September Birthstone | Sapphire
August Birthstone | Peridot
Peridot, sometimes called chrysolite, is the transparent gem variety of the mineral olivine. The name is derived the French word ‘peritot’ meaning gold as the mineral can vary towards this colour; although the finest stones are prized for their ‘oily’ green tone which is caused by the presence of iron.
Peridot is the national gem of Egypt who knew it as the ‘Gem of the Sun’. Legend says it was Cleopatra's favourite gemstone, and historians now believe that many of the “emeralds” she wore were actually peridot as it was mined for over 3,500 years on St John’s Island in the red sea.
The principle source now is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona and today the gemstones are still appreciated for their beauty and associated embodiment of protection, positive power, healing and good health.
As the birthstone for August and it is also by association the birthstone for star sign Leo. Their characteristics are said to be dramatic, outgoing, fiery and self-assured.
July Birthstone | Ruby
Ruby is the birthstone for July. Both rubies and sapphires are gems of the mineral corundum; all colours of the rainbow occur in this family of gemstones and are called sapphires apart from when the presence of chromium causes the beautiful vivid red colour for ruby.
The name Ruby comes from the Latin ‘ruber’ meaning red, but due to its rarity its very name inherently means ‘precious’. Indeed it is one of the most expensive gemstones as it rarer to find in exceptional quality.
The very finest rubies in the world are Burmese, these have a deep blood-red hue with a tinge of blue. These rubies are very rare though, so Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and parts of Africa are also important sources. It is very much a personal preference as rubies colour that may shade towards pink and purple, but all good quality of rubies should have vibrant pure colour.
Rubies are a very hard gemstone measuring 9 on Moh’s hardness scale, as second only to diamonds they are perfect for everyday wear. First mentioned in the bible they are said to shield against negative energy and promote strength, courage and joy. In Indian culture they are worshiped as the gemstone of the sun. With the colour red, we think of fire, it is the colour of seduction, danger and adventure. In this Edwardian target ring, we see that cupids arrow has struck the bullseye and the (lucky!) wearer is the victim of passionate love.
Rubies have been known as the stone of kings, but have been celebrated and loved for centuries. But did you know the ‘Princes Ruby in the Imperial State Crown is in fact a spinel?!
Rubies are also Sophie’s favourite gemstone, she says “rubies are my birthstone (July) and as such have always has particular appeal to me”.
“I inherited a pair of ruby and diamond earrings from my grandmother which I cherish dearly, and have had my eye on a matching pendant for a little while now. A few unsubtle hints have been dropped to Chris Jessop so you never know perhaps this is the year!”
Sophie might have to wait a little longer however, rubies are the also the gemstone of 40th wedding anniversary, so only 37 more years to go!