THE BASICS --
No gemstone better signifies the blazing heat of summer than the bold and luxurious ruby, the official birthstone of July. This gemstone is more than just a stunning shade of red or a hot choice for engagement rings, however, and learning more about ruby rings can help you appreciate just how distinctive and beautiful these jewels are.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- About rubies
- What to look for in a ruby engagement ring?
- Ruby color?
- Ruby durability
- Ruby inclusions
- Ruby mines
- Ruby meaning and symbolism
- Ruby passion
- Prosperity and love
- July birthstone
- Vintage engagement rings
- Ethical and eco-friendly
- Should I propose with a ruby ring?
- Other July birthstones
• About Rubies
Rubies are a form of the natural mineral corundum, or aluminum oxide, that has been colored red by chromium in its crystal lattice structure. Other colors of chromium, including blue, orange, yellow, green and black, are sapphires, but the red shade is reserved for rubies.
What to Look for in a Ruby Engagement Ring
The intensity of the color ranges from lighter red that is nearly pink to a deep, dark red, though the darker shades are considered more valuable. Different tones can also occur in ruby colors, giving the stones tinges of brown, orange or purple, with purplish hues being the most desirable. Ruby is often confused with other red stones, however, such as garnet, tourmaline and red spinel.
Older stones, in particular, may be misidentified as rubies, and it is important to have the stones carefully inspected to ensure their authenticity. In addition to its bold color, ruby also has a natural fluorescence caused by the chromium in its structure, giving it a rich glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. Because UV light is a natural part of the spectrum, all rubies will glow to some extent, depending on the intensity of the light.
Rubies are also highly sought after for their durability. Rated as a 9.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, ruby is only slightly less hard than diamond, and is very resistant to scratches, cracks, chips, and other damage. This makes rubies ideal for the daily wear of engagement rings.
Rubies are subject to a variety of cracks, inclusions and fissures in the crystal structure, which makes it more challenging to find larger, gem-quality natural rubies. Some inclusions, however, create a cat’s eye or starburst effect in the stone, which can enhance its beauty and value when properly cut and displayed to its full advantage.
Ruby mines have been found throughout the world, though the most historically productive mines with the richest, highest-quality stones are found in southeastern Asia, including Myanmar (Burma). Other countries with good ruby mines include Thailand, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Scotland and India. In the United States, rubies are mined in Montana, Wyoming and both North and South Carolina.
A ruby engagement ring offers more than just a gemstone set in precious metal. It also offers…
• Meaning and Symbolism
Known as the “king of gemstones,” ruby has been prized for millennia, and was traded as long ago as 200 B.C., when it was recorded along the ancient Asian Silk Road route between east and west. The stones were used to adorn armor, harnesses and weaponry of royalty and nobles in ancient Asia and have been associated with royalty for centuries. In fact, rubies are one of the original cardinal gemstones labeled as “precious” gems, along with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.
Rubies are said to have many strong spiritual properties and can enhance passion, energy, confidence and courage.
• Prosperity and Love
Rubies are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity, and are even believed to have healing properties associated with improved blood circulation. The glow of a ruby mimics the fiery passion of love, and these stones are often associated with romance. In some Asian cultures, placing rubies under the foundation of a new building is believed to bring prosperity, good fortune and protection to that structure.
• July Birthstone
In addition to being the official birthstone of July, rubies are also the symbolic gemstone associated with both the fifteenth and fortieth wedding anniversaries.
• Vintage Engagement Ring
Because of their dominating richness, ruby rings are not often paired with other colored gemstones, but they are frequently found with diamonds in Art Deco engagement rings to enhance their sparkle and draw the eye to their distinctiveness.
• Eco-friendly and Ethical
The only way to guarantee that a ruby is eco-friendly and ethical is to either purchase a vintage ruby ring or to reuse an antique gemstone that was mined prior to 1980.
Choosing a Ruby Engagement Ring
Rubies have exceptional hardness – the only naturally occurring gemstones that are harder are diamond and moissanite – they can easily withstand the rigors of daily wear in all types of jewelry. Rubies are found in rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants, brooches and other pieces, both as the center stones and focal points of jewelry designs as well as accent stones.
Other July Birthstones
While rubies are an amazing gem, they may not be the right choice for everyone celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion in July. In that case, consider the historic birthstones associated with July, turquoise and onyx, both of which have their own uniqueness and beauty.
Another option is to choose gems linked to the tropical zodiac signs – the sign Cancer (June 21 through July 22) claims emerald as its birthstone, while Leo (July 23 through August 22) celebrates with onyx. Regardless of what you’re celebrating, what type of jewelry you prefer or what your personal vintage style may be, a ruby wedding ring can make a striking statement not just in July, but all year long.
Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Vintage rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of ruby engagement rings today!