Well, we’re halfway through June. In a normal year, I’d appreciate the slow-moving days of summer (actually, in a normal year, I’d probably be on vacation right now). But one does tend to get antsy from lack of travel and events, so here I am, willing the month—if not the whole year—away.
There’s no saying that July will be any different. But there’s something about July that, I think even if stuck at home, has magic in it. Maybe it’s the July 4 celebrations (which may or may not be happening near you). Maybe it’s the memories of being barefoot in the yard, watermelon juice dripping between my toes as I clumsily navigated the art of eating while running through sprinklers. The fall has Halloween (more on that tomorrow, because I’m yearning for it), winter has the holidays. Summer has July.
I find myself so smitten with the month of July, save for one very important—very relevant—detail: its birthstone. Why, July! Why ruby? I mean sure, it’s regal and riveting and certainly a patriotic color—for many countries for that matter—so maybe, given the events of the month, it is pretty perfect. Its heat evokes that of a sizzling summer day, and its status as a highly coveted gemstone pays this glorious month the homage it deserves.
So why can’t I love you, ruby?
I don’t dislike ruby. I don’t! I just don’t find myself mooning over it like I do so many other stones, and it’s really a disservice to one of the finest and most valuable gems around. Both gem experts and lovers of luxury may go out of their minds for a good ruby, but me? I’m like, “meh.”
There have been exceptions. Ruby jewels so good, I remember every single one of them, the moment I locked eyes on one during a show (there was one in particular in Las Vegas last year I still swoon over), on Instagram, online.
I’ve found another one. And I’m gaga for it, so that’s how I know it has to be good (or I’m just a weirdo, but mostly I know it’s good. Or maybe both).
From a collaboration between Gemfields and Mumbai, India–based designer Bina Goenka, these earrings, featuring mostly rubies but with a touch of emeralds, are like luxury birds of paradise. Blooming ruby petals gently brush pear-shape emerald center stones, the only contrast of color you’ll find here (but all that is necessary). Above it, a ladder of baguette rubies suspends like a rickety path, climbing its way up to another artfully arranged bouquet of half-moon rubies.
The earrings are the delectable display that ruby deserves, showing them off in a way that, I feel, is the ultimate best. And I think I’ve just come to the realization that the way I like rubies best is when they’re served up smooth and glossy (it seems I prefer a cabochon of sorts), with minimal metal—no chunky gold here, as much as I adore it in other instances. Perhaps ruby and I have come to an understanding.
Bina Goenka, the designer behind the eponymous brand that debuted in 2007, is a self-taught jewelry artisan who seeks to honor her Indian heritage through colorful, intricate designs. Each piece is painstakingly handmade by artisans in the brand’s studio, and some take years to finish, as they await perfectly matched stones for a flawless finish.
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