When it comes to symbols of love, aside from the traditional diamond engagement ring, you cannot match the fire of a ruby; the traditional birthstone for July. Given its rich red colouring it’s no wonder that rubies are thought to symbolise passion, love and courage. Rubies are believed to imbue the wearer with confidence and strength whilst attracting prosperity and luck in love.
Regarded as the king of all gems by many cultures over the years, the ruby was believed to protect the wearer from evils in the world and was once considered to be the most precious of stones. So precious in fact, legend has it the Emperor of China, Kublai Khan, once offered up an entire city in exchange for a single ruby. While rubies are fabulous in our book, we’re not sure we would go quite that far!
Rubies have been favoured by the rich, famous and royal for many years. Here’s a few of our favourite pieces that were made famous by the stars that wore them.
No list of famous jewellery is complete without a mention of something from Elizabeth Taylor’s magnificent personal collection. Of her ruby jewellery there are a few stand outs, in particular what is referred to as the Richard Burton Ruby & Diamond Ring. This ring, created by Van Cleef & Arpels, is a brilliant 8.24 carat ruby surrounded by sparkling diamonds. It was a special Christmas gift from Burton to Taylor in 1968 and was eventually sold at auction along with the rest of her history jewellery collection in 2011 for a record breaking $4,226,500USD.
Another noteworthy ruby piece from Elizabeth Taylor’s collection is the famous Cartier ruby and diamond necklace given to Taylor from her third husband Michael Todd. The necklace alone sold for $3,778,500.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco originally proposed to Grace Kelly with a beautiful eternity band of rubies and diamonds. However, this quickly was replaced with a 10.5 emerald cut diamond ring with two baguette side diamonds when the Prince spotted other starlets sporting large diamond rings. While the diamond ring the Prince gave Princess Grace is stunning, we think the original ruby eternity ring would have been just as elegant and beautiful.
Australian born Princess Mary of Denmark has been known to wear Queen Ingrid’s Ruby Parure Tiara with matching drop earrings and necklace. It was originally owned by Queen Luise of Sweden who passed it on to her daughter as a wedding gift, who later became the Queen of Denmark.
Rubies make wonderfully romantic presents to give to a significant other. Not only are they the birthstone for July, but also the traditional gift for a 40th anniversary. Given its fiery red colour and symbol of love and passion, rubies also make a beautiful gift for Valentine’s Day. Whatever the occasion, whether it be for a July baby or for an anniversary, rubies from Shiels will always be the perfect gift.