Friday, July 1, 2011
Birthstone for July? Ruby...
The ruby, birthstone for July, is among the most highly prized of gemstones. Large rubies are harder to find than large diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. As a result, rubies’ value increases with size more than any other gemstone.
Along with its close relative, the sapphire, the ruby is a form of the mineral corundum, which is normally drab and grey in color. Red gemstone corundum is called ruby. All other gemstone corundum colors – orange, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, violet, black, and colorless – are called sapphires.
The Mogok valley of Upper Burma is famous as the source for the finest and rarest rubies of all, know as “pigeon’s blood” for the stones’ intense red color. Another major source of rubies is Thailand, well-known for dark, brownish-red rubies. Both Thailand and Burma regard the ruby as their national stone.
In the Orient, rubies were once believed to contain the spark of life – “a deep drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth,” according to ancient Eastern legends.
See more at: http://earthsky.org/earth/july-birthstone-ruby