ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ruby - the July Birthstone

Updated on July 12, 2014

Rubies -the Most Treasured Red Gemstones

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of the color red? The first thing that I thought of was ruby red. Rubies have been one of the most treasured and valuable gems in the world since the earliest times, desired by royalty and the wealthy through the ages. Rubies are one of only four precious gems naturally found on the earth, the other three being diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. It could be argued that the rubies are the most striking precious gem because of their red color. The word "ruby" is derived from "ruber", the latin word for red.

Red is the color that most gets our attention. Red is the color of fire, the color of life-sustaining blood, the color of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. As I started to create this page about rubies, my curiosity led me to seek more information about rubies, so on this page I'll share what I learned. The beautiful red color of jewelry made from rubies an especially great gift for Valentine's Day, Christmas or for anyone whose favorite color is red. Since the ruby is the birthstone for July, rubies also make great gifts for people with July birthdays.

The gem in this photo is the Carmen Lucia Ruby on display at the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. This ruby is one of the world's largest and finest. It is a 23.1 carat ruby mined from the Mogok region of Burma in the 1930s. It was donated to the Smithsonian by Peter Buck in memory of his wife Carmen Lúcia for whom the ruby was named.

(Photo credit: Cliff1066 on Flickr - creative commons 2.0 license)

What are Rubies Made From? - What gives rubies their red color?

Ruby Corundum
Ruby Corundum

I was surprised to learn that rubies are basically red sapphires. Both rubies and sapphires are made from the mineral Corundum and are some of the hardest natural gems - only slightly softer than diamonds. Corundum is a crystalized form of aluminum which often contains traces of other elements. If the corundum is red, it is called a ruby. If it is any other color it is considered a sapphire. Chromium is the element found in some Corundum that gives rubies their red color. Depending on the type and amount of other elements sapphires can be blue, purple, green or pink.

Natural Ruby and Sapphire gemstones may have their color artificially enhanced or deepened through heat treatment to be used as gems in jewelry.

(Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr creative commons 2.0 license)

What does a ruby looks like before it is cut and polished? - An Uncut Natural Ruby Gem


A natural ruby before it is cut and polished.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia - released to public domain by

Adrian Pingstone in May 2003)

Where in the World are Rubies Found? - Most of the world's largest rubies have been found in southeast Asia

Burma, also known as Myanmar is where many of the world's largest rubies have been found. Rubies are also mined Cambodia, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Ruby deposits have also been found in Madagascar and Tanzania and most recently in Greenland.

Burma - aka Myanmar:

get directions

Most of the World's Rubies come from Burma (Also known as Myanmar) - See how rubies are mined in Burma

A video showing how rubies are mined and a glimpse into the life of those who mine them in Myanmar.

Rubies Created in the Laboratory - Created Synthetic Rubies


Synthetic or "created" rubies have been made since 1837. The first synthetic rubies were made by fusing potash alum at a high temperature. Just like natural rubies, some chromium was added as a pigment to make the red color. Synthetic rubies are so perfect that they seldom have any imperfections that are visible to the naked eye. Some minor imperfections that can be seen under magnification are intentional to make it appear more real. Most synthetic rubies need to be examined and tested by a gemologist to determine that they were created in a laboratory.

(Photo by Maico on Flickr) Creative Commons 2.0 License

Ruby Rings with Simulated Stones - Rings made with Created Rubies

These beautiful rings are made with simulated, "created" rubies and are much more affordable and less environmentally damaging than natural rubies.

Men's Rings with Created Ruby Gemstones - Simulated Ruby Rings for Men

Facts About Rubies

Both rubies and sapphires are made from the mineral corundum

Corundum is crystallized aluminum combined with small quantities of chromium, iron and titanium.

Chromium gives rubies their red color

Rubies are one of the hardest natural gems

Most of the world's largest rubies were found in southeast Asia

The Birthstone for July is the Ruby

Ruby Mining in Greenland - Recently Discovered Ruby Deposits

With the melting and shrinking of the polar ice cap, a new area with rubies has been discovered which was, until recently, covered in ice and snow. Seeing the mess that is being made of this formerly pristine area, only increased my desire to avoid promoting natural ruby gemstones.

Bracelets Made with Created Rubies - Simulated Ruby Gem Bracelets

Natural or Created Ruby - Which would you choose? - Would you want a natural ruby or a synthetic one created in a laboratory?

Ruby Gemstone ring
Ruby Gemstone ring

As sometimes happens when I start a lens, I don't know exactly where my research and ideas may lead me. Before I started doing some research about rubies to write this page, I thought I would rather have a natural ruby instead of a fake, "created" ruby and planned on displaying only natural rubies on this page for sale. But after I learned about the human suffering and environmental damage caused by mining rubies, I changed my mind. My conscience wouldn't allow me to support the sale of natural, genuine rubies, so all of the jewelry featured on this page are created, synthetic rubies. What do you think?

(Photo by Derrico Jewelry on Flickr) Creative Commons 2.0 License

Would you buy a natural ruby or a created ruby?

See results

You need not be a squidoo member to leave a comment, but if you would like to sign up and make your own lens - it's easy!  Just Click Here to get started!

Please Leave a Comment - Share your thoughts and let me know you visited this page!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      4 years ago

      i missed one question on your quiz just by a wrong click.. anyway i like your lens about rubies.. they are one of my favorite as well.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)