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What to consider when buying rubies

There's nothing quite like the saturated glow of a deep red ruby, especially when set in a unique piece of jewellery. The allure of rubies has meant that they never go out of style, making them a great addition to any jewellery box. Keep reading to find out more about the precious gemstone that is also the birthstone for July babies.

How old are rubies?

Ever since the initial discovery in 2500 BC, rubies have remained one of the most coveted coloured gemstones, regularly featuring in jewellery across all time periods. Ratnaraj, meaning “king of precious stones” was the ancient Sanskrit name for ruby as it was believed that these vibrant red stones possessed the power of life. 

A rare find

Finding a ruby that is clear of inclusions, a good size and more importantly a deep, vibrant red colour is incredibly rare. The ancients understood this and thus rubies were considered the most virtuous of all gemstones and were valued well above diamonds. The demand for high quality rubies combined with a lack of identification techniques often meant that gemstones with similar appearances were often confused with ruby, with the most notable example being the Black Prince’s Ruby which adorns the Imperial State Crown in the United Kingdom. The stone’s secret wasn’t uncovered until gemmological techniques were developed, upon which it became apparent that the Black Prince’s Ruby was in fact a large vibrant red spinel.

Historically, rubies were reserved for the most noble and respected within society. In ancient Myanmar (Burma), the largest, most desirable rubies mined were immediately taken to the ruler of and were considered his property without question. In Hindu societies, those who owned rubies were thought to be protected at all times. This tradition has seeped into modern life, with the most impressive examples of these gemstones being reserved for royalty, the rich and the famous. That said, the discovery of new sources and development of gemstone treatments has meant that rubies are more accessible than ever.

Ruby - July’s birthstone

As the official birthstone for July, ruby jewellery is the perfect gift for July babies. Symbolising wealth, health and success, you can be sure that jewellery featuring these stunning stones is guaranteed to please. Take this simple, elegant yellow gold and ruby medallion necklace by Azlee, paired with the matching textured ruby band ring, or this playful hoop by Metier by Tomfoolery, featuring mixed shapes of ruby gemstones.

“I mean, how many young women get a set of rubies just for doing something wholesome like swimming laps?”

– Elizabeth Taylor

The answer to Elizabeth Taylor’s question is not many but whether you’re buying for yourself or others, Finematter has a great range of ruby jewellery to suit all occasions and match every style this summer.

Selected from our Journal