The July birthstone is Ruby. So if you have the good fortune to have been born in July, your birthstone is one of the most beautiful gems – with prices to match. For centuries, many people consider that this stone is the king of all gems.
According to gemstone lore, the Ruby represents love, passion, courage and emotion. People have long believed that wearing a fine red Ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner. Rubies have been the prized possession of emperors and kings throughout the ages. To this day the Ruby is one of the most valued gemstones.
A Ruby’s most important feature is its colour. Rubies are available in a range of red hues from purplish and bluish red to orange-red. The brightest and most valuable colour of Ruby is “a Burmese Ruby” – one that has a rich, passionate, hot, full red colour with a slight blue hue. This colour is only associated with the Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar.
July Birthstone De-mystified
All gemstones are minerals and Ruby is the red variety of corundum, with chromium impurities that give it the vivid red colour.
Other colours of corundum gemstones are called sapphires.
The name “Ruby” comes from rubeus, Latin for red. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby is ratnaraj, which means “king of precious stones.” So these gems have been highly valued throughout history.
The chromium that gives ruby its red colour also causes fluorescence. This makes rubies glow like a fire from within. Chromium is also what makes rubies scarce because it often causes cracks. This means that very few rubies can ever grow large enough to crystallize into fine quality gems. The very best rubies can bring even higher prices than diamonds.
Myanmar for Top Quality Rubies
The Mong Hsu region of Myanmar (Burma) began producing rubies in the 1990s when producers discovered that heat treatment improved their colour. Other ruby deposits exist in Vietnam, Thailand, India, parts of the Middle East, East Africa and even the United States.
Ruby is a very hard stone, second only in hardness to diamond.
Ruby’s strength and red fluorescence are important beyond jewellery making. Industrial uses for natural and synthetic rubies include watch-making, medical instruments and in lasers.
Healing Properties of Ruby
It has long been associated with the life force and vitality of blood. Ruby is believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle.
The 14th February is Valentines Day when we celebrate our love for someone. Here are six things that you might not know about Valentine’s Day and St Valentine.
It started with the Romans
Valentines Day goes back to the Roman Empire and Emperor Claudius II. He wanted more soldiers for the Roman army, but lots of men refused to leave their wives and families. So the Emperor decided that the solution was to ban all marriages.
However, a very popular priest in Rome thought that this was unfair and started to marry couples in secret. Eventually, Claudius II found out about these secret marriages and was furious. He ordered that Valentine should be thrown into jail, where he eventually died on February 14th. His friends hadn’t forgotten him and they made sure that he was buried in a churchyard in Rome.
The Parliament of Fowls was probably written sometime in the late-1370′s to the late 1380′s. This contains the earliest known reference to “Saint Valentine’s Day” as an occasion for romance.
[…] ther sat a quene
That, as of light the somer-sonne shene
Passeth the sterre, right so over mesure
She fairer was than any creature.And in a launde, upon an hille of floures,
Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
Of braunches were hir halles and hir boures,
Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;
Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
That they ne were prest in hir presence,
To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.
For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,
This translates into modern English as:
There sat a queen who was more lovely by far than any other creature, just as the summer sun outshines the stars. This noble goddess Nature sat enthroned in a pavilion she had wrought of branches upon a flowered hill atop a meadow. And there was not any bird born of love that was not ready in her presence to hear her and receive her judgment. For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when all the birds of every kind that men can imagine come to choose their mates.
However, it is fairly certain that the church celebrated the Feast of St. Valentine before Chaucer wrote this.
The origin of Valentine’s day cards lie in letters and poems. The tradition of sending poems to a love on Valentine’s day was started by a French nobleman, Charles Duke Of Orleans around 1415, who was taken prisoner during the Battle Of Agincourt. He sent love poems to his wife back in France each year.
The 14th February became associated with love in the Middle Ages, especially through the writer Geoffrey Chaucer.
It took almost 200 more years for commercial Valentine cards to make an appearance in 1800. These also started with just poems, but it wasn’t long before artwork was added to give more romance.
How Did Our Blood Pump Become The Icon For Valentines Day and Love?
