July and August babies, welcome to your part in the J.H. Young birthstone jewelry journey.
While you might be tuned into your monthly, weekly, or even daily horoscope, how much do you really know about your birthstone?
Well, you’re about to learn more about the birthstones given to your month; from the myths and lore to what they symbolize. Who knows, by the end, you might be interested in shopping for birthstone jewelry of your own or for a loved one.
July’s Birthstone: Ruby
In the height of summer romance, of course, the birthstone for July is sultry Ruby. This highly valuable gemstone is known for its deep, red colour.
Where Ruby is Found
Historically, one of the oldest and most significant sources of rubies is from modern-day Myanmar, formerly Burma. Starting in the late 20th century, the Luc Yen region in northern Vietnam became a major player for ruby mines in the mountains of the rainforest.
Nowadays, ruby deposits have been discovered in Thailand and Cambodia, in addition to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
History and Lore of Ruby
Ruby has been hailed not only for its intense beauty but for its seemingly mystical powers. Some believed that this gemstone could predict danger or misfortune while others would wear this stone to cure medical ailments like inflammatory diseases.
In Medieval times, this stone was said to bestow wealth, health and success in love. Not too bad, July!
How to Buy Ruby
It might surprise you but this beautiful, exotic, red stone is second to only diamond when it comes to hardness. This makes it suitable for any type of jewelry, including rings!
Another feature worth noting is that rubies are often heat-treated in order to increase the stone’s red vibrancy and reduce inclusions. That said, rubies have also been subject to dyeing and diffusion treatments which reduce the durability of the stone.
Colour is by far the most important factor when buying rubies. The deeper the colour red of the ruby, the more valuable the stone is considered to be.
If the ruby takes on a more orangey or purplish hue, then it is valued as a lower quality stone.
When we are referring to a stone’s clarity, we are referring to the number of inclusions or imperfections in the stone. Generally, inclusion-free rubies are impossibly rare, so people expect there to be at least a few.
When you’re buying a ruby, you’re still looking for as small and as few inclusions as possible if you’re looking for a good quality stone. Of course, the price will reflect that.
Like all gemstones, the cut is also a very important factor when shopping for rubies. The most popular shape you will find is a flat tabular hexagonal shape or an elongated shape.
Ruby Carat Weight
Rubies are a rare gemstone and high-quality rubies are even rarer. High-quality rubies over 1 carat are extremely rare, but more common grade rubies are more readily available in larger sizes.
Like other gemstones, the price per carat increases exponentially as the stone increases in size.
Before you buy a ruby, you should always ask if the ruby has been treated and by what method. The Federal Trade Commission requires the disclosure of any treatments that can affect the gemstone’s perceived value.
August’s Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel
They say variety is the spice of life and with this month having three different official birthstones, we’d say August is looking pretty spicy! August’s beautiful birthstones perfectly represent the different colours of summer; from the yellowish-green peridot representing lush grass, the reddish-brown sardonyx portraying the earth and the varying colours of spinel embodying the many colours of a summer sunset.
August has options, and we’re here for it, but to keep things simple we’re going to focus on the most widely accepted August birthstone, Peridot.
Where Peridot is Found
The oldest recorded source of Peridot is from the Egyptian island of Zabargad, however, that island soon got a bad reputation. Due to the extremely dangerous conditions of the mine, it was nicknamed the Island of Death.
Today, most peridot comes from China, Myanmar and Vietnam. Some peridots, however, have a more celestial journey and arrive on Earth on meteorites.
There is a beach in Hawaii named Peridot Beach where the sand gleams green from the tiny pieces of this luminous gemstone. This is likely due to a meteor crashing into the ocean and it slowly being broken down by waves.
History and Lore of Peridot
Historically, this gemstone was popular amongst the ancient Egyptians who associated it with light and the sun. They believed that when it was set in gold, peridot would protect them from “terrors of the night” and ward off evil spirits.
As valued as Peridot has been throughout history, it is often confused with other gemstones. From the earliest of times, it was mistakenly labelled as topaz. In fact, due to its green colour, some historians even believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection was actually peridot.
This confusion continued into Medieval times, with many people believing that the 200 carats of gemstones decorating the Three Holy King’s shrine in Germany were emeralds when they are, in fact, peridots.
How to Buy Peridot
Like any gemstone, some peridot can be heat-treated or enhanced in order to bring out more valuable characteristics of the stone. If you are a serious gemstone collector or just wish to have a 100% natural stone, you can always ask to view certificates to ensure you’re getting a 100% authentic peridot.
You will see peridot range from a yellowish-green into a deep, mossy green. When it comes to buying peridot, the deeper green they are in colour, the more valuable they are considered to be.
When we are referring to clarity, we are referring to the number of inclusions or imperfections that naturally occur in the stone. Peridot is similar to other gemstones in that the less visible inclusions are, the more valuable the stone is considered to be.
Peridot can be cut or shaped into almost every different shape but it is most often seen in a square or cushion cut. This beautiful stone can be shown off in any shape so it’s ultimately up to your personal preference.
Peridot Carat Weight
Peridot is relatively common and can be found in a range of sizes. As anything, carat weight provides a precise measurement to measure a stone’s worth. Therefore the larger or heavier the stone, the more expensive it is. With each whole-carat you hit, the price increases exponentially.
Whether you’re a July or August baby, we hope you enjoyed learning about your beautiful birthstones as much as we did! Hopefully, these tips will help you pick out your next stunning birthstone jewellery piece.
If you’re in need of some extra advice or want to learn more about a specific birthstone, you can always consult with our staff at J.H. Young in Brantford. We’re more than happy to help with your birthstone jewelry journey.