July Birthstone: Ruby
With a luscious red hue, rubies, the birthstone of July, are the ultimate symbol of love and lust. Greatly revered throughout their history and across cultures, the ancient Sanskrit word for ruby, “Ratnaraj”, correctly labels the luscious red stone as “The King Of Gems”.
The color red elicits our carnal desires. Fresh blood, open fire, lust and desire of and for our conquests--Ruby is the color of what we want and what we need. When we see red, we are about to be satiated.
The psychological desire for things that are red has resulted in a human thirst for this incredible gemstone that has no comparable partner.
The most valued rubies are a rich, purely saturated red with barely visible modifying colors. To achieve this glorious, velvety red, most rubies are heat-treated to improve their color and clarity. Heating the stone breaks up any inclusions within the gem that may give it a purple hue. These ruptured inclusions are dispersed into the crystal lattice with the intent of causing the ruby to have a stronger red hue.
Ruby is a member of the corundum species, as are sapphires. They are very durable and perfect for daily wear—a fantastic and colorful alternative to diamonds, the only natural gemstone harder than corundum.
Historically, the finest rubies in the world are mined in Myanmar and are known throughout the trade as “Burmese Rubies”. In response to that nation's human rights violations, the United States passed a law that that prohibits the import of Burmese rubies. Trade negotiations with Myanmar are shifting and last year, the jewelry industry sent a delegation of representatives to Myanmar to examine the mining conditions and open negotiations on behalf of the US government. We will see in the next few years how the fine ruby trade is affected by these conversations!