From the ancient kings who treasured the ruby to Dorothy’s ruby slippers to ruby rings on modern-day red carpets, the July birthstone dazzles, and there’s no denying its timeless appeal. As one of the four classic precious gemstones, the ruby has a long history of making a stunning statement, and pieces of ruby jewelry have an enduring sparkle and sophistication that’s impossible to deny.
The word “ruby” comes from the Latin word “ruber,” which means red. Thus, it’s no surprise that this gem has become known for its brilliant crimson color, and its name has become synonymous a bold, rich hue. This saturated color never grows old, and its beauty spans generations and cultures.
Although you probably wouldn’t guess it from the ruby’s appearance, it’s actually the most valuable variety of the same mineral that comprises a sapphire: corundum. As such, it’s quite durable, measuring a 9 on the Mohs scale (a measure of hardness) and ranking just below the diamond. Thus, pieces of jewelry that feature the ruby have lasting beauty, and they’re ideally crafted to be passed on to future generations.
Vintage ruby styles, with their time-tested designs, are particularly poised to become treasured heirlooms. The Enchanted Ruby Ring in 14K White Gold gorgeously displays the ruby’s affinity for looks inspired by the past, as well as its ability to give them a bold, sparkling touch. A 4.5mm ruby glitters from the center of this Victorian-style ring, surrounded by a detailed swirl and openwork motif that gives this ring a big dose of time-tested feminine charm.
The great worth of the ruby has been understood for millennia. This gem is used several times in the Bible to explain the incomparable worth of wisdom. The book of Job, the oldest biblical book, states “For the price of wisdom is above rubies.” Later, King Solomon wrote that wisdom is “more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” Of all gemstones, the ruby was chosen to emphasize that wisdom is the most worthy of pursuits, demonstrating the incredible value of this precious crimson stone.
Some ancient cultures believed that the dazzling appearance of the ruby was a result of a fire that burned within the gem, and it’s not a stretch to see how they reached this conclusion. The dazzling red hue of this stone seems to flicker like a flame, allowing it to readily represent passion and love.
Brilliantly portraying the color of the heart, the ruby is an excellent pick for expressing love and affection, and Apples of Gold carries a number of styles that combine this precious stone with heart motifs to create looks that send a clear message of affection. For instance, the Engraved Hearts Ruby Engagement Ring is a sweet yet striking celebration of love that puts the ruby’s unique glow in the spotlight. A 6.5mm round ruby is the star of this 14K white gold ring; it’s held by a timeless four-prong setting as it overlooks a meticulously-carved band. A row of hearts adorns the outside of this band, and these little emblems of love point the way to this piece’s dazzling main attraction. Swirl motifs accent the sides of this romantic ring, while petite milgrain edges add an extra touch of class.
The ruby’s ability to represent love and matters of the heart make it ideal gemstone when you’re looking for a unique way to pop the question. While ruby engagement rings are less than traditional, they’re perfect when you want to leave no question that your one special someone has set your heart aflame. The 1 Carat Art Deco Ruby Ring is stunning option. Inspired by the 1920s, this exquisite piece places a 6mm round ruby in the center a gracefully opening lotus flower. The petals of this smooth, shining blossom rise from a gleaming 14K white gold band that’s been carved with a lively leaf and swirl design. This lovely piece is also available with a perfectly coordinating wedding band as part of the 1 Carat Ruby Art Deco Bridal Ring Set in 14K White Gold.
In addition to comparing wisdom to rubies, King Solomon also used this incredibly valuable precious red gem to demonstrate the great worth of a good wife: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” While ruby jewelry can never fully communicate the value of the special woman in your life, a piece that features this stunning stone can be a meaningful way to tell her that you treasure her.
A ruby jewelry set is a surefire way to tell that special lady that, in your eyes, no one compares to her. The Oval Flower Ruby and Diamond Set partners a pair of ruby and diamonds earrings with a coordinating pendant that hangs from a gleaming gold bale on a complementary 18” box chain. Each of these pieces frames an oval-shaped ruby with 10 smaller diamonds like petals surrounding a sparkling flower, adding striking contrast that makes the rubies’ centers positively pop.
The ruby’s undeniably warm hue makes it a fitting birthstone for the month of July, a month that, in many places, is the hottest month of the year. However, you don’t have to have been born in July to rock the ruby: this gem is a glamorous pick for anyone in search of bold, sophisticated style.
Ruby earrings make excellent gifts for anyone with an eye for timeless class. Apples of Gold’s Ruby Stud Earrings in 14K White Gold are a simple way to add a pop of red dazzle, and they make a lovely addition to any jewelry box. Available with your choice of 4mm, 5mm or 6mm round rubies, this is a versatile and sophisticated pair.
In addition to serving as the July birthstone, the ruby is also the gemstone associated with both the 15th and 40th anniversaries, and ruby rings are excellent ways to celebrate these milestones. The 14K Gold Ruby and Diamond Stackable Channel Ring could serve as a striking anniversary ring as it alternates four round rubies with three similarly-shaped diamonds, all set in a polished band of warm 14K yellow gold.
The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj,” which means “king of gemstones.” Fittingly, this stone has a long history of being worn by royalty, and for thousands of years it has been donned by dignitaries in cultures spanning the globe. In more recent history, the always classy Jackie Kennedy was given a stunning 17.68 carat ruby ring as a wedding gift and was seen with this exquisite piece on her finger throughout her life. In addition, the ruby has been worn by movie stars past and present, from Elizabeth Taylor to Selma Hayek. As these women demonstrate, the ruby is a stone that overflows with glamour.
If you’re looking for an undeniably glamorous piece for your own hand, don’t miss the Antique Halo Ruby and Diamond Ring! This stunning 14K white gold style puts a 5mm round ruby on display, and contrasts it in breathtaking fashion with 82 dazzling diamonds (81 carats in all). These colorless accent stones create a sparkling frame around the center ruby, as well as stud three sides of the gleaming band. Fine beaded edges hem in these gems to emphasize that this vintage-style ring is the epitome of class.
If you’re looking for glamour, but aren’t into styles inspired by the past, you’re in luck: the ruby is also a striking pick for contemporary looks. The Tension Set Ruby Engagement Ring is a perfect example as it gives a timeless single-stone style a twist that’s decidedly up to the minute. Two arms of 14K white gold emerge from the shining band to hug a 6.5mm round ruby in a modern tension setting, making this gem appear as if it’s suspended in midair. This style isn’t complicated, but its unique silhouette ensures that it won’t be overlooked.
If you’re drawn to the sophistication of the ruby but are on a tight budget, try a silver ruby ring. Pieces such as the Ruby and White Topaz Heart Ring in .925 Sterling Silver provide impeccable style and striking color, while giving your wallet a break.
While the ruby is known for its ability to capture a sense of passion and romance, this gorgeous gemstone can also serve as a reminder of Christ’s love and His ultimate sacrifice. For example, the 14K Gold Ruby Cross Diamond Pendant places a 5mm-high oval-shaped ruby in the center of a graceful, gleaming gold cross and accents it with four small diamonds. This meaningful piece includes an 18” 14K gold rope chain, rendering it ready to slip around your own neck or give to someone whose faith you admire. It’s just one of several ruby pendants in Apples of Gold’s collection that communicate clear messages of faith.
No matter where your birthday falls, the ruby is a striking pick. With its universally sought-after beauty, thanks to its deep red hue and fiery dazzle, the July birthstone is will never fail to communicate class and glamour.