What's The Birthstone For July?

Written By Allie Perry July 5, 2024

July's birthstone is the ruby! Along with sapphire and emerald, it’s one of the prized “Big Three” jewelry gemstones that are highly sought after. Known since ancient times as the "king of gemstones," rubies are stunning and steeped in rich history and legend. 

Some, like the DeLong Star Ruby and the Liberty Bell Ruby, were involved in infamous heists. Others, like the rubies in the diamond necklace by French jeweler Fred Joaillier, became iconic when Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman reached for them only to have the box playfully snapped closed on her fingers. The Burmese king Thibaw Min even had a pair of ruby-encrusted slippers!

Whether you’re off the opera, or just love the color red, there are different varieties of Ruby for different tastes.

Varieties of Ruby

Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, which is also the source of sapphires! While the presence of iron and titanium causes corundum to become a blue sapphire, the red color of rubies comes from the presence of chromium. Rubies can range in color from orangish-red to purplish-red, and the intensity of those colors can vary.

1. Burmese Ruby: Hailing from Myanmar (formerly Burma), these rubies are renowned for their deep, vibrant "pigeon blood" red color. They are considered the finest and most valuable rubies in the world.

2. Thai Ruby: Mined in Thailand, these rubies typically exhibit a darker, more brownish-red hue. While not as coveted as Burmese rubies, they are still highly prized for their rich color.

3. African Ruby: Found in countries like Mozambique and Tanzania, African rubies often have a purplish-red tone. They are known for their clarity and size, often rivaling those from other regions.

4. Star Ruby: This unique variety contains needle-like inclusions of rutile that create a star-shaped pattern when viewed under a direct light source. Star rubies are particularly treasured by collectors.

The DeLong Star Ruby

What Do Rubies Symbolize?

Throughout history, rubies have been associated with many meanings and legends:

  • Ancient Cultures: In ancient India, rubies were known as the "king of precious stones" and were believed to protect their wearer from evil. They were also considered to bestow good fortune and status.
  • Medieval Europe: During the Middle Ages, rubies were believed to bring health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. They were often worn by royalty and the elite as a symbol of power and protection.
  • Eastern Beliefs: In Burma, warriors wore rubies to make them invincible in battle. The stone was thought to preserve health and warn of impending danger by changing color.

How Do I Take Care of My Ruby Jewelry?

To maintain the brilliance and beauty of your ruby, proper care is essential:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your ruby with mild soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the stone.
  2. Avoid Heat and Light: Prolonged exposure to strong sunlight or high temperatures can affect the color and clarity of a ruby. Store your ruby jewelry in a cool, dark place when not in use.
  3. Safe Storage: Rubies are hard and durable, but they can still be scratched by other gemstones. Store ruby jewelry separately, ideally in a fabric-lined box or pouch.
  4. Professional Maintenance: Periodically, have your ruby jewelry checked and cleaned by a professional jeweler. They can inspect the setting and ensure the stone is secure.

So whether you like rubies for their intense color or deep-rooted symbolism, they’re much more than just beautiful stones. They’ve long been embedded in history and lore, and will continue to be treasured heirlooms in bespoke jewelry! 


Allie is the owner and goldsmith behind Allie Perry Designs.

Learn more about her here, or connect with her on Instagram!

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