July - Ruby
Prosperity — Purity — Passion
Ruby is a lustrous, deep red stone that has accrued special and symbolic meaning through time. It has represented nobility, purity, and passion. From ancient times through the modern-day, rubies have been valued by cultures around the world and have long been considered a stone of kings. Not surprisingly, ruby symbolism and lore have many associations with power and wealth. Possessing a ruby purportedly benefited and protected the owner’s estates and assisted in the accumulation of wealth. It is a gem thought to be protective of home, possessions, and family. Ruby is also believed to promote loving, nurturing, health, knowledge and wealth. It has been associated with improved energy and concentration, creativity, loyalty, honor and compassion.
Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. It is distinguished for its bright red color, being the most famed and fabled red gemstone. Besides its bright color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than diamonds. Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum. Sapphire, the other gem variety of corundum, encompasses all colors aside from red. In essence, ruby is a red sapphire, since ruby and sapphire are identical in all properties except for color. The value of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity and a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. In the past, low cost ruby has always been synthetic, which has been created in a laboratory using a technique known as flame fusion. Though these synthetic rubies can look attractive, they have a very low value in the market. But the many low cost rubies in the current market are not only synthetic stones. Many of these cheap rubies are produced by a treatment known as fracture-filling, which involves taking very low grade ruby with significant surface cracks and 'repairing' then by heating them with lead glass . Probably 90% or more of the ruby in today's market has been fracture-filled in this way.
Care for Your Ruby Jewelry: Clean ruby stones with lukewarm soapy water and a soft brush. Rinse the stone well after washing it. Ruby can be steam cleaned, but do not boil it. It is usually safe to an ultrasonic cleaner.