Rubies are a bold, vibrant, and durable choice of gemstone fit for a variety of styles and settings. From the Latin "ruber" for "red", this July birthstone is actually a red-tinted variation of the mineral corundum, which in any other color is classified as a sapphire. Not surprisingly, the deep red of a ruby is associated with love, bravery, and confidence.
Coming in just below the diamond at 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, the ruby is among the toughest gemstones and is less susceptible to scratching than emeralds and other soft stones. Like all gemstones, rough treatment may still chip a ruby or sapphire, especially one cut with sharp tips or corners. Be sure to set your stone securely and remove any ruby jewelry before activities that may leave it vulnerable to impact. Light cleaning of your ruby can be done with mild soap and water using a soft cloth or toothbrush, taking care not to scratch any silver or gold settings.