Rubies are the official birthstone of July, and are known for their beautiful red colour; ranging from deep blood red to a paler rose red. Therefore it is easy to see why the word “Ruby” was derived from the Latin rubeus, meaning “red”. Today’s ruby signifies love, passion and good fortune, in ancient times it was once considered the “king of gems” and believed to protect the wearer from evil.
Rubies are a variety of corundum, a crystal made of aluminum oxide. The chronium present in a ruby is what gives the stone its vibrant red, and also causes its luminous glow. High quality rubies are transparent, vibrant and deeper red. Many of today’s rubies are heat-treated to improve colour saturation and transparency. The ruby, along with the related sapphire, is the second hardest natural gemstones, with only diamonds being harder.