Gems of July: All About Ruby and Onyx as July Birthstones

july birthstone

If the classic and most romantic red and black colour combination had a match, it has to be someone born in July! 

Adventurous, optimistic, and passionately classy— July babies, you have the queen of gems up on your sleeves: the gorgeous Ruby! And as if it were less, there's onyx to compliment the elegance! 

C’mon, quickly click that gratitude prayer! 

Coz’ you're so lucky, the universe gifted you the ultimate red-carpet ready colour combo, the power couple— one for passion and one for poise.

Let's see which one reflects your inner sparkle the most (or maybe it's both!)...

All About Ruby: 

This crimson enchantment is all about passion, vitality, courage and everyone’s favourite – love. Basically, it's a gem embodiment of confidence and inner fire.

Benefits of Ruby:

Well, it's said to bring you:

  • Increased motivation and zest for life
  • A boost of confidence (who doesn't feel fierce with a ruby on their finger?)
  • Deeper connections with loved ones (perfect if you're a hopeless romantic!)


Characteristics
:

Mineral: Corundum mineral, made mostly of aluminium oxide.

Chemistry: Aluminium oxide (Al₂O₃) with trace amounts of chromium (Cr) that contribute to its red colour.

Colour: Rubies can range from pinkish red to a deeper, more brooding cherry red. Very rare rubies can even exhibit a fluorescent orange or red glow under ultraviolet light.

Refractive Index: 1.76 - 1.78

Birefringence: 0.008 - 0.014

Specific Gravity: 3.9 - 4.1

Mohs Hardness: 9 on the Mohs hardness scale (second only to diamonds)

Places Mined:  Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, and  East Africa.

Zodiac Sign:  Cancer, Leo 

Planet: Sun

Element: Fire

Symbol: Love, Passion, Prosperity, Protection

Popular shapes: Round brilliant, oval, pear, emerald and cushion 

Gift: 15th & 40th Anniversary

The 4 C’s

Rubies have been prized for centuries, popping up in everything from ancient Indian jewellery to the British crown jewels. However, while picking up the perfect Ruby jewellery to match your personal preferences, the 4 C's play the most significant role: 

Colour

The most prized aspect of a ruby is its color. The ideal ruby has a vibrant, slightly bluish-red hue called "pigeon blood."  However, rubies can range from a pinkish red to a deeper, cherry red, and deeper hues with hints of crimson or even a touch of purplish or orangey red. 

When evaluating color, consider:

  • Hue: The overall red tone of the ruby.
  • Saturation: The intensity and richness of the red color.
  • Tone: The lightness or darkness of the red color.

Clarity: 

Rubies with no visible inclusions to the naked eye are the most valuable rubies. But, unlike diamonds where clarity is paramount, inclusions (tiny flaws) are more acceptable in rubies. Fewer inclusions generally translate to a higher value.  

Carat: 

Carat simply refers to the weight of the ruby.  Larger stones are generally more expensive, but keep in mind that a well-cut, smaller ruby with exceptional color and clarity can be more valuable than a larger stone with less desirable characteristics.

Cuts: 

A ruby's cut plays a critical role in how it reflects light and showcases its brilliance.  

When evaluating cuts, consider:

  • Proportion: A well-proportioned ruby will maximise its fire (play of light) and brilliance (overall sparkle). Asymmetry or incorrect faceting can dull the stone's beauty.
  • Symmetry: A symmetrical cut ensures a balanced and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Polish: A high-quality polish enhances the ruby's luster and allows light to penetrate deeper, creating a vibrant glow.
  • Shape: Popular cuts for rubies include round brilliant (classic), oval (elongated), cushion (soft square with rounded corners), emerald (rectangular with cropped corners), and pear (teardrop shape).

Treatments:

Like a little makeup, treatments can enhance a ruby's beauty. Heat treatment is most common and permanent, improving color. Other treatments, like diffusion and fracture filling, can affect value and fade over time. 

Therefore it's important to find Reputable jewellers like Angara India, who will tell you if a ruby has been treated. And also, ask for a certificate that details treatments done on the stone so that you can make informed choices and find the perfect value for your money. 

Caring for Ruby Jewellery:

Cleaning: For a deep clean therapy, you can occasionally (once a month or so) soak your ruby jewellery in a lukewarm solution of mild dish soap and water. Let it soak for a few minutes, then gently brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush (avoid toothpaste as it can be abrasive). Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Storing: Keep Rubies separate from Diamonds to prevent scratching as they are harder. 

Dont’s: 

  • Avoid exposing your ruby jewellery to harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or chlorine. These can damage the stone and its setting. Take off your ruby jewelry before cleaning, showering, or swimming.

  • Avoid leaving your ruby jewellery in direct sunlight for extended periods or exposing it to extreme heat.

Styling Ruby Jewellery 

Rubies have a regal air that goes perfectly with vintage-inspired designs. While surfing for Ruby rings for women pick some intricate filigree work, halo settings, or Art Deco motifs. It's the perfect way to combine the beauty of the past with the fire of your birthstone.

