Love, success, passion and energy – all are positive qualities associated with the colour red and the gemstone ruby, the most royal of all gems and July’s birthstone.
Ruby is the most prized gem of them all; after all, in ancient Sanskrit, ruby translated to “Ratnaraj”, which meant “king of precious stones” and, in addition to being the birthstone for July, it’s also used to mark 40th and 60th wedding anniversaries.
Symbolic of passion, protection and prosperity, the ruby has been revered since ancient times and has been particularly prized in Asian countries. Historical records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies because they believed the gem would grant protection.
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral “Corundum” (all other colours are sapphires) and it’s distinctive red colour is caused by the element Chromium. Measuring 9 out of 10 on Moh’s Mineral Hardness Scale, ruby is second in hardness only to diamond, meaning that it is an exceptionally hard gem – perfect for wearing every day in jewellery such as engagement rings and wedding bands.
Like most gemstones, the quality of a ruby is determined by the richness and hue of it’s colour, the clarity of the stone, the precision of the cut and the size of the gem. The brightest and most valuable red colours are known as “Pigeon Blood” and such colours will fetch premium prices over other shades of red.
Typically found in Burmese rubies, Pigeon Blood coloured rubies are currently also being mined in northern Mozambique. Discovered only in 2009, the Montepuez ruby deposit is now the world’s largest supplier of rubies.
Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone and 12th May 2015, a 25.59-carat ruby ring sold for $1,267 million per carat, setting a new record at auction for a coloured gemstone.
If you’re looking to invest in this royal gem, browse our Ruby Buying Guide for the finer details regarding colour, cut and clarity. We’ve also got plenty of ruby ring ideas for you if you’re looking to treat yourself, or your loved one, to a bit of birthday bling.
Or, contact us to set an appointment to view our range of loose rubies and we can design a bespoke piece of jewellery for you. The choice is yours!