Oh, you lucky July babies!  You get a spectacular birthstone: the ruby.  Red being my favourite colour, I think you’re pretty lucky to have such a gorgeous gem.

Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, which also includes sapphires.  (Any corundum that isn’t red is a sapphire.)  They occur naturally in pink to blood red, the colour due to the presence of chromium.  Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale, making them the third hardest stone in the world.

All rubies have imperfections.  The colour impurities and rutile (fine needles of material that are also referred to as “silk”), are how gemologists identify that they are natural.  When the rutile is oriented just right, the gems can show a three-point or six-point “star”.

Most rubies come from Burma and Thailand, though they are also mined in Cambodia, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Greenland, Kenya, Macedonia, and a few states in the USA.

Rubies, because of their colour, are associated with fire and blood, and often represent passionate feelings.  They are said to bring love, confidence, strength, and courage.  It’s associated with the first chakra, stimulating basic survival instincts.

-Robyn

A cabochon-cut star ruby.
A cabochon-cut star ruby.

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