In case you wanna have the spotlight on your jewellery, opt for a Ruby solitaire. Want to let your ruby be the star of the show? Go for a classic solitaire ruby ring – timeless and elegant. Thinking of popping the question with a ruby engagement ring? We approve (and so will your partner!). For a bolder statement, an all - ruby station necklace or a tennis bracelet is a fiery showstopper. You can even mix things up with some diamonds for extra sparkle like this ruby and diamond huggie hoop earrings or add a subtle touch of romance with this heart-shaped ruby ribbon pendant with diamond

There’s more love to go around, just wait…

All About Onyx: 

July also gets to claim the enigmatic onyx as a birthstone. This jet-black beauty adds a touch of sophistication and grounding energy to any outfit and every personality. 

Benefits: 

Onyx symbolises protection, strength, and good fortune. It's a type of chalcedony, known for its durability. So, you can wear your onyx jewellery worry-free, knowing it can keep up with your active lifestyle.

Characteristics of Onyx:

Mineral: Chalcedony (a microcrystalline variety of quartz)

Hardness: 6.5 - 7 on Mohs scale (relatively hard and durable)

Crystal Structure: Trigonal (similar to quartz)

Primary Color: Black, but can also be found in white, brown, red, green, and grey

Popular Cut:  Cabochons (smooth, polished dome), beads (perfect for necklaces and bracelets), and carved shapes (cameos or intricate designs).

Mined in: Many locations worldwide, including Brazil, Madagascar, Uruguay, India, and the United States

Zodiac: Leo, Virgo (secondary)

Planet: Saturn

Element: Earth

Symbol: Strength, Protection, Balance

Chakras: Root Chakra (balances energy)

Birthstone: July (secondary to Ruby)

Gifting: 7th Anniversary

The 4 C’s

When it comes to the 4Cs for onyx, the focus is usually on colour, cut, and carat. 

Color:

The primary colour of onyx is, you guessed it, black! It's like…umm… that of a starless night sky, sleek and mysterious. While onyx is primarily black, there can be subtle variations.  A high-quality onyx will have a deep, even black colour without any brown or grey tinges.

Cut

Onyx can be cut in a variety of shapes, including rounds, ovals, squares, and even intricate carvings. The best cut will depend on the intended use of the stone and the designer's vision.  For example, a simple cabochon cut might be perfect for a bold pendant, while a faceted cut could add a touch of sparkle to earrings.

Clarity:  

Clarity is less of a concern for this opaque gemstone. Look for stones with even colour distribution and minimal internal flaws or inclusions. These imperfections can affect the overall beauty and value of the stone.  Generally, a flawless black onyx is considered the most valuable. However, some naturally occurring banded patterns in onyx can actually add to its visual interest and uniqueness.

Carat

For onyx, the size often comes down to personal preference and the intended piece of jewellery, larger ones being more pricey.  A larger stone might be ideal for a statement necklace, while smaller onyx pieces can be used for delicate earrings or bracelets.

Treatments:

Unlike rubies, onyx generally undergoes minimal to no treatments  due to its naturally occurring beauty and color consistency.

Still there are very rare treatments that exist for onyx:

  • Dyeing: In some cases, lower-quality onyx with brown or grey tones might be dyed a deeper black to improve its marketability. This practice is uncommon and reputable jewelers wouldn't use dyed onyx.
  • Fracture Filling: Similar to rubies, some onyx stones with natural fractures might be filled with a colorless substance to enhance stability.

As with rubies, it's always a good idea to choose a reputable jeweller who discloses any treatments used in your onyx jewellery.

Caring Tips:

  • Remove dirt, sweat, and any makeup residue that could dull the stone's luster after every use. 

  • Keep your onyx jewellery away from harsh chemicals, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. 

  • Ideally, store it in a soft pouch or a fabric-lined jewellery box.

  • Onyx is relatively hard, but it's not invincible. Avoid hitting it against hard surfaces or using harsh chemicals when cleaning.

  • Don't use harsh brushes or abrasive cleaners on your onyx jewellery.

  • While a matte finish is sometimes used for onyx, note that a good polish can bring back its natural luster.  

Styling Onyx Jewellery 

Just like your little black dress, Onyx goes with everything! Pair a statement onyx necklace with a flowing maxi dress, or rock some bold onyx earrings to add instant edge to your everyday look. For your 9-5 elegance? It exudes an aura of effortless professionalism. A simple onyx pendant adds instant polish to any outfit. Dress it up for a formal event or keep it casual for everyday wear with Cushion Black Onyx Drop Earrings with Diamond.

And when feeling bold, go for a statement piece like an onyx cuff bracelet or a Emerald-Cut Black Onyx Cocktail Ring with Diamond Accents.

Metal Choice: Don't be afraid to pair it with other gemstones or metals. Onyx plays well with others! Pair your onyx jewellery with silver for a modern look, or gold for a touch of vintage charm.

FAQs

1. What is the significance of Ruby as a July birthstone?
Ruby’s a fiery head-turner representing the heat and vibrancy of summer. What else could have represented the heat, passion and vibrancy of July better? 

2. What are the key characteristics of Ruby? 
Second only to diamonds, rubies are incredibly durable and scratch-resistant. They have an exceptionally saturated deep red colour with a hint of blue, often called "pigeon blood." And yes, they are so rare and prized crown jewels, even their inclusions are considered valuable! 

3. What is the significance of Onyx as a July birthstone?
Both Ruby and Onyx are associated with the root chakra and their colour combination is absolutely complimentary. One is vibrant and sparkling, other is elegantly dark and matte.

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