In India, the word for “Ruby” means the king of gems. Rubies can be more precious than diamonds – the gorgeous red gemstones are certainly scarcer, being found only in relatively difficult to access locations in the Far East. Top contemporary jewelry designers, including Judith Ripka and David Yurman, create exceptionally beautiful ruby jewelry – check the “Previously Enjoyed Collection” at The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest for some gorgeous examples!
Rubies have always been a high-prestige stone. One of the four precious gemstones – the other three are diamond, emerald, and sapphire – rubies have been the preferred gem of royalty and celebrities. Wearing rubies is said to enhance wisdom, especially surrounding financial matters. Ruby is also said to encourage ambition in men.
Ruby: Renowned Red Beauty
Rubies are used to celebrate July birthdays, as well as the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. A ruby’s intense red color makes it a natural choice for romantic jewelry or to celebrate Valentine’s Day as well. When shopping for rubies, be aware that you’ll be looking at smaller stones: rubies over 1 carat are exceptionally rare and, if of superior quality, extremely expensive. Color and clarity are the two most important criteria to consider: you want rubies that have an intense, clear red hue. Darker stones are considered more desirable. Pigeon’s blood is a phrase used to refer to very dark red rubies, generally sourced from the northern region in Burma.
Understanding Ruby Cuts
You’ll often see rubies cut in what’s known as a mixed cut style. This is done to maximize the stone’s weight and beauty while freeing light to move freely within the gem. Examples of mixed cuts are brilliant cut crowns and step cut pavilions. When you are looking at vintage or estate jewelry, such as you might find in the Previously Enjoyed Collection at our OC jewelry store, you’ll be able to tell older rubies from the Art Deco era because they’re cut in an Old European style. Genuine Victorian and Edwardian ruby jewelry will often feature miner-cut gems – simpler but striking configurations that have historic appeal.
Ruby: A Fashion Favorite That’s More Popular Than Ever
Ruby has long been a fashion favorite, but when Princess Kate began wearing rubies and sapphires regularly, the colorful gemstones’ popularity went through the roof. In England, they call this the Kate Middleton effect. Stateside, Jessica Simpson made fashion headlines with her five-carat ruby and diamond engagement ring in 2010.
You’ll find a wide variety of ruby jewelry styles at our OC jewelry store, including some truly lovely rings and gemstone pendants. If you have a piece of older ruby jewelry you never wear because the style’s out of date, let one of our Master Jewelers create a new look for you. It’s a simply way to have a stunning one of a kind piece of custom ruby jewelry!