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Ruby: 9 Things You Should Know About July’s Birthstone

Woman's hand wearing ruby rings and a ruby bracelet
Ruby jewelry currently available in our DeWitt store.

July’s birthstone, ruby, is one of the most popular gemstones used in jewelry today. Its gorgeous red hue has captivated admirers for centuries. While you’re probably familiar with its appearance, learn more about this gemstone by reading these 9 fascinating facts about rubies.

1. Like sapphires, rubies are a corundum mineral.2

Corundum minerals contain the elements aluminum and oxygen. They’re extremely durable minerals that are difficult to scratch or break.

2. While sapphires can be found in many different colors, rubies are only red.

Rubies get their red color from chromium present within the corundum mineral, and the amount of chromium determines how pale or deep the ruby’s color is.2 In addition to their red color, this gemstone often displays hints of purple, pink, or orange.

3. Rubies are found in several countries, including Myanmar, Vietnam, Mozambique, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Pakistan.2

Countries all over the world mine rubies, however East Asia is a particularly prolific source of this gemstone.1

4. These gemstones are durable, rating a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.

These gemstones are difficult to damage, which is why they rate so high on the Mohs scale. In fact, diamonds are the only other gemstone harder than rubies. Sapphires, another type of corundum mineral, also have a score of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. While rubies are hard to scratch, you should still be careful with your ruby jewelry to keep it in good condition.

5. You can easily clean your ruby jewelry by gently scrubbing these gemstones with a soft toothbrush in warm, soapy water.

As long as your rubies haven’t undergone any clarity or color treatments, you can typically clean the gemstones using an Ultrasonic cleaner or a steamer.

6. Looking for a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary gift? Why not rubies?

Ruby jewelry is traditionally given as a gift on 15th and 40th anniversaries.3

7. Throughout history, people have believed that rubies have special powers.

It was once thought that having this gemstone in your possession would improve your ability to heal from wounds and protect you from harm.1

8. Some rubies are known as “Pigeon’s Blood” rubies.

You’ll recognize these rubies because of their striking purple-red color. Ruby-lovers covet Pigeon’s Blood rubies because they’re so rare.

9. Rubies have been traded for centuries.

In fact, it’s believed that ruby trading in China occurred during the 2nd century BCE.4

Shopping for Ruby Jewelry at Necker’s Jewelers

We have a large selection of ruby jewelry at our stores in Davenport and DeWitt, IA, and on our website.


1. July Birthstone: Ruby – International Gem Society

2. July Birthstone | Learn About the Ruby Gemstone | GIA

3. What is July’s Birthstone? | Learn About the Ruby Gemstone (

4. The History of Ruby Gemstones | July Birthstone (

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