|July's Romantic Rubies: Fun Facts and Lore|
This month we pay tribute to the wildly romantic and luxurious Ruby, the birthstone of July. You’re all familiar with one of the most iconic movie costume pieces of all time — the Ruby slippers. Here we present some fun facts for those lucky enough to have the Ruby as their birthstone, and for those that just love rubies:
- Ruby is the birthstone for July, as well as the astrological sign of Capricorn.
- Ruby is the red gem form of the mineral corundum, which has an absolute hardness of 400 (compared to diamonds which have an absolute hardness of 1600).
- Trace amounts of the element chromium is what gives rubies their red appearance.
- Blue corundum gems are called sapphires.
- Rubies in shades of pink are simply referred to as pink rubies.
- The finest rubies in the world were once found in Burma in South and Southeast Asia. Today, Burma is known as Myanmar.
- The color of the pure red rubies from the mines of Mogok were sometimes referred to as "pigeon’s blood.”
- The most expensive ruby ever sold was an 8.62 carat pigeon's blood cushion-cut ruby set in an 18-karat gold rectangular mount. It sold at auction at Christie’s in 2006 for a reported $3.6 million.
- In ancient times, rubies were thought to give its wearer good health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.
- Flawless top quality rubies are more valuable and rare than top quality colorless diamonds.
- The word red is derived from the Latin word, ruber.
- Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their color and strength; this is standard practice and accepted by the American Gem Trade Association and Israel-Diamonds.
- At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy she can return home to Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby slippers together three times and repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”