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July Birthstone Ruby

Ruby, the birthstone of those born in July and one of the rarest (and most romantic) of precious gemstones. The same mineral as sapphire, ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum getting its red colouring from the presence of the trace element chromium.
Derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red” few things catch the eye like the July birthstone. 
Ruby gemstones can have shades of orange, pink, or purple, with the most valued ruby colour being “pigeon-blood red” a deep red gem with a tint of purple. The depth of the red colour depends on the amount of chromium present and when exposed to sunlight, the UV rays make the chromium glow!
Ruby was called the “king of precious stones” for its rarity, hardness (second only to diamond), beauty and seemingly mystical powers. Long associated with the life force blood, ruby was a symbol of power and youthful energy in ancient cultures.
Did you know?
As well as being July’s birthstone, ruby is traditionally given for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Not surprisingly, ruby symbolism and lore have many associations with power and wealth. Many cultures have long considered ruby a stone of kings.
This association with power and its blood-like colour encouraged strong associations with the life-sustaining fluid, especially with warriors from times past. The ancient Burmese prized the ruby as the stone of soldiers. They believed it bestowed invulnerability. 
Medieval Europeans however maintained that rubies bestowed health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.

One of the oldest recorded sources of fine rubies is in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). For over five centuries, the Mogok area has produced some of the most sought-after vibrant red beauties. These stunning rubies are softened by light-scattering inclusions and a glowing red fluorescence.
Vietnam, since the late 20th century, has been another important source for the July birthstone.
Mozambique is an important new source for rubies, with those found there being compared to the famed gems of Mogok.
The late 1900s, saw ruby deposits along the border between Thailand and Cambodia become major sources of rubies in the marketplace. Other important producers of July’s birthstone include Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.

With a 9.0 Mohs Hardness rating, ruby gems trail only diamonds on the list of hardest naturally occurring gems.
Rubies have long been used in jewellery including rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. With the association of love and passion, protection, and wealth, Ruby is becoming increasingly popular for engagement rings too.
These red gemstones are easy to clean and you don’t need highly sophisticated equipment to clean and care for your ruby jewellery. The simplest was to clean your ruby jewellery is using a bowl of warm water with a tiny amount of gentle detergent and a toothbrush with soft bristles (a baby’s toothbrush is perfect).
Soak your jewellery in it for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and oils, then use the toothbrush to clean the crevices of your jewellery and wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth. We recommend cleaning your ruby pieces at least once a month. And don’t forget if you choose to have them polished and cleaned Baker Brothers are here to help ensure your precious as rubies don’t lose their lustre.
How your ruby jewellery is stored can affect its life and sparkle. We recommend investing in a fabric-lined box with individual compartments for your ruby jewellery, plain gold rings, diamond and gemstone necklaces, platinum pendants, etc, rather than in a bag or plastic container.
Ideally, jewellery should always be stored flat as this reduces the risk of it rubbing against any other jewellery. Remember, while a ruby itself is a hard gemstone, it can cause damage to other pieces when they come into contact. It may even damage the prongs holding the rubies in place resulting in your ruby becoming loose falling out of its setting.