The ruby is a pink to blood-red gemstone, formed from the mineral corundum. This mineral, which sapphires are also made from, is colourless in its purest form. Ruby’s vibrant red colour stems from the element chromium and the concentration of this determines the intensity of the colour. Known as ‘ratnaraj’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit, meaning the ‘king of gems’, the ruby is one of the most valuable coloured stones there is.
Most rubies form inside marble as part of a natural metamorphic process. Marble-hosted rubies typically have a much richer, red colour than those formed outside marble. This is due to a reaction between chromium and the ultra-violet rays from the sun, which cause the stones to fluoresce. Consequently, this natural chemical reaction significantly elevates their value. Along with the colour intensity, a ruby’s quality and value is also determined by its cut, clarity and carat weight.
The name ‘ruby’ is derived from the Latin word ‘rubus’ meaning ‘red’. For centuries, particularly in Indian culture, its rich, blood-red colour has been associated with symbols of power and adolescent energy. In addition, people of India historically believed that the gems created peace among enemies. Furthermore, rubies have also been alleged to promote healing from inflammatory diseases whilst providing communities with protection from danger and misfortune. In Europe, the gem has been particularly popular among royalty due to its intense red colour, and was historically worn to promote wealth, wisdom and wellbeing.
The largest ruby mine for centuries has been the Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar. However, more recently some of the gems have been found in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other areas of Myanmar.
As the birthstone for July and the gem for the 40th wedding anniversary, the ruby is the perfect summer gift for a loved one. Get in touch with us to discuss designing your own ruby ring, necklace, earrings or bracelet - such as these stunning pairs of ruby and diamond earrings created for our private clients. We cater to a range of budgets and specifications and work with you at every step of the process to create the perfect piece of jewellery.
Below is another piece from our bespoke collection designed for a private client. The gemstone in the centre of this ring is rubellite tourmaline, which in appearance is very similar to the ruby. However, due to a slightly different crystalline structure, the gemstone is less dense and lighter in colour than the ruby, whilst also being much rarer.
Here are some further examples of Augustine Jewels' ready-to-wear ruby jewellery - perfect gifts for those with July birthdays!
To design your own ruby-inspired jewellery, book a complimentary bespoke consultation with our designer, Alexandra, and begin the journey to create your perfect piece.