beautiful gifts once produced only in nature, today man has learned to make synthetic star ruby as well.

After all with increase in demand, use of technology to improve and simulate will also increase. Examples of various techniques used are – color enhancement, clarity enhancement, glass filling diffusion treatment, etc.

Things to Remember

The newest synthetic rubies like – Ramura, Chatham and Kashan are so close to natural variety in every aspect that sometimes even gemologists approve them as genuine.

So, while verifying the identity and quality of the gem, make every effort to select a gemologist with many years’ experience in colored gems.

But, first thing first, be cautious of bargains. Deal with reputable jewelers when considering to purchase.

When looking for the fine quality of this gemstone, it’s highly recommended to get the stone tested in laboratory for confirmation of authenticity and whether or not any enhancement techniques have been used.

In the end, I would suggest to consider following points when thinking of purchasing this gemstone jewelry:

  • Concentrate more on quality of the gem and not the size of the gem; this is what really matters the most.
  • Confirm its clarity. The general rule is that when you look into the stone with naked eye, there shouldn’t be any inclusions. Stone having inclusions may appear cloudy. Presence of inclusions also indicates that the stone may crack or chip.

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