Ruby: July's birthstone
Ruby is a gem glorious in colour, nature, and story. It has captured the hearts of famous historians, royal highnesses, beggars, fashionistas, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It’s the birthstone of July, which suits its red fire. Who wouldn’t want to wear a flaming gemstone? Those bold colours transform any outfit.
Getting even hotter, ruby is formed from igneous rocks within molten depths of the Earth. It’s also formed from sedimentary and metamorphic rock.
It is a variety of the element corundum, shared with Sapphire. Its fierce red hue comes from another element called chromium. Ruby is the most valuable of corundum-formed stones.
The Liberty Bell is the world’s largest mined ruby. It’s 8,500 carats. Let’s just take a moment to reiterate that. It’s 8,500 carats!
It was mined in East Africa in the 1950s and then sculpted by Alfonso de Vivanco in 76. The scandal behind the bell is it was stolen in a famous jewellery heist in 2014. And even more scandalous, it’s never been recovered.
If you ever stumble across a ruby in the shape of a Liberty Bell, you might have hit the jackpot (Ruby prices have reached a record-breaking high, tripling over the last decade too). In the meantime, we have featured some exceptional rubies of our own.
Records reveal rubies were prized in Asian countries. Ancient warriors believed armour forged with ruby would grant protection. And it wouldn’t stop there. They actually inserted the ruby into their skin.
Over the years the July gemstone has wrapped itself in romance, lore, and luxury. Nostalgic poets like Rumi wrote poetry inspired by rubies:
"There is nothing left of me. I'm like a ruby held up to the sunrise.”
An exquisite ruby was named “The Sunrise Ruby” after this famous line. It is the world’s most expensive ruby, selling for £19.3million at the Geneva Auction. Wild.
Mohs hardness (a test of strength): 9/10
Element anatomy: Corundum
Deposit locations: Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Middle East, East Africa, United States
We have a team of in-house gemologists who have an expert eye for stones, so if you’re looking to invest in a precious stone, you can always count on us. Have you got a precious Ruby? Share a picture of it with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, we’d love to see.