In Sanskrit, ruby is ratnaraj, meaning ‘the king of gems’ and with that undeniably mesmerising hue of red, it’s not hard to see why.
Ruby is formed when the mineral corundum is mixed with chromium to create the unique rich red colour for which it is famous.
Ranging from deep to pale, rose red, the most valued rubies are those that are the deepest red, a colour also known as ‘pigeon’s blood’. They are normally found as small stones and anything over 10 carats is incredibly rare as the presence of chromium usually has an inhibiting effect on crystal growth.
The Black Prince’s Ruby, now in the Imperial State Crown of England, was discovered to be a spinel in the 19th century.
In classical antiquity rubies were thought to banish sorrow, restrain lust, and resist poison.
As well as being the birthstone for July, ruby is also the gemstone for 40th wedding anniversaries and if you’ve made it that far, we think a jewel of this majesty is certainly most fitting.
Feeling inspired? Shop our selection of ruby jewellery here