July Birthstone: The Ruby | Symbolism and Meaning | The Old Farmer's Almanac

July Birthstone: The Ruby

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July Birthstone Color, Meaning, History, and Symbolism

by Martie Majoros
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The July birthstone, the ruby, was regarded by ancient Hindus as the “king of gems.” Learn all about rubies and what they symbolize!

July Birthstone Color

  • Rubies are known for their beautiful red color. In fact, “ruby” is derived from the Latin rubeus, which means “red.”
  • Their color may range from deep blood red to paler rose red.
  • Symbolically, the ruby’s deep-red color means love and passion. 
  • Rubies are a variety of corundum, a crystal made of aluminum oxide. (The blue variety of corundum, on the other hand, is sapphire!) The ruby’s color is due to the presence of chromium, which also makes the gem subject to cracks. High-quality rubies are a transparent, vibrant, purplish red; cloudier samples, or ones containing brown, orange, or pink tones, are less valuable. Many rubies nowadays are heat-treated to improve color saturation and transparency.

Ruby-studded necklace

Birthstone Facts & Folklore

  • Rubies were believed to protect their wearer from evil, whether worn as a necklace, ring, or other jewelry.
  • One of the largest rubies in the world is called the “Peace” ruby because it was found in 1919 shortly after World War I ended.
  • If you own a ruby, you will live in harmony with all people and be protected from danger. If you dream of a ruby, you will have good luck.
  • The ruby, along with the related sapphire, are the second hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.
  • The gem was once thought to protect warriors if worn on their armor or embedded in their skin.
  • Considered the king of gems, the ruby symbolizes love, passion, energy, and success.

July Birthstone

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