July Birthstone: Ruby
Birthstone jewelry has been popular for ages. For many, the connection of the stone to their birth month makes the pieces more meaningful; they imbue a sense of specialness in the eyes of the wearer. Plus, people can also simply appreciate the beauty of the July birthstone, leading them to favor it regardless of whether it’s their birth month or not.
Whether you have a July birthday or know someone who does, birthstone jewelry can be an excellent option for a gift or special treat. If you’re wondering what the July birthstone is, here is a look at what it is, it’s color, and more.
What Is the Birthstone for July?
The July birthstone is the ruby. It’s a variety of corundum, a mineral, but gets its distinct coloring from the presence of chromium, an element. Sapphire is another example of a corundum-based gemstone. However, the presence of different elements causes them to be a different color than rubies.
Along with giving the gem its color, the chromium also causes fluorescence. This makes it look as though the stones are glowing from deep within.
However, while the chromium gives the stone some of its beauty, it also increases its scarcity. Chromium can lead to cracking and fissures. As a result, finding fine quality rubies is challenging, increasing their value. At times, a high-quality ruby is even worth more than a diamond.
Rubies have long been prized, giving them a unique place in history. For example, in ancient Sanskrit, “ruby” translates to “ratnaraj” or “king of precious stones.” This gives you an indication of how long these gemstones have been valued.
When it comes to where rubies are found, some of the most valuable come from the Mogok Valley in Myanmar. There are also deposits in Vietnam, India, Thailand, and portions of East Africa, the Middle East, and the United States.
Rubies are also used in a variety of ways. They are critical for watchmaking, as well as the production of certain lasers and medical instruments. However, synthetic rubies can offer more precision, making them a common approach when quality is critical.
Additionally, rubies are popular in July birthstone jewelry. But the ruby isn’t just July’s birthstone. It is also a traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. That means July birthstone jewelry could also make a great gift during those years, for those who enjoy the symbolism.
What is the July Birthstone Color?
Photo by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The color of the July birthstone is a bright, vibrant red. In fact, the word “ruby” is derived from “rubeus,” which is the Latin word for “red.”
However, the exact shade of red can vary from one ruby to the next. While all rubies tend to be mainly red, they can have hints of other colors.
Some of the most value rubies, which hail from Myanmar, have a deep red color with a purplish tint. Those are more valuable than rubies with an orange or brownish tint.
Additionally, rubies may be treated, something else that impacts their color and value. Heat treatment can enhance color saturation, making the ruby more vibrant. However, the fact that a treatment is involved can reduce its value, leading the stone to be less expensive than a similar ruby whose color is natural.
July Birthstone Jewelry
Ruby birthstone jewelry is incredibly popular, and not just because of its association with the month of July. Many people adore the look of rubies. The red coloring can feel dramatic or romantic, depending on the presentation. Plus, many consider red to represent power, which is another reason some may choose to wear July birthstone jewelry regardless of when they’re born.
As for the jewelry options, you can find rings, earrings, and pendants with ease. Tennis bracelets and necklaces are also fairly common, often coupling rubies with diamonds.
In most cases, you’ll find cut and faceted rubies in jewelry. It allows the stone’s coloring and fluorescence to shine. Some of the potential cuts include round, oval, princess, cushion, teardrop, emerald, pear, and heart.
You can also find ruby cabochons, as less transparent stones aren’t ideal for cutting. These are rarer than cut gemstones, simply because they aren’t as popular. However, they can be less expensive than their cut counterparts, mainly because the stone’s quality doesn’t have to be as high in the first place.
As for supporting metals, rubies work well with the majority. Yellow gold, white gold, and platinum are commonly used. You’ll also find silver or rose gold, though maybe not as often as the others.
Stones Similar to the July Stone
If you’re looking for an alternative to rubies, there are plenty of options available. When it comes to a solid lookalike that’s highly affordable, red spinel is a great choice. The coloring is incredibly similar, and the stone is very wearable. Plus, you can find larger stones with relative ease.
For those who want a stone with a raspberry hue (and who don’t mind a few inclusions), rubellite is a worthy option. January’s birthstone, the garnet, could also do the trick, especially if you focus on pyropes or rhodolites, which have coloring closer to rubies.
Beryl is available in red, though it’s only found in Utah, making them rare. Plus, they aren’t usually found in larger sizes, so they aren’t widely used in jewelry. Red topaz can resemble rubies, though they are also relatively rare. As a result, they can be fairly expensive if the stone is high-quality.
As for ultra-rare alternatives, there’s the red diamond. However, these are incredibly costly, so keep that in mind before you try to track one down.