A vibrant and striking gemstone, ruby is iconic for its bold, bright red colour. In fact, this is even where its name derives from, with ‘ruby’ coming from the Latin word for ‘red’ (‘ruber’). It’s therefore no wonder that it is accompanied by connotations of love, passion and romance. But why buy ruby jewellery over all of the other gemstone options available? Today we will delve into the abundance of reasons why ruby is a must-have for your jewellery collection.
What exactly is ruby?
Often referred to as the ‘king of the gems’, ruby is composed of a mineral called corundum. Corundum, also called aluminium oxide, forms when aluminium and oxygen atoms are compressed below the Earth’s crust. Ruby gets its colour from the chromium element present in this corundum, but it also contains titanium and sometimes iron.
This chromium also sets it aside from its close relative, the sapphire, which is also made from corundum. In fact, if it did not have its distinctive red colour, it would be classed as a sapphire.
Ruby can take many different shades, from bright red to deep purple. This is dependent on numerous factors, such as the location, the different quantities of iron and chromium present, etc. For instance, a higher presence of ferric iron results in a more orangey hue.
Much of the ruby’s value comes from its transparency and how potent its colour is. That is to say, the bolder and clearer the crystal, the higher the supposed value. Pigeon blood rubies are a good example of this. Typically mined in Burma (now called Myanmar), they are regarded to be one of the most valuable types of ruby for this very reason.
There are many different types of ruby, with some having very distinctive features. For example, the star ruby is a particularly interesting natural phenomenon. Due to the organisation of their mineral composition and the way the light hits them, on their surface, they display a six-pronged star. Although rare, the star ruby is an excellent example of the interesting peculiarities each type can have.
What’s so special about ruby jewellery in particular?
There are many reasons why rubies are an excellent choice for jewellery. The first is that they have incredible durability that is second only to diamonds. Rubies are one of the hardest natural gems, with a Mohs hardness of 9.0. This means that they are great for everyday jewellery, as they will have a higher resistance to abrasions than other gemstones. Moreover, due to their high stability, they may not be as affected by light/temperature changes or potential chemical damage.
If you’re interested in folklore, rubies have also had many spiritualistic associations that make them thoughtful gifts. Throughout history, they have maintained their value and were believed to have many metaphysical properties. For Burmese warriors, rubies were a source of protection that were carried with them when in battle. They believed that the properties of ruby were believed to make them more resistant to any harm. Even today, the ruby’ association with healing and protection remains strong amongst modern spiritualists. Its also been said to boost the wearer’s energy, romantic and platonic relationships, and give them courage. As such, giving ruby jewellery to a loved one is more than just a gesture of sharing their beauty.
Ruby’s association with particular occasions also makes ruby jewellery great for gifting. For instance, rubies are the birthstone of the month of July. So, for any July babies, the gift of ruby jewellery is the perfect choice to celebrate their birthday and month. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the ruby’s connotations of passion and love mean it is a popular romantic gift too. Think Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, proposals, and promise rings…there are so many occasions in which ruby jewellery will make a special someone incredibly happy.
Persuaded? Here are a few of our favourite ruby pieces:
Our first contender is this beautiful ruby ring. The central ruby is enclosed with an oval diamond halo, which is joined to a 9-carat yellow gold band. A delicate yet contemporary choice, the striking ruby paired with a minimalistic design makes it the perfect soft statement piece.
For the romantics, next up is this beautiful Elements Gold piece. The delicate but playful 16mm heart-shaped pendant consists of six round-cut rubies encased by a white diamond frame. Sitting upon a 9-carat yellow gold chain, the pure-red rubies in this piece really invigorate the whole design. Bold and symbolic, this is perfect for a loved one or even for yourself as an act of self-love. Moreover, they can also be coupled with matching earrings.
Our final recommendation is these white gold ruby earrings. Conversely to the other two pieces on our list, these earrings are made of white gold that allows the drop-pendant rubies to take centre stage. Paired with white diamonds, they are bound to truly dazzle those around you. As a timelessly classy design, these earrings would look beautiful on a wearer of any age.
Is ruby your favourite gemstone for jewellery? We’d love to hear your thoughts!