Ruby, the birthstone of July, was originally found in Myanmar- the mines at Mogok feeding the main world supply for almost 500 years up to 1900. In more recent times Ruby has been discovered in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar. It is a hard stone measuring 9 on Mohs scale – making it suitable for daily wear.

Rubies are made of the mineral corundum forming under high pressure and temperature deep in the earth’s crust. Their red colour comes from the mineral chromium. Rubies may be heat treated to enhance this red colour and remove purple hues and ‘silk’ (needle-like inclusions that can make the gems opaque) – this form of treatment does not affect the quality of the gems. Some lower quality Rubies may have surface fissures that can be sealed by heated glass. This treatment may make the gem more susceptible to damage. Always ask about any treatment to which your gem has been subjected.

From a metaphysical perspective Ruby is associated with the base chakra: stability, protection and security and the heart chakra: passion, vitality and commitment. In Hindu culture it is regarded as the “King of gemstones”. Ruby is known as a revitalising stone – activating our life force and momentum.

Rubies remain ever popular. This last month saw the sale of some legendary Rubies. On June 7th 2023 Christie’s auctioned Marlene Dietrich’s Van Cleef & Arpels three-dimensional Jarretière cuff bracelet (c.1937) – as part of The Magnificent Jewels of Anne Eisenhower collection. It sold for US$4.5m. On June 8th 2023 Sotheby’s auctioned the most valuable and largest Ruby ever sold – at 55.22 carats – fetching US$34.8m (photograph attached).

Whether you are a July baby or not, consider a Ruby in part of your collection for its warm support and fiery enthusiasm.