Birthstone Series: July's Ruby

This post is the second of a series of twelve discussing the creation and meaning of the different birthstones. The concept of birthstones dates to the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible. The breastplate was a ceremonial religious piece of armor set with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel and corresponding with the twelve months of the year.

What is a Ruby?

The gem’s name has some interesting meanings in different languages. Ruby’s name comes from the Latin word “ruber,” which means “red”. The Sanskrit word for Ruby is Ratnaraj, which translates to “king of gems”. The mineral that makes up rubies is called Corundum. Trace minerals found in the gems’ crystal structure are responsible for the variations in color. The trace mineral that gives ruby its deep red color is chromium. Through the course of history, the ruby became a sought-after gem by the wealthier classes of the Western world. Today, the mineral is still very admired, often commanding the highest per-carat price of all colored gems.

What Does a Ruby Represent?

Ruby is the birthstone of Cancer and Leo babies born in July. It is typically the gem that is gifted on 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. A great deal of mysticism surrounds the ruby. If one wanted to be reborn as an emperor in Ancient Hindu society, one would offer rubies to the god Krishna.

How Can You Wear Ruby Gems?

Depending on the kind of ruby you’re sporting, the fashionable way to wear it may differ. Rubies that come from marble feature a brighter color and are more desirable. They’re brighter because the marble they come from has less iron in it. On the flip side, rubies found in basalt rocks have more iron in them, which results in a darker gem. Lighter rubies should be worn in isolation because they make a bolder statement. Wear anything more than neutral jewelry with a light ruby and you risk overdoing it. Of course, if you’re willing to experiment with different gems, you might discover a killer combination. Think of light rubies as statement pieces. They are flaming accents to an outfit. They are perfect for any romantic occasion or for sunny weather.

Shop the range here

Ruby / Yellow Gold Stackable: LR50884Y45RA; Oval White Gold Stackable: LR4589W45JJ; Sapphire / White Gold Stackable: LR50889W4JSA; Scalloped White Gold Stackable: LR51185W45JJ

Inspired by history and fantastic story of the ruby’s creation? At Hannoush Jewelers, we understand the importance and value of the ruby. We feature a beautiful collection of ruby jewelry at both our Albany and Clifton Park, New York locations. Have questions? Feel free to stop by our stores or contact us here: []. We’d love to chat and answer any questions you might have.


Gemological Institute of America: