“Those be rubies, fairy favors.” – Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Before modern cutting techniques caused the diamond to take pride of place as the most precious gemstone, the ruby was considered to be the King of Gems. The bright red corundum – materially the same as a sapphire except for a difference in color due to a quirk of fate and chromium levels – seems to glow with an inner fire as warm and brilliant as the sun. The ancient Hindus believed that this inner fire was irrepressible; no covering could prevent the glow of a ruby from leaking out, and to drop a ruby in water would cause the water to boil from the stone’s internal heat. The vivid coloration has been linked by numerous cultures to the divine and yet retains a sort of dominance over the terrestrial as well. Though sacred to numerous gods and often used in religious rites and rituals, the stone was also thought to wield intense power over a variety of human emotions: specifically, the ruby was thought to be strongly related to one’s romantic passions as well as one’s temper, possessing the power to enhance one’s ability to love or fell anger while simultaneously clearing away negative energy and providing emotional stability.
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The bold red glow of a ruby has given it a symbolic meaning as the gemstone of summer. The fiery jewel mimics the blaze of the sun and is a perfect representation of the heated summer months. Appropriately, the ruby is also the birthstone for the month of July.
The dominant Zodiac sign of July is Cancer, the crab. Ruled by the moon, Cancers are notoriously emotional creatures who keep their sensitive natures well-hidden behind a tough outer shell. Creative and kind, the typical Cancer is highly domestic and prone to nurturing. At first glance, this Zodiac sign with its strong pelagic associations and generally nice nature seems at odds with its birthstone – the fiery, powerful ruby. However, both Cancer and the ruby are affiliated with the realm of emotions.
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Just as the ruby has the mythical ability to exacerbate feelings of love and anger, so does the Cancer have a tendency to overdo it in the arena of feeling. Infamous for being moody, this sign is quick to take offense and has a tendency to withdraw into itself leaving only the tough outer shell – and a penchant for defensive behavior. Unless those born under this sign can find a balance of temperament, loving can turn into smothering and hurt feelings turn into a vindictive and cruel need for revenge. Wearing this talismanic gemstone in a ring, bracelet or necklace is thought to provide a stability that might help temper the intense emotions of this sensitive sign.
Rubies come in numerous shades of red and reddish-purple, with the most prized color being “pigeon’s-blood” – a vivid natural tone found in the finest Burmese rubies. Whether you prefer to sport your rubies as bright accent stones or let them take the spotlight, these stately jewels will always add a colorful flash of fire to your jewelry box.