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Facts about Ruby, the Birthstone for July

ruby and diamond-three-stone-engagement-ring

Birthstone and Anniversary

Ruby is the July birthstone and its one of the most coveted gems. It is also traditionally gifted on 40th “Ruby” Wedding Anniversary, it is said to remind us of love and passion, making it the most romantic of gifts. Rubies are often associated with wealth and prosperity. Many ancient crowns were decorated with rubies, because they represent good fortune and courage. See more of our ruby ring collection.

How to assess a Ruby’s quality and value

Colour and Clarity

Rubies are very sought after and often command a the highest price per carat of any coloured gemstone. When assessing a ruby, colour is the most important factor, it must have a strong saturation varying from bright red to purplish red.  If a ruby is too dark it can look dull and lifeless, or if its too light it will be classed as a pink sapphire. The term “Pigeon’s Blood” has historically been used to describe the finest rubies that have the vivid deep red colour that is so desirable. Most rubies have some inclusions, perfectly clear gems are so rare and expensive they are usually purchased by collectors. The clearer the ruby the higher the price.

Cut and Carat

Rough rubies are extremely expensive and the final shape of the gemstone will be decided by the desire to not waste any of the original crystal. For this reason the most common shapes are oval’s and cushion cuts. Fine quality rubies over 1.00ct are very rare and the price per carat goes up significantly as it increases in size. Interestingly one of the rarest types of ruby has fine needle inclusions with in the stone which can cause a beautiful star effect called asterism if the stone is cut in a cabochon cut.

Care and Cleaning

These exquisite gemstones are part of the Corundum family of minerals, getting its colour from trace amounts of the element chromium.  It score 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, second only to diamonds. This makes them perfect for the daily wear of an engagement ring where they will get daily wear, it also makes them relatively easy to clean at home. The safest way is to clean them in a bowl of warm water with a drop of mild soap. using an old toothbrush to gently scrub around the setting to remove any dirt. Pay particular attention to the under side of the setting but remember not to scrub too hard as this might loosen any stones. Make sure you rinse and dry the ring thoroughly before wearing. Hancocks are always happy to clean any of our pieces in our ultrasonic machine if you are having any difficulties.

Most Expensive Ruby Ever Sold

The Sunrise Ruby, 25.59ct , which was sold to an anonymous bidder in 2015 for £19.6 million is the most expensive coloured gemstone ever sold.

Ruby Jewellery

Because of its hard wearing properties rubies are perfect to mount with diamonds in to necklets, pendants, earrings and bangles

Details for our Ruby and Diamond jewellery

Details for our beautiful eternity rings

ruby and diamond half eternity in a classic claw setting


Details for our ruby and diamond pendants

oval ruby pendant with square diamond set halo and 18ct white gold chain