Along with the heat of summer, the month of July embraces the smoldering red beauty of the ruby gemstone. The allure of the July birthstone transcends time and culture — its brilliant crimson color so rare and so cherished that to this day the ruby is still one of the most precious birthstones in the world.
Ruby Gemstone: Myths and Legends
In the East, the ruby gemstone was believed to contain the spark of life, a drop of the ‘heart’s blood of Mother Earth.’ In India, where the gemstone was particularly cherished in jewelry, the ruby was a symbol of power and youthful energy.
Many ancient tales also speak of the ruby’s self-luminous qualities. Hindu priests believed rubies were used in the homes of the gods as a light source. There’s also legend that a Chinese emperor used the ‘lamp stone’ to light his chamber. And the Greeks had a story of their own, saying a stork brought Heraclea a ruby as a token of her appreciation, and the ruby gemstone shone so bright it lit Heraclea’s room up at night.
Fast forward to the middle ages, rubies were believed to bring good health to their owner, using the stone to heal things like bleeding. During this time rubies were also believed to have the power to warn its owner of impending danger — like illness, misfortune, and even death — by transforming into a deeper, darker color. Legend even has it that Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of the infamous King Henry VII, predicted her own downfall with the crown after seeing her ruby change color.
A Rare and Valuable Gem
The ruby gemstone is incredibly rare, particularly as you go up in size. In fact, large rubies are so hard to find that they’re considered rarer than large diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. Today, and throughout the history of time, a ruby’s value has increased with size more than any other gemstone. Marco Polo even writes about this in his book from the 13th-century on his travels, detailing that the king of Ceylon had a ruby so large the emperor of China offered him an entire city in exchange for the gem. The king of Ceylon told him that he wouldn’t part with his ruby — which was apparently nine inches long and as thick as a man’s arm — for all the riches in the world. Now that’s a hefty price tag.
Today, the ruby is considered a symbol of love, romance, and passion due to its hypnotically red hue. But today the ruby isn’t just gifted by lovers. The ruby also symbolizes strength and determination, the burning red a metaphor for the fire burning within. Because the ruby is so rare and sought after, just as it has been for thousands of years, it continues to be worn as a status symbol as well.
But don’t fret — you can get your hands on a ruby for far less than a treasure chest or all the world’s wealth. At GURHAN, we seek out a range of interesting rubies for our jewelry and integrate them into our collections and unique, one of a kind pieces. We invite you to take a look around and find the right ruby — or rubies — for the July birthstone birthday in your life. Or your red-hot lover. Or your sister who is fiery with determination. With ruby necklaces, bracelets and earrings, and more — GURHAN has the right ruby jewelry for everyone.