July’s birthstone is the beautiful Ruby gem. Rubies are most commonly found in Myanmar (Burma) & Madagascar. A ruby is one of the 4 precious gemstones, along with diamonds, emeralds & sapphires. Rubies are known for their pinkish to blood red color, the blood red considered the most valuable. A Ruby is in the mineral corundum family (along with sapphires) The element chromium gives rubies their red color.
Rubies are strong! They have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale, only diamonds are stronger. Rubies follow similar criteria as diamonds do for determining their individual value. Color is the most important factor in determining value, but clarity (amount of natural flaws) cut and carat weight are also important.
Rubies look great in all types of jewelry. In yellow gold, they have an antique look and rubies look more modern and shinier in white gold.
Fun Fact: The co-founder of Subway Sandwiches, Peter Buck, donated a 23 carat ruby to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. For more about the stone, read here.