Were you born in July? Then your birthstone is Ruby! Wondering what birthstones are? These stones represent a person’s month or their astrological sign and every stone has a history and a spiritual power that increases in their month. Keep reading to find out everything about these beautiful gems!
What are Rubies?
Rubies are pink to deep blood-red coloured gemstones and they are a variety of the mineral corundum (sapphires are also corundums!). Together with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, rubies are one of the cardinal gems.
To determine the quality of a ruby, one has to take its colour, cut and clarity into consideration. Its carat weight will also affect its value, just like with diamonds, a ruby is judged by the 4C’s method. The most important aspect of a ruby is its colour, blood-red or pigeon blood being the most valuable and brightest shade of red. Following colour is clarity: a clear gemstone will be categorised as premium. However, the lack of any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the ruby has been treated.
What is the meaning of rubies?
This beautiful gemstone represents love, passion and emotion. Considered the king of all gems for several centuries, it was believed that wearing a Ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner.
The Indians called it Ratnanayaka, meaning ‘the lord of the gemstones’, the French called it ‘the gem of the gems’ or ‘the dearly love stone’. In the orient, rubies were described as ‘a drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth’. A favourite among those who were in power or in love, rubies are one of the most valued gemstones.
Sunrise Ruby: without a doubt, this is the most famous – and expensive – ruby in the world. This magnificent gemstone was mined in Myanmar and it was named after a poem of the same name, written by poet Rumi.
Weighting 25.59-carat (5.1g), this Burmese pigeon blood ruby was mounted and set between two diamonds, creating a stunning ring.
Described as ‘a unique treasure of nature’ by the Swiss Gemmological Institute, this ruby sold for a record US$30.42 million (estimated £23 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland.
DeLong Star Ruby: discovered in Burma in the 1930s, this 100.32-carat oval cabochon ruby was sold by Martin Ehrmann to Edith Haggin DeLong. She later donated it to the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1937.
But on October 29, 1964, Jack Roland Murphy stole this ruby in a jewellery heist. The majority of the gemstones were recovered in a bus depot locker but the DeLong ruby wasn’t there. After months of negotiations, the ruby was recovered after businessman John D. MacArthur paid the $25.000 (£19.017) ransom. The gemstone was dropped in a phone booth at a service plaza near Palm Beach, Florida.
The Elizabeth Taylor’s Ruby Collection: it is known that Elizabeth Taylor was a jewellery lover and when her collection went up for auction, it was sold for a record-breaking US$116 million (£88 million). Among the incredible pieces, there was the famous Ruby and diamond set that Mike Todd gifted her during a holiday in Italy. He surprise her with the Burmese ruby necklace when she got out of the pool. Then he proceeded to give her the pair of earrings and last but by no means least, a beautiful bracelet. They hugged, kissed and then she pulled him into the pool.
Another piece was the ruby and diamond ring that Richard Burton gifted her. He promised her one but he said that ‘it has to be perfect’ and four years later he found it. He tucked the ring box into the bottom of her Christmas stocking and since she missed it the first time, her daughter reminded her that there was something special at the bottom that she needed to open.
Rubies have been loved for many centuries and Hollywood wasn’t the exception: Dorothy clicked her Ruby slippers to magically travel to her farmhouse; Julia Robert’s famous scene in Pretty Woman where she Richard Gere snapped the ruby and diamond necklace jewellery box close on Julia Roberts’ gloved hand.