Best of Birthstones: Ravishing Ruby Jewelry

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Red: the color of passion and power, fire and blood. With its symbolic significance and radiant hue, the ruby is among the most valuable and commanding precious stones. Whether in ancient India, medieval Europe, or the Golden Age of Hollywood, different eras have coveted rubies not only for their hardness and durability, but also their associations with vitality and wealth. Virtually identical to sapphire in all properties except color, ruby is a variety of the corundum mineral species. In its purest form, corundum is colorless, but the trace element chromium produces the red tone. In honor of July’s birthstone, click ahead to see some of the most stunning ruby jewels ever sold at Sotheby’s, as well as upcoming lots. –Stephanie Sporn

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Best of Birthstones: Ravishing Ruby Jewelry

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