Home Knowledges Is Ruby the Birthstone for July: A Gemological Exploration

Is Ruby the Birthstone for July: A Gemological Exploration

by Madonna

Birthstones have captivated human imagination for centuries, with each month associated with a specific gemstone believed to bring luck, protection, and unique qualities to those born in that month. For July, the birthstone in question is the illustrious ruby. In this article, we will explore the fascinating history, symbolism, and significance of the ruby as the birthstone for July.

The Historical Roots of Ruby as the July Birthstone

The concept of birthstones can be traced back to ancient civilizations, including the Babylonians, who believed that wearing a gemstone corresponding to the current month enhanced its mystical powers. The practice gained popularity over the centuries, and the modern list of birthstones, as we know it today, was officially standardized by the American National Retail Jewelers Association (now known as Jewelers of America) in 1912.


July’s Precious Gem: The Ruby

Rubies, renowned for their vibrant red hue, belong to the corundum family of minerals, which also includes sapphires. The name “ruby” is derived from the Latin word “ruber,” meaning red, and this gemstone has long been prized for its beauty and rarity.


See Also: The Origin of Ruby’s Name: What You Need To Know


What is the historical significance of rubies?

Rubies have an extensive history dating back thousands of years. In ancient India, they were considered the “King of Gemstones” and believed to protect their owners from harm. Burmese legends even spoke of warriors embedding rubies in their flesh to grant them invincibility on the battlefield.

Geographical Origin

The most famous rubies in the world hail from Myanmar (formerly Burma), known for their deep red color and exceptional clarity. Other significant sources include Thailand, Sri Lanka, and various parts of Africa.

Symbolism and Significance of Ruby

The following is the Symbolism and Significance of ruby:

1. Passion and Love

The deep red color of rubies has long been associated with passion and love. In fact, it is often referred to as the “Stone of Love.” It is believed that wearing a ruby can ignite the flames of passion and deepen the love between couples.

2. Protection and Courage

Throughout history, rubies have been associated with protection and courage. Warriors wore rubies into battle, believing that the gemstone would grant them strength and protection from harm. This association with bravery and valor continues to this day.

3. Health and Vitality

In ancient times, rubies were believed to have healing properties. They were thought to improve the wearer’s vitality and boost their overall health. Some even believed that rubies could detect poison by changing color.

4. Wisdom and Wealth

Rubies have also been linked to wisdom and wealth. In Hindu culture, they are considered a symbol of the sun, representing power, vitality, and leadership. Additionally, rubies have historically been associated with prosperity and abundance.

5. Astrological Significance

In addition to the traditional calendar birthstones, many cultures have developed their own lists of birthstones based on astrology. Ruby is associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer, which covers the majority of July birthdays. Cancer is ruled by the moon, and the ruby’s vibrant red color symbolizes the energy and passion associated with this sign.

The Ruby’s Influence on Jewelry Design

Here are the effects of rubies on jewelry design:

1. Ruby-Centric Jewelry Styles

Rubies have been used in jewelry for centuries, and their vibrant red color makes them a popular choice for both traditional and contemporary designs. They are often used as center stones in rings, pendants, and earrings. The deep red of rubies pairs beautifully with both yellow and white gold, creating stunning pieces of jewelry.

2. Complementary Gemstones

Rubies are frequently paired with other gemstones to create captivating and unique jewelry pieces. Sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds are common companions to rubies in jewelry design, adding depth and contrast to the pieces.

3. Historical Jewelry Pieces

Some of the world’s most famous jewelry pieces feature rubies. One of the most iconic is the Burmese Ruby Tiara, worn by Queen Elizabeth II. This tiara features 96 rubies, making it a true symbol of royal elegance and power.

Ruby Mining and Ethical Concerns

While rubies are undoubtedly beautiful and culturally significant gemstones, there are ethical concerns surrounding their mining and trade. Many ruby mines, particularly in Myanmar, have been linked to human rights abuses and environmental damage. Consumers interested in purchasing rubies should consider sourcing from ethical and responsible suppliers.

Caring for Ruby Jewelry

To ensure the longevity and beauty of ruby jewelry, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some tips for caring for your precious ruby pieces:

1. Regular Cleaning:

Gently clean your ruby jewelry with a soft brush and mild soapy water to remove dirt and oil buildup. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

Do not expose your rubies to harsh chemicals, such as bleach or chlorine, as they can damage the gemstone.

3. Store Separately:

Store your ruby jewelry separately from other gemstones to prevent scratching. Consider placing them in a soft pouch or a jewelry box with individual compartments.

4. Professional Cleaning:

Periodically, have your ruby jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected to ensure the settings are secure and the stones are in good condition.

See Also: Can Ruby be Worn in the Left Hand: A Comprehensive Guide


In conclusion, the ruby’s status as the birthstone for July is rooted in a rich history of symbolism, tradition, and cultural significance. This gemstone, with its fiery red hue, has been associated with love, passion, protection, and prosperity for centuries. Whether worn as a piece of stunning jewelry or simply cherished for its intrinsic beauty, the ruby continues to hold a special place in the hearts of those born in July and gemstone enthusiasts alike. As we celebrate this captivating gemstone, let us also remember the importance of ethical sourcing and responsible practices in the world of gemstone mining and trade.

FAQs About Ruby

1. What is a birthstone, and why do we associate them with specific months?

Birthstones are gemstones that are traditionally associated with each month of the year. The practice of assigning specific gemstones to certain months has ancient origins and is thought to have begun with the breastplate of Aaron, a religious garment mentioned in the Bible. Each stone was associated with a tribe of Israel and the twelve months of the year, eventually leading to the modern birthstone list.

2. Where are rubies found, and are there any ethical concerns related to their mining?

Rubies are found in various parts of the world, with Myanmar (formerly Burma) being famous for its high-quality rubies. However, there are ethical concerns related to ruby mining, particularly in Myanmar, where issues such as human rights abuses and environmental damage have been reported. Ethical sourcing and responsible practices are essential considerations for those interested in purchasing rubies.

3. What are some famous Ruby jewelry pieces?

One of the most iconic Ruby jewelry pieces is the Burmese Ruby Tiara worn by Queen Elizabeth II. This tiara features 96 rubies and is a symbol of royal elegance and power.

In summary, Ruby is the birthstone for July, associated with passion, love, protection, and other symbolic meanings. Whether worn in jewelry or appreciated for its intrinsic beauty, Ruby holds a special place in the hearts of July-born individuals and gemstone enthusiasts alike. It is important to be mindful of ethical sourcing when acquiring Ruby gemstones and to care for Ruby jewelry to ensure its longevity and beauty.

4. What is the history of ruby?

The history of ruby dates back to ancient civilizations, including India, where it was considered the “King of Gemstones.” Warriors believed rubies offered protection in battle. In various cultures, rubies symbolized love, passion, and power. Myanmar became renowned for its high-quality rubies. Today, rubies continue to be cherished for their rich red hue and cultural significance.


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