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Article: Ruby Wisdom: the July Birthstone

ruby diamond pendant

Ruby Wisdom: the July Birthstone


For us down under we have just passed the winter solstice & Matariki (Maori New Year) a time for rest and renewal, while those in the north will be relishing the abundance and energy of the summer solstice...

July is coming up fast and finally, it is my birthstone month. I confess for years I was never quite comfortable with rubies. Their intense colour made them quite formidable to me with their deep red colouring, something not for the faint hearted nor the young. Thankfully I am neither now, so with new confidence and a love of challenge, I am establishing a relationship with the sophistication and maturity that wearing these exuberant stones in small doses, brings.

Ruby, is the red version of sapphire. As both are corundum mineral, there is no discernible chemical or scientific difference as to whether you are looking at a pink sapphire or a ruby.  The only indications are price, provenance and a distinct hue of red. Anything less than a hint of pure red tint is, along with lightness of saturation is a pink sapphire. There is a standing joke in the jewellery industry that if you are a seller, it is a ruby and if you are a buyer, it is a pink sapphire!

The best rubies and most famous are the pigeon blood rubies from Myanmar (Burma). Large, of the deepest blood red, these command eye watering prices and hold the viewer in awe when seen in real life. While Myanmar rubies have arguably the best quality and largest sizes, the conflict around the mining of these stones make most, including myself turn to Mozambique, which produces a stunning array of gemstones including gorgeous rubies. The colour saturation is superb and even in tiny sizes, the magnificent red hue still packs a punch.

Rubies will never be cheap, their hardness, quality as cut gemstone and intense red colour will always have them remaining the most precious of gems. For a serious achievement such as 40 years married, a graduation or some other life changing moment they are an apt symbol of triumph. With their victorious colour even at their tiniest, rubies are the daily reminder of how far you have come.

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Greetings from a strangely foggy Brisbane, The Florin collection is taking shape, with the wealth, scarcity and romantic nature of these ancient coins re-imagined in gemstones and gold. Set into h...

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