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Every month we feature a gemstone specific to the month. This month we honor the Ruby. The ruby can command the highest per-carat price of any coloured gem. The root mineral derived by ruby is corundum, which is also the mineral from sapphire. In its pure form the mineral is colourless, but with the traces of different elements in its core structure is where the vibrant colour emerges. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s colour.
The name ruby comes from the latin word ruber, meaning red. The glowing ruby suggests an inextinguishable flame burning. The colour red represents some of the most intense emotions including love, anger, passion, and fury.
Early cultures coveted the stone as the red of the stone matched the blood in the veins. They believed that the stone held the power of life. In medieval Europe, people wore rubies to guarantee them health, wealth, wisdom and success with love. In India, the stone was believed to enable the wearers to live in peace with their enemies. In Burma (now called Myanmar), the warriors would insert rubies into their skin to bring them protection and enable them invincible during battle.
The ruby is the birthstone for the month of July and is also the stone for the 15th and 40th anniversary. The ruby mesures a MOHS hardness of 9, compared to a diamond at 10, and is has the specific gravity of 4.00. Rubies are found in Madagascar, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, and Greenland.
The ruby was used in the first laser in 1960 to emit the red fluorescence light.
Ruby is the birthstone for July and the gem for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary.