Vaughan's Jewelers
Shoppes at Brentwood
2801-3E Ward Blvd
Wilson, NC 27893
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Summer Store Hours
Monday - Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday: Closed

July Birthstone – Ruby


Ruby, “the King of Gems” and birthstone for July, got its name for its red color and is derived from the Latin word “rubeus,” which means red.  In approximately 1800, it was discovered that rubies, along with sapphire, belong to the same mineral group, or species, called corundum.

Before then, both red spinel and garnet were believed to be, or were called rubies.   In fact, several of the most spectacular red gemstones in England’s Royal Jewels are magnificent red spinels which, for years, were believed to have been rubies.

The red color in ruby is derived from chromium and historically, the most desirable ruby color is referred to as “pigeons blood”.  The red color of ruby will vary from deposit to deposit and it is, consequently, not possible to find out the source area of a ruby based on its color. Ruby is mined throughout Southeast Asia and, although the majority are found in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), many exquisite gemstones also are found in Sri Lanka and Africa.

The designation Burmese-ruby or Siam-ruby are trade names and pertain more to color quality than to place of origin. Internal characteristics, or inclusions, are quite common.  While these inclusions are not always indicative of lower quality, they could reveal the difference between natural and synthetic.  Specific types of inclusions may also suggest the source area, or origin, of the gemstone.

Enhancements – As is the situation with a lot of colored gemstones, rubies are routinely enhanced to improve their color and their clarity, the most notable enhancement being controlled heating.  Many enhancement procedures are commonly acknowledged and accepted throughout the jewelry industry and, in most instances, these enhancements are irreversible, permanent, and will result in a gemstone that is more beautiful.

One should be cautious, however, of enhancement techniques that are not permanent. If you plan to invest in any fine colored gemstone, you should work with a jeweler, like Vaughan’s Jewelers in Wilson, NC, who is gemologically trained to explain the differences.