Ruby is the birthstone for July, its fiery red matching the heat of sultry summer days. Formed 500 million years ago, deep beneath the Earth, these glittering red gems have long been considered talismans, worn into battle by ancient warriors and laid beneath the foundations of buildings for good luck. They are associated with passion, prosperity and protection – their vivid hue symbolising the blood rushing through our veins. A firm favourite with the A-listers and tastemakers of today, they make a bold, colourful statement, either alongside or as an alternative to colourless diamonds.
As a world-leading responsible miner and marketer of coloured gemstones, and the majority owner of the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique, Gemfields has a deep knowledge and love of rubies,
and has partnered over the years with high and fine jewellery designers who share the same passion for sustainability, and for these vibrant gems. A series of collaborations have resulted in exquisite pieces that celebrate, each in their own way, their beauty and enduring allure.
One such is the Three Stone Ruby Ring by AYA – the label founded by Chelsy Davy, inspired by her upbringing in Africa. “Nothing beats an intense and vibrant ruby. It evokes romance and passion and symbolises power and love,” Davy explains. AYA works with only ethically mined African gemstones, making Gemfields’ Mozambican rubies a perfect fit. The ring, with three perfectly round rubies set in a solid gold band, is both modern and “old world” with exquisite African craftsmanship.
Totally different but equally arresting, Margery Hirschey’s Selene Ring drew inspiration from the Modernist sculptures of the early 20th century and is like a miniature sculpture itself: a whimsical, three-dimensional shape studded with diamonds and rubies. “I love seeing precious materials, like gold, rubies and diamonds, done in a way we haven’t seen before,” says Hirschey.
Fabergé’s White Gold Diamond and Ruby Dragon Skeleton Ring – from the Fabergé x Game of Thrones capsule collection, inspired by the hit TV show – evokes the warrior spirit of rubies, with a diamond-set dragon breathing fire in the form of a Gemfields Mozambican ruby: a nod to the dragons which help propel warrior queen Daenerys to the Iron Throne. “Red is an intense and energetic colour. It symbolises strong emotions like love and passion. The rubies glow like the dragons’ fire that helped conquer and defend kingdoms,” says the artist-jeweller’s head designer.
New York-based Sandy Leong has designed her own capsule collection, comprising a choker, bangle and pendant, with delicate rubies set in gold. Like Fabergé, she cites the fiery intensity of rubies as her main influence: “The pieces evoke a certain sense of passion, with their deep hue, and when combined with yellow gold and diamonds, there is a fire that is accentuated within each gemstone.”
GFG Jewellery by Nilufer has 4-stone and 6-stone ruby necklaces that similarly channel the sexiness and subtlety of rubies and their role as good luck charms; the designer describes every piece of jewellery as “a gift from the Gods”. Shachee Shah has created mosaic-style Art Deco earrings depicting cherry blossoms and featuring rubies, which were chosen for their “beautiful colour, from deep reds to pink tones, and their transparency”.
Rubies are described as “the heart of Mother Earth” and imbued with the power of life – visually arresting and steeped in history. As these high and fine jewellery pieces demonstrate, they are
incredibly versatile, and can be styled in a multitude of ways, based on the designer’s – or the wearer’s - whim. By following one’s heart, and the famous ‘6 Cs’, ensuring provenance by buying from a trusted supplier, looking for an even colour and embracing small imperfections, it is impossible to go wrong when choosing a ruby: the glamorous gemstone of summer.
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