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Ruby: The July Birthstone

Updated: May 3

In this post, we explore the July birthstone, the ruby. At Sennen Jewellery, our experts have gathered detailed information about the definition, physical properties, history, and symbolism of rubies. We will discuss both natural and created rubies and look into their significance in modern jewellery, particularly in engagement rings and fashion pieces. Join us to learn more about the captivating charm of the ruby.

Key Points Summary:

  • Ruby Characteristics: We explore the vibrant deep red colour and robust physical properties of the ruby, highlighting its status among the four precious stones.

  • Historical and Symbolic Depth: We explore the rich history and symbolic significance of the birthstone for July across different cultures, emphasizing their roles in royalty, health, and love.

  • Ruby as the July Birthstone: We discuss why the ruby is celebrated as the July birthstone, noting their popular use in jewellery, especially for significant occasions like engagements and anniversaries.

  • Creation and Benefits of Lab-Created Rubies: We examine the process and advantages of the created ruby, focusing on their affordability and ethical considerations.

  • Famous Rubies: We spotlight renowned rubies like the Liberty Bell Ruby and the Elizabeth Taylor Ruby, sharing their intriguing stories and legendary statuses.

  • Ruby Styling Tips: We provide ruby styling tips from Sennen Jewellery, showcasing how these stunning gemstones can be elegantly incorporated into both classic and modern fashion including engagement rings.

  • Care Advice: We offer tips on maintaining the beauty and longevity of ruby jewellery, ensuring it remains a lasting treasure.

july birthstone

Physical Properties and Formation of Ruby Gemstones

  • Composition: Rubies are primarily composed of corundum, and their striking red colour stems from the presence of the element chromium. Ruby is considered a ‘sister gemstone’ of sapphire, both belonging to the corundum family, so they share properties in terms of hardness and durability. Sapphire is the September birthstone, with exceptional blue sapphires being among the most coveted gemstones in the world.

  • Hardness and Durability: With a hardness of nine on the Mohs hardness scale, the ruby is a very hard gemstone second only to diamonds, making them exceptionally durable and perfect for crafting various types of ruby jewellery. This unique combination of hardness and durability emphasizes the exceptional qualities of the ruby compared to other gemstones.

  • Ruby Colour Varieties: The colour of ruby gemstones can range from vibrant pink to a deep “pigeon blood red”, the most prized hue. The saturation and consistency of the colour significantly impact the value of the ruby.

  • Star Rubies: Some rubies display a mesmerizing star pattern, known as asterism. These star rubies are highly valued for their unique star stone appearance and vibrant hues. It is caused by the light reflecting off tiny rutile fibers within the stone, creating a stunning visual effect.

july birthstone

The History of Rubies

Rubies have a rich history that dates back thousands of years, spanning various cultures and continents. The ruby has always been highly prized for its beauty and rarity:

  • In ancient India, the ruby was revered as the "king of precious stones" for their rarity, beauty, and mystical powers. They were worn by royalty as a symbol of power and protection against evil.

  • Medieval Europeans associated the ruby with health, wisdom, and success in love. They believed that wearing a ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner.

  • In many Asian cultures, rubies were buried beneath building foundations to secure good fortune and stability.

Symbolism and Healing Properties of Rubies

july birthstone

As well as being visually stunning, rubies are also imbued with deep symbolic meanings and are believed to have healing properties:

  • Symbol of Passion and Protection: The ruby is traditionally seen as a symbol of passion, protection, and prosperity. They are thought to bring peace and ward off evil when worn.

  • Physical Health: It is believed that rubies can detoxify the body and blood, and treat fever and heart disorders. Their intense red colour is associated with the vitality and life force of blood.

  • Emotional and Spiritual Health: Rubies are said to stir the blood and stimulate the heart, fostering a sense of courage, confidence, and active living. They are also associated with arousing the senses, stirring the imagination, and promising health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.

Created Rubies Vs. Natural Rubies

Created rubies share identical chemical and physical properties. This includes their hardness and colour saturation, ensuring they stand up just as well to daily wear.

Lab-created rubies are an excellent choice for July birthstone jewellery, particularly for designs that require larger or more affordable gemstones without compromising on quality or appearance. This makes the created ruby a practical and attractive option for both everyday wear and special occasions.

  • Creation Process: Created rubies are manufactured in labs using methods like flame fusion and flux growth, which mimic the natural growth process of a ruby but at a quicker rate.

  • Benefits: These rubies offer the beauty and durability of the natural ruby but at a more accessible price point. They are an excellent choice for those seeking the glamour of ruby gemstones without the steep price.

  • Ethical and Sustainable: Opting for created rubies can be a more ethical choice, reducing the demand for mining and its associated environmental impacts.

Famous Rubies

Rubies have a long history of captivating the world, not only for their beauty but also for their presence in some of the most famous jewellery pieces ever created. Here's our top picks of some stunning famous gems:

Liberty Bell Ruby
By Original work: Alfonso de Vivanco, Depiction: Associated Press -

The Liberty Bell Ruby

Carved into the shape of the Liberty Bell, the Liberty Bell Ruby is notable for being one of the largest mined rubies in the world.

The ruby was infamously stolen in a heist in 2011 from a jewellery store in Wilmington, Delaware. As of now, the ruby has not been recovered, and its disappearance adds to its mystique.

