Ruby is a birthstone for July.
Described as the Queen of gems, Ruby is characterised by intense crimson colour - the colour of passion, love and romance. It is the red variety of the mineral corundum; all other colours are called sapphire. Rubies were once known as blood drops from the heart of mother earth, and were believed to posses healing powers.
Ruby is one of the rarest gemstones, far rarer than diamond and those of fine colour are amongst the most expensive gems.
The 170ct Black Prince Ruby in the Queen's coronation crown is in fact a red spinel.