July is lucky to have such an amazing gemstone as its birthstone - the ruby, the king of gemstones. The ruby, out of all the birthstones, has the longest and most varied history throughout the world.

It's been worn by Kings, held by magic users and thought to be red in colour because of the blood of Christ on the cross - no wonder with all this mystique surrounding it that it's such a popular stone. All coloured gemstones are gaining in popularity - but the ruby's popularity is growing with such fervour that every time one comes up at auction the tension to win the sale is palpable.

The ruby represents devotion, integrity, courage and happiness, vitality, confidence and strength. In medieval times it was believed, due to its colour that the ruby held healing properties and was used to ward off problems relating to the blood and infection and increasing positive thought patterns. The Ruby is also used to enhance energy, generosity and to bring prosperity and success.

The legend of the ruby goes on, other talismanic properties assigned this stone had to do with protection. If worn on the left, (the side of the heart) this blood coloured stone was thought to allow the owner/wearer to live in peace and concord with all men, that neither his land nor rank would be taken from him, and that he would be preserved from all perils.

Fast forward to 2016 and the ruby is worn not just as a birthstone but as an alternative to the white diamond in many celebrity engagement rings - here are a few of our favourites...

Jessica Simpson ruby engagement ring. The former NFL star Eric Johnson proposed with a 5-carat ruby ring, flanked by two dazzling diamonds.

Victoria Beckham - yes she has a few engagement rings, but the ruby is by far the nicest.

Photo Credit: DailyMail.com.uk

Mrs. Zuckerberg showing her $25,000 ruby ring during a lunch date in Palo Alto. Her husband designed the ring himself.