Ruby, the birthstone for July, is also the traditional gift for the fifteenth and fortieth anniversaries.
Ruby is the red variety of corundum (Sapphire). The red in Ruby is caused by chromium in the crystal lattice structure of otherwise colorless Sapphire. It is third in hardness with a nine on the Moh scale (only Diamond (10) and Moissanite (9.5) are harder).
Rubies are routinely heat treated to improve overall appearance of color, clarity, transparency and even stability. The treatment method of any gem should be disclosed along with any special handling requirements prior to purchase.
Purity, and intensity of color along with clarity, size and quality of cut determine the value of the Ruby. One should examine and compare overall appearance with the unaided eye to pick the most attractive stone and then examine it under 10x magnification to ensure against durability issues.
Ruby has long been symbolic of passion, courage, devotion, wealth and royalty.