Neelanjali Ruby

The Neelanjali Ruby

The Neelanjali Ruby is renowned for its impressive size and unique double-star pattern.

This remarkable ruby weighs approximately 1,370 carats, making it one of the largest rubies ever discovered.

Its rare double-star feature, where a star pattern is visible on both the top and bottom of the gemstone, adds to its rarity and value.

Elizabeth Taylor Ruby
Source: PInterest

The Elizabeth Taylor Ruby

The Elizabeth Taylor Ruby, part of a ring given to the famous actress by her husband Richard Burton, is known for its exceptional quality and vibrant colour.

The ruby weighed about 8.24 carats and was set in a ring surrounded by diamonds.

In 2011, the ring was sold at auction for over $4.2 million, far exceeding initial estimates and highlighting its significant value and the enduring appeal of Elizabeth Taylor's legendary jewellery collection.

The Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby

This is one of the most famous rubies in the world, renowned for its pigeon blood red colour. It set a record at auction, selling for over $30 million, highlighting the immense value and appeal of high-quality rubies.

Ruby Birthstone Jewellery Styling Tips

Jewellery made using rubies continues to hold a significant place in both traditional and modern fashion.

Here are some styling recommendations from Sennen Jewellery:

  • Rubies look particularly stunning when set in yellow gold. The warm tones of yellow gold complement the deep red colour of rubies, creating a classic, timeless look that appeals across generations.

  • The July birthstone is versatile enough to be featured in a variety of jewellery pieces, from bold statement necklaces to subtle earrings. They work well both for daily wear and for special occasions, providing elegance and luxury.

  • While rubies stand out beautifully on their own, they also pair well with other gemstones. Diamonds, in particular, accentuate the colour of rubies, making them ideal for use in a diamond engagement ring and other high-end jewellery pieces.

Rubies are traditionally gifted to celebrate a couple's 40th wedding anniversary, symbolizing the enduring passion and commitment represented by this vibrant and precious gemstone.

At Sennen Jewellery, we also offer custom designs and commissions. Whether you are seeking a unique engagement ring or a bespoke piece for a special occasion, our team can craft a piece that perfectly suits your style and preferences.

Ruby: The Birthstone for July

The July birthstone, ruby, remains among the most coveted gemstones globally. Their timeless appeal, symbolized by their deep red colour, ensures they maintain a place of distinction in both the history of gemstones and modern fashion.

The charm of ruby gemstones, perhaps set in a diamond engagement ring, or as part of dazzling, contemporary jewellery pieces, continues to be irresistible.

Ruby Jewellery Designs in Silver and Gold: Our Top Picks

FAQs: Ruby: The July Birthstone

Why is Ruby the July Birthstone?

Ruby is the July birthstone due to historical associations and beliefs surrounding its qualities. The vibrant red colour of the ruby represents the heat and intensity of July, one of the warmest months of the year in many parts of the world. Traditionally, rubies have been revered not only for their beauty but also for their powers to protect and bring good fortune.

Historically, the stone was believed to ensure health, wisdom, and success in love, qualities that made it a natural birthstone choice to represent July's warmth and vitality. Over time, these associations were solidified in Western gemology, and the ruby made the modern birthstone list.

What makes ruby jewellery a popular choice for engagement rings? 

Ruby jewellery is highly valued in engagement rings due to its striking appearance and the depth of meaning it carries. As one of the four precious stones, rubies bring a distinctive vibrant red colour that symbolizes love and passion, making it a heartfelt choice for such a significant piece of jewellery. Furthermore, the durability of rubies, second only to diamonds, ensures that engagement rings featuring this July birthstone are not only beautiful but also lasting.

Can the star stone phenomenon in rubies affect their value? 

Yes, the star stone phenomenon, known as asterism, can significantly enhance the value of rubies. This rare occurrence, where a star-like pattern appears naturally on the surface of the stone, adds a unique and captivating visual effect to the ruby. Star rubies are considered highly prized collectibles within the precious stones market, especially when the star is clearly visible and well-centered. Such characteristics make these rubies rare additions to jewellery collections, often fetching higher prices and admiration.

How to care for ruby jewellery to maintain its beauty?

To maintain the beauty of ruby jewellery, it should be cleaned regularly with mild soap and water. For a deeper clean, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are safe and efficient tools specifically recommended for rubies. It’s important to avoid harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures to preserve the natural beauty and vibrant colour of the ruby.

What is the sister gemstone to a ruby?

The sister gemstone to a ruby, the July birthstone, is sapphire. Both birthstone gems are varieties of the mineral corundum and share the same chemical composition of aluminum oxide; their primary difference lies in their color.

Rubies are the red variety of corundum, colored by the presence of chromium, which gives them their distinctive deep red hue. Sapphires (the September birthstone), can appear in a range of colors—blue being the most well-known but also including pink, yellow, green, and white—depending on the trace elements present within each specific stone.

The only color sapphire does not come in is red because at that point, it is classified as a ruby. This close relationship between the two stones highlights their shared properties of exceptional hardness and brilliance, making them both highly prized in jewellery.

Interested in the Birthstones for other months? Take a look at our guide here: Your Guide to Birthstones (

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