JULY BIRTHSTONE - RUBY
ruby is the red variety of the mineral Corundum, the second hardest natural mineral
known to mankind. Ruby is the July birthstone,
and the Capricorn Zodiac stone. Ruby
has been associated with the values of love, success, integrity, passion, and
All colors of corundum other than red or white are called Sapphire
The red color in ruby is caused by trace amounts of
the element chromium. The best shade of red for ruby is often given the
name "pigeon blood red", but ruby can be any shade of red up
to almost pink.
crystal inclusions cause a six-rayed-star light effect (called asterism)
to form the popular Star Ruby.
Rubies come from all over the world but
good gemstones are found at Thailand, India, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, North
Carolina in the U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania,
Kampuchea, and perhaps most notably, Burma.
Like most gemstones from the antiquities, Ruby is one of the
Exodus, the Breastplate of Aaron is described as containing a "sardius", the
ancient name for ruby.
Rubies have a famous place in science - the first lasers were made from
artificial ruby crystals. They still are used for this purpose although
other materials offer improved efficiency. Some natural ruby crystals show the
fluorescence (actually very short term phosphorescence) that makes a laser