July's birthstone is the Ruby. The ruby is one of the four precious gemstones - ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond. The beautiful red color of a ruby set in a ring, pendant, or earrings can enhance any jewelry collection.
Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale. The only mineral that is rated higher is a diamond. This makes rubies very durable for daily wear. The red color in a ruby is due to the presence of the element chromium.
The element corundum that makes up rubies can come in any color of the rainbow and the dark red stones are called rubies. Burma/Myanmar mines produce some of the finest rubies ever found. The very best color is sometimes called "pigeon's blood". Other varieties of rubies can come in lighter shades of red, even varying to pink. Rubies also come from mines in Tanzania, Thailand, India, and Afghanistan.
Much like a diamond, the qualities affecting value, are color - which is the most important, clarity, cut, and carat weight or size. When you combine excellent color, fewer imperfections, and proper cut you can have a gemstone that is more expensive than a diamond.
We enjoy working with rubies in our custom jewelry studio in Overland Park Kansas. Marsha has made some beautiful ruby jewelry over the years and I personally enjoy the search for the finest stone for each custom job.