Did you know? Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July– and is a widespread traditional gift for 15th and 40th anniversaries. It has a long, rich history and is one of the most precious and visually stunning of all the gems found on the planet.
Rubies can be found all over the world. However, some of the finest rubies are known as "Burmese Rubies" mined in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Interestingly, rubies are generally not flawless, and a Ruby without any flaw or imperfection would be extremely rare.
The word "ruby" actually comes from the word Rubens which appropriately means "red" in Latin. Its beautiful crimson colors of red come from the mineral corundum, and their dazzling hues can range from pinkish-red to a darker blood red. Ruby's deep red colors represent good fortune and have been associated with love, courage, and passion. And even with slight imperfections, it is one of the four most eye-catching, readily sought-after precious stones.
Rubies: A History
Ruby is one of the greatest, most historically significant of all the precious colored gems. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby was referred to as the "king of precious stones." Known by its hardness (right behind the diamond) and rarity. Even said to hold seemingly mystical powers within its beauty. In both life and lore, ruby has a long connection with the life force blood. Shining as a symbol of power, wealth, and energy in ancient cultures.
In the past, people claimed rubies had the power to heal you from diseases and release inner anger. Hindus in ancient India believed those who offered rubies to the god Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors. Burmese warriors thought it made them invincible, becoming immortal in war. Medieval Europeans maintained that rubies bestowed health, knowledge, wealth, and success in relationships.
In past centuries, ruby has retained its significance throughout the timeline of western civilization. European royalty and upper classes sought ruby for its presence and symbolism of wealth. The desire and love for this precious stone today are just as prominent as it was years ago. And the meaning behind them means just the same.
Related: The History of Birthstones
The Meaning and Symbolism
Red is a beautiful color that symbolizes some of the humans' more intense emotions–the color can invoke feelings of love or anger. They can represent extreme passion or overpowering desire. Fast cars, roses, and the subtle rouge shade of lips. Images like the infamous ruby red slippers in the classic tale "Wizard of Oz" remind us how powerful the color red can be. Even in modern movies, the ruby is used as a symbol of power, like in Marvel's Avenger Series, the ruby red "Reality Stone" utilized by Thanos.
Spiritually, rubies have accrued importance and symbolic meaning throughout time. Many still consider them a protective stone that can bring a person pure happiness. Increase passion, love, and vitality in the life of the wearer. Some believe that the ruby aids in the regeneration of the physical and spiritual being while also representing blood and the circulatory system's health. They stimulate the heart chakra and produce overall feelings of energy throughout the body while giving off an extra boost to get things done!
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Rubies, and Where to Find Them?
Rubies are mined all over the world. From Australia to Afghanistan, Madagascar to Mozambique. India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and even the United States. Many of the finest rubies are mined from Burma (now known as Myanmar) in South East Asia.
Since before the 21st century, the Luc Yen region of Vietnam was another important source for the July birthstone and where there are forested mountains and large fields to mine from. They produce rubies of a scarlet to purplish-red color. Farther into the southern parts of Vietnam, the Quy Chau district has also mined many gorgeous rubies. Today, artisanal miners work the soil, hoping to find a gem that will change their fortunes and future.
In the 1900s, ruby deposits along the border between Thailand and Cambodia were the primary source of rubies in the marketplace. Newly noted, Mozambique is an important source for this birthstone, and rubies found in this African nation have been compared to the famed gems of Mogok.
RUBY BIRTHSTONE CARE & CLEANING
No matter what you believe about the stone itself or whether or not you have a birthday in July, owning a beautiful ruby is a rare and precious thing. And extraordinary things like ruby and ruby jewelry should be cleaned and cared for properly. In most instances, rubies can be safely cleaned with slightly warm soapy water and a good soft brush.
Related: How to Clean Beaded Jewelry
Rubies are often heat-treated to remove their purplish coloration, leaving a much purer red. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated, heat-treated, and lattice diffusion–treated stones. However, dyed or glass-filled stones should only be cleaned lightly with a damp cloth. These particular forms of treatment on ruby may make the stone more vulnerable to damage during regular care and wear.
Rubies in Jewelry
Ruby is one of the most popular gems found in jewelry that often get mistaken for garnet. Both red stones are beautifully utilized in accessories, but ruby holds number one in long-lasting durability.
Color and quality are obvious factors when buying any jewelry. Rubies are super versatile stones that kind of go with any ensemble. One consideration is the type of metal you choose to pair it with. Rubies look great against white and yellow golds, set in pendants, necklaces, and earrings. Engagement and wedding rings stunning with rubies have been increasing in sales and continue to rise.
Related: 20 Jewelry Tips to Style and Match
Synthetic ruby is still remarkably popular and a cost-efficient option for jewelry making. Also, consider how similar genuine and lab-made rubies are, almost the same. Synthetic rubies are an alternative when shopping for quality accessories on a budget.
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