Birthstone for the month of July is the Ruby.Here is some helpful information about the ruby.Ruby is a variety of the Corundum species.Sapphire is also a variety of Corundum.The most desirable color for ruby is “pigeon’s blood”.This is a rich deep red with a hint of blue.The mineral which provides the color is chromium.In the rubies leaning to a brownish tones,iron is also present in the stone.Heat treatment is very often used to improve the color of the stone.Inclusions are common, but these do not necessarily mean the stone is of poor quality.They are an indication of whether or not the stone is of natural or synthetic origin.Certain inclusions are specific to natural stones as certain inclusions are specific to synthetics.Star rubies are a result of phenomena called chatoyancy. Reflection of light from minute, parallel, needlelike inclusions. Chatoyancy results in the Cat’s Eye effect in rubies, sapphires, and a number of other stones.This effect is achieved when the stone is cut in a high cabochon.As the stone moves the light reflects as a cat’s eye across the surface of the stone.Asterism, the star effect, is a result of the reflection of light from sets of minute, oriented, needle-like inclusions. The stone may be cut in either a high or medium cabochon.Stars can produce four to six rays.At times a twelve star is achieved, but this is rare.Rubies are one of the more expensive gem stones, the larger specimens being more rare than diamonds.Synthetic rubies first appeared on the market in 1885 with the Geneva Ruby created by a Monk not far from Geneva Switzerland. Many think because a piece of jewelry is antique, the red stone has to be a ruby, and has to be natural.This is definitely not the case.Not only can the stone be synthetic, it may also be one of the other natural red stones used in those periods.Spinel, pyrope garnet, and almadite garnet.These are all natural stones often used in place of actual rubies.There is also synthetic spinel which was used as a less expensive alternate to natural ruby.Synthetic rubies are created with two methods, the Flame Fusion or Verneuil process and the Flux Grown process. Each has specific inclusions which develop during the two processes and these inclusions are used to differentiate between Flame Fusion and Flux Grown methods.