|Harry Winston ruby and diamond slippers created for the 50th anniversary of The Wizard Of Oz|
Photograph courtesy of GIA
Happy Birthday to all who share this month! Ruby is your birthstone.
As a July baby, one would think I would be attracted to the passion and lore that comes with the bold, intense color of my birthstone. Red represents the color of intense emotions, famously associated with objects of desire, power, success and wealth. These attributes make ruby the "King of Precious Stones." I appreciate how deep the love is for this historically important gem that holds the title as the most important gemstone in the colored stone market, but when it comes to jewelry, you probably already know ruby is not my top choice. Even though this fiery, passionate red happens to be the color of my studio floors, and the bottom of my new boots, the diamond is forever my love, even if this is our month. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Ruby is a sapphire, and a sapphire is a ruby. Well, almost. They are both the mineral corundum. Corundum is found growing in marble deposits, and the trace element found in ruby is what makes it a ruby, not a sapphire. The mineral corundum in its purest form is colorless; chromium is the trace element that causes ruby's beautiful red color, and the strength of color saturation depends on how much chromium is present during growth.
Since this post is dedicated to the color of the ruby, let’s be specific, because color is the most significant factor that affects ruby's value! The finest rubies are a pure vibrant red, yet a slight purplish color; not too dark, not too light. If ruby's color is too dark and has a negative effect on the stone's brightness, it will lose value on the quality scale. Just as if the color is too light, it may be considered to be a pink sapphire, not a ruby. Not only does everyone's eye see different shades of colors (as mentioned previously) there are also cultural differences in the interpretation of the ruby versus the pink sapphire. However, both gems being beautiful - their value is different.
Ruby has enjoyed a most regal position in myth, legend, and lore for thousands of years: the favored talisman amongst royalty worldwide. Rubies are said to bring courage, happiness, healing, passion, and prosperity to those who wear this fine gemstone. Now, to attract more rubies into your jewelry box, click your slippers together three times and say : "There's no place like home!"
Enjoy your birthstone. May it bring you all these qualities and more.