Ruby is the birthstone for July and is one of my favourites! As you would imagine from a gemstone that displays a vibrant red colour, it is said to represent love, anger, passion and danger. It is also the stone that is associated with a 40th Anniversary.

But did you know that rubies are created from the same mineral as sapphires? This mineral is called corundum which, when pure, is colourless but when it is red, it is called a ruby and when blue, a sapphire.

The first rubies were found in Myanmar, formerly Burma, circa 2500BC but they are also mined now in countries including Afghanistan, Australia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States …and Northern Ireland, in County Tyrone and County Fermanagh!

Rubies hold their value well, depending on their cut, colour and clarity, and are very resilient. Corundum measures 9 on the Mohs hardness scale which means it lends itself well to jewellery design, especially for pieces that are worn every day such as engagement and eternity rings. It means that pieces that include rubies are likely to be passed down the generations as heirlooms which make them highly desirable for collectors.

The most expensive ruby in the world to date is the Estrela de FURA weighing in at a massive 55.22 Carats which was sold at auction at Sotheby’s, New York on 12th May 2015 for $34.8 Million (£27.7 Million).

So if you are thinking of buying a gift for someone who has a birthday in July, has reached the 40 year milestone, or 40th Anniversary, a ruby is a timeless and everlasting stone to consider.

Originally published in Purbeck Gazette 10th July 2023