Ruby is the birthstone for July, its vibrant red hue perfectly encapsulating the spirit of this sultry summer month, when days are long, hot and intense. Versatile and elegant, these rich red gemstones – which have been described as “the heart of mother Earth” – have long been associated with passion, prosperity and protection.
Formed deep beneath the earth’s crust some 500 million years ago – an amazing feat of nature involving intense heat and pressure – rubies have been treasured by everyone from ancient warriors and Hindus to the Chinese – who revere the “lucky” colour red. They remain a firm favourite with A-listers today, such as Jennifer Garner and Gigi Hadid, and feature frequently on the appropriately named “red carpet”. Much has been made of their talismanic properties: in ancient times, warriors would wear them into battle, and they have often been laid beneath the foundations of buildings to provide protection to those who live and work there.
Today, rubies are seen as a stylish alternative – and complement – to diamonds. Rarer, and often dearer, than their colourless counterparts, they sit beautifully alongside them, in bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings, and also hold their own in a statement piece: the Sandy Leong x Gemfields Halo ring, featuring a large, striking Gemfields’ Mozambican ruby, being one perfect example. They range in colour from orangey to bluish reds, with the most coveted gemstones being those of a pure intense, or even fluorescent, red hue.
There is no better way to give playful uplift to an outfit and harness the power of colour than by weaving in coloured gemstones. Rubies are perfect for adding a touch of fiery red fun and glamour to any look, especially when worn in earrings: whether drop earrings like the Valani Atelier x Gemfields Oriane earrings, a column of rubies and diamonds, or a quirkier take with asymmetric squiggly drop earrings from the Margery Hirschey x Gemfields Barcelona collection. Fabergé x Gemfields Trio earrings from the Colours of Love collection offer a more classic, but just as powerful, look.
Coloured gemstones, and rubies, in particular, are an ideal way to make a strong personal statement.
To this end, the Francis de Lara x Gemfields Safari Sunset Bloom Ring – with petal-shaped rubies in a flower formation – expresses confidence and a concern for nature. Alternatively, the AYA x Gemfields Chete ring is understated and suited to stacking.
Gemfields is a world-leading miner of responsible coloured gemstones, and the majority owner of the most significant recently discovered ruby deposit: Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) in Mozambique, where rubies were first discovered in 2009, and where some of the world’s largest and most exceptional rubies have originated from, including an extraordinary pair that were recently sold at auction.
When it comes to buying rubies, there are “6 Cs” to consider. Diamonds have traditionally been measured and defined by the famous “4 Cs” – colour, cut, clarity and carat – and with rubies, two more, character and certification, are added to the mix, in recognition of the many subtle features of coloured gemstones. Each ruby really does have values and a personality all its own, making the buying process fascinating and personal.
Top buying tips include looking for evenness of colour and good saturation, viewing a gem in daylight and embracing inclusion as part of a gemstone’s unique character. But the most important rule is simply to follow your heart and select the ruby that you fall in love with.