In ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July.
Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BC. Legend has it that they considered them so valuable that Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan offered to exchange a whole city for a large ruby.
Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies, because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.
Ancient Hindus believed they’d be reborn as emperors if they offered rubies to the god Krishna. In Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within rubiesIn ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July. burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Greek legends similarly claimed that ruby’s warmth could melt wax.
In Burma—a significant ruby source since at least 600 AD—warriors believed that rubies made them invincible. They even implanted rubies into their skin to grant protection in battle. Burmese rubies are still some of the most prized of all ruby gems.
Many cultures also admired ruby as a symbol of love, passion, and commitment. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem. In present day, it’s a traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. If you’re looking for ruby jewelry for yourself or for someone with a July birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.
NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of rubies and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.
Pearl folklore spans centuries. This June birthstone’s iridescent beauty has inspired many stories.
Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth and the dragon had to be slain to claim the pearls, which symbolized wisdom. The phrase “pearls of wisdom” is still used today.
Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.
Some ancient legends described pearls as tears cried by gods. It was believed that Eve cried pearls when she was exiled from Eden.
Pearls have also been symbols of wealth, purity, and fertility. Pearl jewelry is often worn by brides during weddings in Asia and in Western cultures.
Some cultures believed that pearls were bad luck, since the gemstones were ripped from living creatures. To counteract this, pearl jewelry had to be given out of love, without jealousy and malice.
Alexandrite was discovered in fairly modern times. Since it was found in the early 1800s in Russia, not much lore has built up around this incredibly rare gemstone.
When this gemstone was first discovered in emerald mines in the Ural Mountains, they assumed it was emerald. However, the mineralogist who found it later noticed that the gemstone changed colors depending on the type of light it was in.
Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light. The shifting colors are the result of alexandrite’s uncommon chemical composition that includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald.
According to legend, alexandrite was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday. Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom.
Since its discovery, people have felt this June birthstone brought good luck and abundance. Some have even believed it brought happiness and love into their lives.
Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.
Throughout time, moonstone has been connected to the Earth’s moon. This mysterious stone—which looks like a moonlit night—has been the object of lore across the world.
For two thousand years, Romans used moonstone in jewelry. They linked the stone to the Moon Goddess Diana and believed that wearing moonstone would bring love, wealth, and success.
In Asia, there was a myth that every 21 years, blue moonstones were brought in by the tide. In India, it was believed that this gem was good luck and allowed romantic partners to read their future, if they placed the moonstone in their mouth during a full moon. Moonstone is one of India’s traditional wedding gifts. They also felt that the stone’s luster grew and weakened as the moon transitioned from a full moon to a new moon.
Hindu mythology also told that moonstone was made from the moon’s ethereal light. Legend portrayed it as a sacred and magical “dream stone” that could bring serene and beautiful dreams at night.
Legends have claimed that moonstone could help the wearer have clear visions and prophecies. If someone was continuously angry, the stone would lose its beautiful luster. It was also known as the “Traveler’s Stone,” as it was believed that it would protect people who wore it while traveling at night.
Current lore revolves around moonstone’s ability to help wearers go with the flow, similar to the moon affecting the tides.
This dreamy stone is gorgeous no matter how you feel about it.