The birthstone for the month of July is the ruby, which makes red the official July birthstone color. The ruby is one of the most highly prized gemstones. Finding a large ruby is more difficult than finding a large diamond. Because of this the value of a ruby increases with size much more than other gemstones. Rubies are a form of corundum, which is a mineral that is typically grey and drab in color. when it is red it is called a ruby. When corundum is another color such as yellow, orange, green, brown, violet, purple, black, or colorless, they are called sapphires.
The rarest and finest rubies are often found in Mogok valley located in Upper Burma. The stones found here are often called pigeons blood because of the intense red color of the stones found here. Thailand is also known for the production of dark, reddish brown rubies. Both Burma and Thailand consider the ruby to be the national stone.
History of Rubies
Rubies were believed to have the spark of life in the Orient. According to several eastern legends the minerals contained a drop of the hearts blood from mother earth. There are ancient Asian stores that state the ruby was self-luminous. It was often called a lamp stone or a glowing stone. The story states that one emperor of China would use a large ruby in order to light up be chambers and that it would glow as bright as day.
Hindu priests called Brahmins believed that god’s homes were lit by large emeralds and rubies. Greek legends that came later talked of a stork that would repay the kindness of Heraclea by bringing large rubies that would illuminate her room during the night.
Ancient Burmese, Hindus, and the Ceylonese thought sapphires were unripe rubies. They believed that if the sapphire was buried in the ground it would turn into a red ruby.
During the middle ages rubies were thought to guard against bad thoughts, disputes, and amorous desires and to bring good health. It was also believed that rubies could cure bleeding. It was also believed that the ruby could warn the owner of coming misfortunes such as death or illness by becoming darker in color. One story states that Catherine of Aragon, who was King Henry VII’s first wife, predicted her demise because her ruby started to darken.
Since rubies are rare, there are not very many famous large rubies. In his book written about his travels during the 13th century, Marco Polo tells of a magnificent gemstone, which is believed to be a ruby that was 9 inches in length and as thick as an arm. The King of Ceylon owned this particular gem.
July Birth Flower
The birth flower for the month of July is the Larkspur. The flower is native to northern temperatures. The flower has several names including lark’s toe, lark’s heel, staggerweed, and knight’s spur. The flower is a delphinium plant that has bright flowers. It symbolizes ardent attachment and the feelings of an open heart. Larkspur has a long history of use in alternative medicine, and is said to treat open wounds. It is also said to treat hemorrhoids, and help ease collic in young children.