The king of gemstones is the birthstones for July. Ruby embodies love, vivacity, passion, and power. The rich red it displays radiates warmth and a strong sense of vitality. For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent color, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance. In addition to that, it is an extremely rare gemstone, especially in its finer qualities. Kings and queens adorned themselves with this magnificent stone for centuries, believing that it actually dispelled an energy that enabled them to hold their positions of power. Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, of which the sapphire is also a variety. These gemstones have excellent hardness, however, only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby, all other colors being classified as sapphires. In really fine colors and good clarity, however, this gemstone occurs only very rarely in the world’s mines. It is actually the coloring element chrome which is responsible for this scarcity.