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July is the month for red. Red flowers; red, white and blue independence from England celebrations , and the exquisite birthstone for July, Ruby. Ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, which means red. Ruby is the gift for fortieth wedding anniversaries.
Ruby is part of the corundum family of minerals which is aluminum oxide, the second hardest mineral after diamond. It's hardness is 9 on Moh's scale of hardness which makes it very suitable for use in jewelry worn frequently. Ruby has many inclusions such as silk rutile needles and other minerals included in the host rock. Colors of ruby can range from pink to dark red, with the brightest "blood red" colors generating the highest prices. The color in ruby is the result of chromium in the aluminum oxide mix. Almost all rubies in the gem trade are treated with heat to enhance the color. Many are treated to improve the clarity (absence of visible inclusions). The rare beauties that are completely natural, transparent with high clarity and very bright red color are very valuable and extremely expensive. These stones have been known in the past as the "Kings" of the colored gems.
Myanmar (Burma) has always been considered the premier mine location for fine quality rubies. They also are mined in Thailand, Afghanistan, Pakistan , Tanzania, Madagascar, Vietnam, Nepal , Tajikistan and also in the United States in Montana, North and South Carolina and Wyoming.
Ruby is symbolic for the sun, power and freedom. The Buddhists refer to ruby as "tears of Buddah", they feel that it is a sacred gemstone. Ruby is considered to have healing powers and to increase energy levels and if worn close to the heart, enhance love. They are thought to protect against poisons (including snake bites), ward off evil spirits, protect against sleeplessness and eliminate nightmares, increase health and stimulate blood circulation, protect sensitive emotions, reduce depression and increase wealth.