It may well all be the fault of a North African plant. As far back as the seventh century B.C., there was a profitable trade in a plant called Silphium. Among other uses, Silphium was reputed to provide a form of birth control. The Silphium plant was so important that Cyreneian coins depicted the plant’s seed pod, which looks like the heart shape we know today.
It is said that the heart shape of this seed pod first became associated with sex, and eventually, with love.
By the 17th Century, Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque had a vision of it surrounded by thorns. This symbol became known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was associated with love and devotion.
Before the medical profession disavowed the world, it was generally believed that the heart was the seat of all human emotions and feelings. So the gift of a heart represented the giving of everything to someone you love. This ancient belief has lingered on through the ages.
Cupid, draw back your bow
And let your arrow flow
Straight to my lovers heart
Cupid’s arrows come in two varieties:
The Golden Arrow, which generally signifies true love
The Leaden Arrow, which represents wanton and sensual passion.
He is sometimes portrayed with a torch with which to inflame desire between men and women.He is often described a mischievous because his interference doesn’t always have happy consequences.
Cherubs are also believed to be descendants of Cupid. Depicted as loveable little winged creatures, but without the use of arrows.
Love Is Only Chemicals
Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in the sense that we have no control over it. But then, that is not so surprising since love is basically chemistry. While lust is a temporary passionate sexual desire involving the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and oestrogen, in true love, or attachment and bonding, the brain can release a whole set of chemicals: pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. However, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defence and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security.
Written by Jim Al-Khalili – a theoretical physicist and science writer
Garnet, the January Birthstone, is mined in a rainbow of colours. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized colour of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.
This gem is also available inthe deep red Bohemian Garnet, the vibrant green of the Russian Demantoid. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron.
Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travellers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the January Birthstone, but with its stunning variety of colours and its mystical powers it has been given as a gift for all occasions for centuries.
Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays and jewellery.
We’re trying to work out how the traditional heart shape relates to the organ inside the human body. Dave is also trying to work out how a muscle is associated with love – but he’s an old curmudgeon.
A little research, as well as experience has shown that we don’t ever feel physical sensations in your brain. Our bodies’ response to strong emotion generally occurs with a speeded up pulse, caused by stronger beating of the heart. So we are much more likely to perceive a concentrated sensation inside their chest (pounding heartbeat) when confronted with strong emotional stimuli.
As for St Valentine, he was a third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and has been associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.
Very little is known about the martyr other than his name and the fact that he was buried at a cemetery north of Rome on February 14th. He was demoted from the Roman Catholic Church’s official list in 1969 but the Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14th entry in the Roman Martyrology
However, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Protestant Church, but the Eastern Orthodox Church, celebrates on July 6.
The 14th February became associated with love in the Middle Ages, especially through the writer Geoffrey Chaucer, but it was the 18th Century and the Victorians who really went to town and turned this date into the love-in that we see today. It evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“).
Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
LoveTaliesin Jewellery has a wide range of hearts and other love tokens. These are all hand-made by Sue using a variety of Swarovski Elements, Tibetan Silver Charms and Antique Bronze components. We also supply a range of romantic dichroic glass jewellery.
You can see the whole of our “Heart” collection, including earrings, pendants and sets, in our online shop
Birthstones or gemstones have long been associated with particular times of the year.
This dates back to pagan beliefs that the cycles of nature and the seasons directly affect a person’s characteristics and that his or her birth is itself part of a cycle of nature. In the bible, the breastplate of Aaron was set with 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. (Exodus 28:15-19)
These beliefs exist today in astrology and in the association of certain stones and colours with each month. By 1870, Tiffany & Co were marketing Birthstones with a series of 12 poems – one for each month – describing how the birthstone associated with each month will help to shape the characteristics of a person born in that month . See this Wikipedia article.
However, this was not the only list; a number of competing sets of birthstones were circulated leading to standardisation by jewellery industry bodies across the world during the first half of the twentieth century. By 1937, the National Association of Goldsmiths in Britain set out this list which has become the internationally (almost) accepted one.