Ruby; July's birthstone
Ruby, a variety of corundum, is one of the most coveted of gems. The name is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning "red" - the color of love and passion. Color, being the most significant factor, affects a Ruby's value. Hues can range from orangey red to purplish red. The finest Ruby has a pur, vibrant red to slightly purplish red hue; known as "Pigeon's Blood". Inclusion-free rubies are practically non-existent. One common inclusion present would be rutile needles. The rutile needles can have positive or negative effects on a Ruby. They can help separate a treated or synthetic stone from an untreated, natural one. However, large and prominent inclusions located under the table facets can greatly diminish the transparency, brilliance and value of the stone. Ruby is considered as one of the most powerful protection stones; brings forth confidence, gives one strength to overcome mental stress, and helps restore energy.