July’s birthstone is the ruby. I love the deep red richness of the stones, but often, for a bit less money, that beautiful red can also be found in tourmaline, red spinel and garnets.
As you know, I work only with previously mined stones, but you might be interested to know that historically rubies have been mined all over the world: Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Namibia, Japan and Scotland; as well as Madagascar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam and Sri Lanka. A few rubies have also been found in Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wyoming.
The finest ruby is described as being a vivid medium-dark toned red. Less precious secondary colors include pink, orange and purple.
And who knew that there are famous rubies (thank you Wikipedia)?:
- In December 2011 Elizabeth Taylor’s complete jewelry collection was auctioned by Christie’s. Several ruby-set pieces were included in the sale, notably a ring set with an 8.24 ct gem that broke the ‘price-per-carat’ record for rubies ($512,925 per carat, so more than $4.2 million in total), and a necklace that sold for over $3.7 million. WOW!
- The Liberty Bell ruby is the largest mined ruby in the world. It was stolen in a heist in 2011.
- In 2007, London jeweler Garrard & Co featured on their website a heart-shaped 40.63-carat ruby.
- The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive ruby, most expensive colored gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. In May 2015, it sold at auction in Switzerland to an anonymous buyer for $30 million.
Rubies have always been held in high esteem in Asian countries. They were used to adorn armor, scabbards, and harnesses of noblemen in India and China. Rubies were laid beneath the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune to the structure.
This custom-made cross features a princess cut ruby, and the small ruby in this necklace from my Julie’s Garden collection really works well with the sea glass.
Whether your birthday is in July or not, you might want to consider a ruby or other deep red stone for your next piece of jewelry. I promise you won’t be disappointed!