What do you think of when we say “ruby red”? For many, Dorothy’s bright ruby slippers from the iconic musical film The Wizard of Oz might come to mind. Despite substituting sequins for really ruby gems, people always remember the iconic shoes.
Because of its deep red colour, like Dorothy’s shoes, the ruby gemstone is one of the most distinct and recognizable stones. You can’t picture a ruby without thinking of its unique and rich red tone. This red colour gave the ruby its name and is partly why so many people marvel over the stone.
How to Tell if It’s a Ruby
The word ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, meaning red. The name is an appropriate homage to the deep red colour people associate it with. However, rubies aren’t always the distinct red that comes to mind. You can also find them in pink, purple, or orange shades, which depends on the amount of chromium present.
At one point, people believed that all red stones were rubies. Although these other red gems, like garnet and red spinel, are a similar colour to ruby, they have different properties. It actually wasn’t until around the 1800s that people discovered rubies to be a variety of corundum, a differentiating factor from other red stones.
History of the Ruby
Rubies are a long sought-after jewel, which is obvious if you glimpse back in history. Years ago, in medieval times, the upper class and European royalty wore rubies as a symbol of health, wealth, and love. The desire around the stone certainly hasn’t faded, and now rubies are celebrated and worn by anyone.
It might come as a surprise, but rubies haven’t solely been used for jewellery. In 1960, Theodore Maiman made the first‘ruby laser’ using ruby rods. This laser works by placing a ruby rod between a fully reflecting mirror and partially reflecting mirror. Then, light is flashed around the ruby rod using a flash lamp, exciting the chromium atoms and raising their energy. Once the energy levels start to drop, they emit light, which bounces between the mirrors. The light leaks through the partially reflecting mirrors, creating the laser light. Although this method isn’t used when creating lasers anymore, it shows the flexibility of the gem and one unique use aside from in jewellery.
What is the Meaning of a Ruby
For those wondering what the July birthstone is - look no further than the ruby. Rubies signify passion, protection, and wealth. Some ancient warriors in China even wore rubies on their armour to help with protection during battle, and even thought rubies made them invincible.
Long ago, cultures believed rubies to hold the power of life due to their colour’s likeness to blood. Since then, rubies have more popularly become a symbol of love and commitment. It’s common to receive ruby jewellery for a wedding anniversary or as a thoughtful gift. A ruby birthstone is also a great gift for those July babies in your life.
Where Can You Find Rubies
Rubies form deep within the Earth under extreme heat and pressure. Here, oxygen and aluminium atoms compress and create corundum, a rock-forming material. The red colouring comes from traces of the element chromium within the rock. Rubies themselves are extremely rare - especially those larger than one carat.
Burma has been a significant source of rubies since around 600 AD. To this day, it produces most of the world’s rubies and prides itself on their fine quality. Other locations around the world produce rubies, but Burma is the most popular.
Aside from their obvious beauty, ruby gemstones are extremely tough. Their toughness makes the gem an excellent choice for items subject to daily wear, such as rings, earrings, and necklaces. Kat Cadegan Jewellery has a wide selection of ruby jewellery for anyone looking for a ruby birthstone or a loving gift for others or themselves.
Angelina Gemstone Pendant
We handcraft our Angelina pendants with the intention of them being timeless heirlooms. They can serve to hold memories and mark moments in time. These necklaces showcase custom-cut gemstones, meaning each piece is a one-of-a-kind beauty.
Adam & Eve Earrings
Wear these stunning Adam & Eve earrings every day, or save them for special occasions. They are made with custom-cut semi-precious gemstones and are perfect for people with sensitive ears.
Like a ray of sunshine for your finger, our Solaris rings will brighten any day and make the perfect July birthstone gift. These rings are currently in limited production. If your size/ gem request is unavailable, pleaseemail us, and we will make one just for you.
How to Care for Your Ruby Jewellery
Although rubies are tough, they still require care and attention. It’s best to wash your ruby jewellery in soap and warm water to avoid damaging the stone. Make sure to store all rubies in a soft cloth or padded container.
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