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The History and Meaning of the July Birthstone

If you were born in July, your birthstone is the enchanting red ruby. And it’s no surprise that the red ruby is amongst the most sought-after and expensive gemstones globally. And even though there are other red gemstones, only a few of them are as coveted as rubies. Below is a rundown of what you need to know about this July birthstone.

July Birthstone History & Symbolism 

Ruby is derived from the Latin word for red, ruber. Red rubies are colored by trace amounts of chromium. They are a variety of gemstones with a red color, and they belong to the corundum family. There has always been a high demand for this stone during specific periods in history.

For example, during the height of ancient Rome and the Victorian era in England, Roman emperors and some of the wealthiest people in Europe wore blood rubies to show wealth and power. These days, rubies are still considered an investment stone due to their rarity and value.

For centuries, rubies’ blood-red hue was a representation of life itself. ­­­­­Early cultures treasured the gem and believed they could protect against misfortune, inflammation, and illness. Ancient warriors went as far as to adorn their armor with rubies to provide protection in battle.

How Does A Red Ruby Get Its Color?

The trace amounts of chromium determine the color of a ruby. In addition to blood or deep, red-colored stones, there are also pinkish or purplish-pink stones classified as rubies since they share the same chromium content and hue. You may find these less expensive than actual deep red rubies due to their lighter shade and vibrancy.

Where Are Rubies Found? 

Rough ruby gems come from limestone and gem gravels globally. The best rubies worldwide come from Myanmar (previously known as Burma). Thailand is also known for mining rubies that have strong clarity and a deep red color. Rubies are also mined in countries like: 

Rubies form their deep red color under severe heat and pressure beneath the earth.

During compression, the oxygen and aluminum oxide become a mineral called corundum. With the help of chromium, the corundum turns into a red ruby. When it holds ferric iron, the ruby has a shade of pink or orange.

The ruby is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. The high quality and unique color of the Burmese ruby makes it the rarest gem around. A ruby larger than one carat is also very rare and pricey.

The largest ruby discovered was 8.2 pounds and 18,696 carats. Another impressive ruby was the Liberty Bell Ruby, which is 8,500 carats and carved to resemble the Liberty Bell. Further, the Long Star Ruby is 100.32 carats in size while the Midnight Star Ruby is 116.75 carats in size.

Value of Rubies

The value of a ruby depends greatly on the quality and carat weight of this gemstone. The cost of a ruby gem can be as low as $1.00 per carat to as much as $100,000 per carat. However, most rubies with a weight of one carat are $1,000 per carat. The cost increases quickly for rubies with good color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. In fact, the most expensive ruby ever sold is the Sunrise Ruby, which sold at more than $1 million per carat with a total of 25 carats.

Ruby Cleaning and Care Tips

You should avoid using acids like lemon juice when cleaning rubies, as it could damage the gemstone. The best and safest way to clean ruby jewelry is to use warm, soapy water. You can also implement steam cleaners to safely clean your rubies whether they are lattice diffusion treated stones or heat-treated and untreated stones. However, you should only use a damp cloth to clean particular ruby stones, such as cavity-filled, fracture-filled, or dyed material gemstones.

You will find that most rubies are very durable and strong. In particular, heat-treated and untreated rubies are extremely durable. Fracture-filled stones include surface-reaching fractures that are filled with high-lead content glass.

These particular rubies require more care and you could damage them if they contact various chemicals. You might even see that mild things, like lemon juice, could damage high-lead content glass.

The basic steps you can use to clean and care for your July birthstone include:

  1. Fill a small bowl with several drops of liquid soap and warm water.
  2. Place the gemstone into the bowl and let it soak for 15 or 20 minutes. Don’t crowd the bowl with too many stones.
  3. Now, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently rub the gemstone to remove any debris. Avoid scrubbing too hard or accidentally making the ruby loose by going too deep.
  4. Swish the gemstone one last time in the water to get rid of any remaining dirt.
  5. If the ruby still looks dirty, refill the bowl with warm, soapy water and repeat steps 1 through 4.
  6. Use a lint-free cloth to dry the ruby gemstones. Leave it on the cloth to air-dry fully.

By following the advice here, you can take better care of your ruby stones and ensure they last for many years to come.

July Birthstone Facts

July Birthstone Jewelry Gifts

Shopping for birthstone gifts for the July birthdays in your life? Discover some of our favorite and most popular pieces below!


Teardrop Lab Ruby Pendant

A pear-shaped, lab-created ruby rests within a bezel setting with an open back to allow maximum light to reach the gem. This reversible pendant can be worn on either side making it the perfect option for everyday wear.

Lab Created Ruby Tennis Bracelet

This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with beautiful lab created rubies individually set in lustrous links.

Beatrice Lab Created Ruby and Diamond Ring

An emerald-cut lab ruby glistens in the center of this diamond encrusted band.

Lab Ruby Bezel Bracelet

Lab Ruby Bezel Bracelet

Both elegant and timeless, this bracelet features a charming bezel-set lab created ruby on a delicate cable chain.

Engravable Lab Ruby Bar Bracelet

Engravable Lab Ruby Bar Bracelet

A lustrous metal bar is attached to a cable chain in this classic and wearable everyday engravable lab ruby bracelet.

Floating Solitaire Lab Ruby Pendant

Floating Solitaire Lab Ruby Pendant

A beautiful lab created ruby is set in this elegant pendant style, which glides smoothly along a lustrous cable chain.

Emerald Cut Lab Ruby Stud Earrings

Emerald Cut Lab Ruby Stud Earrings

Perfect for everyday wear, these emerald-cut lab created ruby stud earrings are prong-set in lustrous metal for a classic look.

Final Thoughts

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