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The gem is known as the "king of precious stones" for its rarity. It is a variety of mineral corundum. Ruby is not a gem for the faint-hearted, but for the brave and bold. The finest color of the birthstone for July is a deep red also called "pigeons blood" in the jewelry trade.
Rubies are most famous for being found in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), one of the oldest and famous sources of rubies. As of recent years, Vietnam has also been another important region and source for natural fine rubies. Rubies today are often heat treated to remove purplish coloration leaving a purer red color. Another form of treatment is glass filling of cavities to close fractures within the gem. Rubies can also be subjected to lattice diffusion and dyeing of color.
Before purchasing rubies always ask if ruby has been treated and by what method or make sure it is accompanied by a proper gem lab certificate.