July’s birthstone associates its brilliant crimson colours with passion and love, making Ruby an ideal choice for an engagement ring or anniversary ring. Corundum in its purest form is colorless, but the most valuable are the red variety. The colour is caused by traces of the element chromium. Ruby is readily available in sizes up to 2 carats, but larger sizes can be harder to find. However, in its finest quality, any size ruby can be scarce.
The name ruby comes from the Latin word “ruber”, which means red. In ancient days the fiery stone was associated with courage, its red colouring evoking red blood and fire. In Sanskrit, Ruby is named ratnaraj, meaning “King of Precious Stones” or ratnanayaka “Leader of Precious Stones.” Worn on the crowns and helmets of kings, rubies were a royal insignia believed to protect the wearer from injury and to keep him safe and healthy. The ruby has long been considered a sacred mineral offering the wearer protection in times of war.