What is the Difference Between Ruby and Red Diamond?

There are some gemstones that look similar but completely different in jewelry. For example, ruby and red diamond. How to distinguish which of these two stones is in front of you?

The red diamond is a product of nature made up of carbon. It is very rare and its unique crystal arrangement makes it the hardest substance in the world. It is very hard to find a diamond with a strong red color. Sometimes the color of the gem appears with the help of a human hand: the color was enhanced with heat or pressure treatment, meaning it’s been irradiated. Man can also grow the diamonds in the lab and make them reddish with some chemical substances. Real diamonds with red color often have some color modifiers like orange, fancy pink. So it doesn’t clear red but with some undertone.

The value of red diamonds is based on carat weight, color, clarity, and cut the size that influences the price.

Red Diamond

Ruby is in the corundum family of gems. It is actually the same as sapphire or emerald and its hardness is under mark 9. Ruby’s reserves are richer than red diamonds. It is more colorful, with more expressive colors like pink, dark red, purple-red, and so on. The main component of red color is chromium (Cr), mainly Cr2O3, its content is generally 0.1 to 3%, the highest is 4%. The pigeon blood red ruby is considered the best. Its color is deep and clear and it is more expensive than, for example, pink ruby, but still, it is cheaper than red diamond.

Rubies also have transparency levels. It is generally divided into five levels: transparent, translucent, translucent, sub-transparent, and opaque. The higher the transparency of ruby, the higher the value.

Where do red diamonds and rubies produce?

The natural ruby reserves are mainly extended in the inconsistent marble belt on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, from Tajikistan through Afghanistan, Pakistani Kashmir, Nepal to China and Vietnam, in Africa and Australia, Montana, USA. There is also a point in South Carolina.

The red diamond supplies are common in Australia's Argyle mining area. The largest red diamond in the world, the Moussaieff Red, was found in Australia. Besides, there are areas of diamonds such as Brazil, Russia, and India which may also produce red diamonds.

So what is the difference in price between these two precious stones?

Red Ruby Diamond Ring

The value of a red diamond is higher than the value of a ruby. Let compare some of them:

The natural ruby from Burma which has 1.5-carat weight and a “blood pigeon” red color (which is considered the best), is certified, costs $7000.

In comparison lab-created round ruby, which is still corundum and has a beautiful pinky-red color, 6.5 mm which is like a 1.5-carat gem, costs under $1000. That is a great option for people who are looking for something affordable.

Another example is 5.0-carat “blood pigeon” red ruby, certified, which is $50 000.

Let’s see how much red diamonds are?

If we take as an example a diamond which has a pinky-red color with an orange undertone that is also 2.8 mm in diameter (very small), but it is natural and certified, so its price will be $8000.

A fancy red diamond, color enhanced, GIA certified, over a carat - $20 000.

And another one: also color-enhanced, natural marquise diamond, 5.0 carats - $700 000.

No wonder that in 1987 on the New York auction a 0.95k carat round red diamond was sold for 880 000 US dollars, that is, the average price per carat was 920,000 US dollars.

So, yes! Red diamonds are much more valued than rubies. But it is your right to decide which one to choose. If a diamond is your birthstone and you have money for that, then why not to have a unique and special gem in your jewelry box?

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  • Linda On

    That was really helpful and educating article! Thank you

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