(Oaks Jewelry has a large selection of ruby jewelry and loose rubies.)
When I think about July, I think hot summer days, Fourth of July celebrations, ketchup on hotdogs, watermelon slices, and RUBIES! Ruby is the well-known birthstone for the month of July. Most of us know what rubies look like. We even use the word “ruby red” to describe Dorothy’s slippers in The Wizard of Oz. The word “ruby” automatically brings a certain color to mind. The most desirable color is a blue-ish red that is called “pigeon’s blood”. Another interesting fact is that sapphires come in all colors and when they reach a certain color of red they are called rubies. This amazing gemstone has the same mineral, “corundum” which ranks pretty high on the hardness chart for endurance and longevity. For centuries these prized jewels have been in treasure chests, royal crowns, and all kinds of jewelry. From Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Edwardian and even the Victorian time periods, rubies have been sought after and desired in jewelry accessories. Because of the color, red spinels have been mistaken for rubies in the past and a lot of “rubies” in British crown jewels are actually spinels. Like many gemstones in the recent past, there are many synthetics out there to meet the desire for one of creations finest gems. Often synthetics will look “eye clean” or will not have any internal inclusions in them whereas naturals will have some. Inclusions in rubies are not necessarily a bad thing. Just think of them as the earth’s hallmark on its rare work of art.
Ruby Engagement Rings & Anniversaries
Besides being wildly popular as the birthstone of the month of July, ruby rings are also making a big statement in engagement ring fashion. As mentioned, rubies do have a durable hardness to them and can handle the everyday wear that you would want for your engagement ring. There are many Hollywood actresses and one very high profile princess that have opted for gemstone engagement rings. What a statement they make! Princess Kate has the infamous blue sapphire halo engagement ring that belonged to our beloved Princess Diana. Jessica Simpson has a three stone stunner that features a round ruby in the middle and two diamonds on each side. Katy Perry has a halo engagement ring with a bright, vivid red ruby set center stage. Other fabulous ruby ring lovers include Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham. The red of the ruby can complement a wide range of personal styles, skin tones, and acts almost as a neutral in wardrobe styling.
Rubies are said to be the traditional gift for both the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary as well as a traditional engagement gift. As a symbol of passion, Ruby makes an ideal romantic gift for any occasion though. Nothing says love like a ruby necklace, earrings, or ring. The desire for ruby is just as great today as it always has been. When looking at the history of jewelry, you will see ruby throughout the changing trends for the span of hundreds of years even more so than gems like amethyst, tourmaline, and peridot. Ruby has been called the most precious of the 12 stones created by God. It is mentioned four times in the Bible, in association with attributes like beauty and wisdom, what sweetheart wouldn’t want that represented in a jewelry piece to wear daily?! In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.”
Stats on Rubies
GIA, our world-renowned friends in the gemstone and diamond industry have quite a bit to say about what to look for when purchasing a ruby. Let me break it down for you:
- Color – you want to look for one that is not too dark and not too light. The more orange or purple it gets the lower quality it is.
- Clarity - inclusions are expected in natural rubies but you want to look for a ruby that the inclusions do not lower the transparency or brightness of the stone
- Cut – this is one of the most important factors in the appearance of the gem. The crystal shape of the ruby has to be cut correctly for optimal beauty.
- Carat weight – as you can imagine, as the carat weight of the ruby increase, so does the price per carat.
GIA also recommends working with your trusted jeweler and to ask about the gemstone’s treatment. Also, with larger rubies, it would be a good idea to have a gem report from GIA where a trained gemologist has had their eyes on it and evaluated it thoroughly. With man-made rubies, this is not needed. Some synthetic rubies have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory. These stones will have no visible inclusions and is usually a sign that it is man-made since naturals without inclusions (visible to the eye or under magnification) are very rare.
We can all agree that the color red is a dynamic color in gemstones as well as cars, shoes, and fashion. Also, ruby is one of the most important gems in the colored stone market. It has been around for centuries and is here to stay. They say that a diamond is forever, but I think a ruby with diamonds is forever too!