The height of the summer and the hottest month of the year, if you're a July baby then your birthstone is the ever regal and fiery ruby! The name of the gemstone comes from the Latin rubinus, meaning red. Ruby has been called the most precious natural stone although it's technically in the sapphire family!

The Meaning

A traditional favourite, a ruby engagement ring stone symbolises love and passion. For centuries, rubies have also signified protection and wealth; Ancient warriors in Burma and China adorned their armour with the gem to provide protection in battle. Furthermore, Ruby is the gemstone to be given on the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries!

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Ruby is relatively hard, ranking at a 9 on the Mohs scale. It has excellent toughness and no cleavage, which is a tendency to break when struck. This makes it a great choice for rings and other mountings subject to daily wear. Among the natural gems, only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0 and moissanite falling somewhere in between corundum (ruby) and diamond in hardness. Because of this, the only thing that can scratch a genuine ruby is a diamond!

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- Gráinne