All About Ruby: July's Birthstone

Published: April 1, 2011
Modified: September 8, 2020

by Rebecca Nichols

What is Ruby?

Ruby, the birthstone for July, is perfect for those born in July. It’s a vibrant red gemstone that has been a crown jewel for centuries.

All About July's Ruby (source: JTV YouTube)

Ruby FAQ

Here are answers to more frequently asked questions about July's birthstone:

What color is July's birthstone?

Ruby is a vibrant red, differentiating it from deep red gemstones like garnet.

What is the spiritual meaning of ruby?

Once deemed the “king of precious gemstones,” rubies have long adorned royalty and leaders, and the bright red color associates the stone with love and passion.

Where is ruby found?

Ruby is mined all around the world. Myanmar (also known as Burma) was the historical source for ruby, but deposits are also found in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Vietnam, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Macedonia, Australia, the United States and more. 

Are rubies valuable?

As one of the Big 4 precious gemstones along with diamond, sapphire and emerald, ruby is one of the most valuable and highly sought after gemstones in the world. The most important factors that influence a ruby’s value are the following:

Color: A deep red that is neither too light or too dark is considered the most desirable.

Clarity: Inclusions are expected and ruby is judged by how eye-clean it is. Inclusions that formed in a way that enhance the stone’s beauty such as causing asterism can increase the value.

Cut: Less important for ruby than color and clarity, but a good cut enhances the color, maximizes the carat weight and minimizes inclusions.

Size: Ruby weighing over three carats is rare, so expect to pay a premium for larger sizes. A ruby weighing over ten carats can be more valuable than a diamond of the same size and quality.

What are the different species of ruby?

Ruby exclusively comes in shades of red, but the exact hue and properties of the ruby are influenced by the concentration of minerals in the country of origin. Some of the most popular varieties are:

  • Burmese Ruby - Mined in Myanmar, this is the most desireable with a deep red hue.
  • Thai Ruby - Second highest quality for its deeper red color.
  • Madagascar Ruby - Relatively new to the market, but already considered a top of the line ruby ranging between red-orange and red.
  • African Ruby - Often purplish to dark red, this comes in a wide variety of sizes and qualities.
  • Tanzania Ruby - This ruby’s color intensity is reduced in larger sizes, so smaller stones are actually more valuable.
  • Afghanistan Ruby - Ranges from light red to dark red hues.

Did you know...

Ruby and sapphire are both members of the corundum family, but only red corundum is ruby.

Ruby Gemstone Properties

For more facts and information about the characteristics of the July birthstone, check out the Ruby Gemopedia page.

Star Ruby
Star Ruby

Physical Properties of Ruby

Ruby is a type II transparent red gemstone that has a factor of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, below only diamond, and is hard to scratch. This makes it ideal for regular use without much worry, though you should still take the proper precaution of removing it when exercising, swimming, bathing or using harsh chemicals.

Healing Properties and Benefits of Ruby

Ruby is believed to encourage love, passion, joy, and confidence, which makes ruby jewelry the perfect gift for someone you love, especially if that someone was born in July!

Gemologist vs Geologist: Examining Ruby (source: JTV YouTube)

Colors of ruby

All rubies are red, but the saturation, depth, shade and undertone greatly influence the value. Some of the common color descriptions are the following:

  • Ceylon/Sri Lanka - Brilliant light red
  • French/Cherry - Lighter than pigeon blood
  • African - Orangish-red
  • Pigeon Blood/Burma/Oriental - Considered the most desirable, this is a highly saturated medium-dark red with slight purple undertones
  • Beef Blood - Darker than pigeon blood
  • Thai/Siamese - Dark red with possible brown or purple undertones

Did you know...

Ruby is named for its color, coming from the Latin word "ruber" which means red.

Ruby Birthstone Jewelry and Gifts

If you love ruby and want more variety, or would like to get acquainted with this gemstone for the first time, then take advantage of the fantastic values and excellent selection from JTV's Birthstones by Month Jewelry Guide.

Carved Ruby Ring
Carved Ruby Ring

Ruby July Birthstone Jewelry Buyers' Guide

July babies have the fiery ruby as your birthstone. This vibrant red gem brightens up your day along with your wardrobe and looks great in any setting.

More Ruby Gift Ideas

Ruby’s romantic red is not just for people born in July. In addition to being July’s birthstone, ruby is becoming a popular alternative stone to use in engagement rings.

Did you know...

Ruby is the traditional gemstone that represents the 40th wedding anniversary. 

July Birthstone Alternatives

If you’re not quite feeling ruby red, there are a few alternative July birthstones to choose from. Perhaps you prefer the ethereal blue of turquoise which is believed to encourage self-realization and inspire your creative mind. If you want a broader color palette, onyx is right up your alley. With hues of deep green, black, pink, and almost everything in between! Onyx is long believed to promote strength and confidence.

Black Onyx
Black Onyx

Ruby Links and Resources