July babies have the most passionate birthstone of them all: the fiery ruby. With its fierce and romantic hues, there is no gemstone more fitting for summer.
July babies have the most passionate birthstone of them all: the fiery ruby. With its fierce and romantic hues, there is no gemstone more fitting for summer. If you are looking to learn more about July’s birthstone, keep reading as we explore the ruby’s origins, symbolism and where you can buy ruby jewelry for your favorite July babies.
History of the Ruby
The ruby has long been cherished for centuries for its rarity, beauty and ascribed mystical properties. There are records of rubies traveling China’s Silk Road as early as 200 BC. The ruby’s name comes from the Latin word “ruber” which means red. In Sanskrit, the ruby known as “ratnaraj” meaning “king of gems,” a fitting name for a highly coveted gemstone.
In ancient mythology, rubies were believed to have formed from Mother Earth’s blood. Certain cultures believed that sapphires were unripe rubies that needed to be buried in order to mature into a rich red gemstone. Burmese warriors believed that rubies made them invincible in battle and adorned themselves with the gemstone. Medieval Europeans wore rubies to enhance their health, wisdom, wealth and love. Meanwhile in India, rubies were a symbol of youthful energy and power.
Where Do Rubies Come From?
Rubies were originally sourced in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) where the vibrant and valuable “Burmese Rubies” are produced, also referred to as “pigeon blood rubies”. To this day, 90% of rubies come from this one Asian country. With their troves of high-quality rubies, it comes as no surprise that rubies are the official gemstone of Myanmar.
However in the late 20th century, the Luc Yen region in Vietnam began to mine rubies with purplish hues. And following a military coup in Myanmar in the 1960’s that resulted in inaccessible ruby mines, Thailand and Cambodia took center stage as the main source of rubies for a number of years. Over time, additional ruby deposits throughout the world have been discovered, including in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Madagascar.
There has been no shortage of magnificent rubies throughout history. Below we have listed some of the most outstanding:
- Liberty Bell Ruby: In 1976 this ruby was sculpted to look like the Liberty Bell for the United States’ bicentennial. The sculpture weighs an astonishing 8,500 carats and is set with 50 diamonds, valued at $2 million dollars. Unfortunately, the Liberty Bell Ruby was stolen in 2011 and has yet to be recovered.
- Burmese Ruby Tiara: In 1973 Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a tiara from Garrard & Co., adorned with 96 rubies, all of which were gifts to the Queen from the people of Burma upon her marriage to Prince Philip.
- Sunrise Ruby: This record-breaking gemstone became the most expensive ruby and colored gemstone in the world when it sold for $28.25 million in 2015. The Sunrise Ruby is celebrated for its extraordinary clarity, brilliance and proportions.
- Graff Ruby: This 8.62 ct. pigeon’s blood ruby was bought by Graff for $8.6 million in 2014 and was their second time purchasing this gemstone, having originally purchased it in 2006. The Graff Ruby is set on a ring with triangularly cut diamond side stones and multiple round brilliant diamonds.
- Prince of Burma: A 950 ct. Pigeon blood uncut ruby discovered in Mogok, Myanmar, in 1996. This ruby was stolen in 2008 when prospective buyers turned out to thieves, thankfully the Prince of Burma was found with other stolen gemstones a few months later.
- Rosser Reeves Ruby: At 138.7 ct., the Rosser Reeves Ruby is one of the largest and finest star rubies in the world. Originating in Sri Lanka, this ruby has a prominent star pattern and rich color. This gemstone was donated to the Smithsonian in 1965 by Rosser Reeves, a prominent advertiser, who considered the ruby lucky and even referred to it as his baby.
- Neelanjali Ruby: This is the largest double-star ruby weighing in at 1,370 ct. The Neelanjali Ruby was worshiped for centuries as a Shiva linga, a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva. This ruby currently belongs to G. Vidyaraj, who claims that he is an heir of the Kings of the Vijayanagar’s Empire, alongside other enormous rubies he inherited.
Rubies have long been attributed with magical properties and could be fashioned into powerful talismans to protect and enhance the lives of their owners. Today, rubies still hold great symbolism including:
- Good fortune
Delight the July baby in your life with timeless ruby jewelry. Find the perfect birthstone jewelry from beloved brands such as Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston at myGemma. We make shopping for pre-owned luxury jewelry enjoyable and affordable with prices that at up to 80% off retail.
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