Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Those born in July have quite a special birthstone. Called the “king of precious stones” by cultures around the world, rubies are one of the most valuable and beloved gemstones. They are much more than a beautiful, shining jewel – they have been used to define individuals’ social status and are even believed to ward off negative energy.

As one of the four precious gemstones, rubies are in the company of emeralds, sapphires  and diamonds. Unlike the other gems, though, the ruby is something of an icon in Asian countries. There, rubies are considered a symbol of great importance and religious-like influence. Ancient writings such as Sanskrit and the Bible name rubies the most precious stone of all. Many leaders and important officials throughout history used rubies as a talisman. They believed wearing a ruby on their person would protect them from danger or harm.

Rubies are easy to spot, both on jewelry pieces and at jewelers thanks to their deep red coloring. This coloring of a ruby is very important. Though rubies are typically thought of as a red stone, they can appear in lighter reds like pink. The redness of a ruby is determined by chromium, one of the chemicals in the gem’s composition. Chromium ultimately determines a ruby’s value: the darker the ruby, the more valuable it is.

The most valuable ruby coloring is pigeon-blood red. These rubies are rare and feature the darkest, most full-bodied red color. For many centuries, the most exquisite rubies in the world were mined in Myanmar’s Mogok Valley. This valley supplied rubies for countries both near and far, and is where many of the most famous stones in existence originated. One of the world’s largest rubies, a 23.1-carat gem that rests at the Smithsonian Museum, was mined in Myanmar in the 1930s. The Liberty Bell ruby, also found in the Asian nation, is the largest ever discovered – but it disappeared in 2011 due to a jewel heist.

Today, however, the Mogok Valley produces very few quality gemstones. Instead, rubies are found in countries such as Thailand, India, and Pakistan. No matter where a ruby is mined, it is a tough jewel. Rubies are one of the most durable gems. Those born in July can take confidence in knowing their birthstone represents protection, royalty, and strength.

Show off your birthday month with one of Bailey Banks and Biddle’s brilliant red rubies. Our ruby earrings, bracelets, pendants, and rings feature stones in deep reds – and they are the perfect gift for any July birthday.