If you are a lover of red gemstones, then Rubies and Garnets are the ones for you. They look similar and are sometimes confused as each other. You can distinguish them apart by knowing their differences. They are both precious, but it is important to know which is which to prevent you from paying for a Ruby and walking around with a Garnet.
Garnets are a range of gemstones all linked together with chemical as well as physical properties. It was used in the Bronze Age as an abrasive, as well as a gemstone. The Bronze Age spanned from 3300-1200 BC. There are various types of Garnets. They are Uvarovite, Pyrope, Grossular, Spessartine, Andradite and Almandine. Some Garnets are known to change their colour when they are viewed in incandescent light. A lot of people think that Garnet comes solely in a dark red colour and nothing else. But it actually comes in different hues of pink, green, brown, black, yellow, pink, as well as colourless.
For this comparison we will be comparing the very vibrant Red garnets from Africa. The example shown below is 3.89cts and has such a strong and vibrant red color.
Garnets are usually mined in countries like South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, China and Scotland.
The word ‘Ruby’ comes from ruber, a Latin word for red. It has a fiery red hue and is noted for that color. Its hue comes from the abundance of the element chromium in it. Ruby is a variation of the corundum and is one of the precious stone along with Diamond, Emerald and Sapphire.
The color of the Ruby determines its value. The Rubies that are deemed very valuable are those with the pigeon blood or the blood-red color, as it leads to the brightness of a premium Ruby. The value of a Ruby is determined by other factors like its clarity. The cleaner a Ruby gemstone is, the more valuable it becomes. The Ruby’s value is also determined by its carat weight and cut. Ruby is greatly valued by many people and considered very precious because of its beauty, hardness, rarity, durability and luster.
Very few will know this, but Rubies that are transparent and are of greater sizes are known to be far rarer than another precious gemstones, like Diamonds.
The hue of Ruby vary from a dark reddish-brown to a bright red. Rubies are usually mined for in Burma, Mozambique, Greenland, Brazil, Thailand and the Republic of Macedonia. Its toughness is measured via the Mohs scale and it is ranked at 9.0, making it a very tough and hard mineral.
Garnet VS Ruby
They may look alike in their appearance though there are a number of characteristics that make them very different.
On the Mohs scale which is used to measure the toughness, Garnet is 6.5 to 7.5
On the other hand Rubies have a toughness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale. This shows that the Ruby is tougher and a lot more durable than its counterpart Garnet.
When comparing their colours, Garnet is known to come in various colours like red, brown, orange and green. Ruby has a reddish hue in different shades of the red. When comparing both reddish shades, Ruby has a lighter red and tends to be a lot pinker than its counterpart the Garnet.
If you are looking at a gemstone and it has an earthy tone or a bit of an orange shade, you are most likely looking at a Garnet. Though Rubies are mostly red, some may tend to have a bluish or purplish secondary hue.
A Garnet value ranges from $5 to $5,000 per carat. however the intensity of Red you can get from a Garnet for a fraction of the price of a Ruby is something to consider.
Ruby can range from $100 to $15,000 a carat making one of the most valubale gemstones on the market
Garnets are generally not treated and there are no common treatments for Garnet on the market.
Rubies on the other hand are known to undergo various kinds of treatments like glass filling to improve the transparency of the Ruby and heat treatments to enhance its color.
It is hard to find untreated Rubies and these stones will command a premium price
As you can see there is no simple answer for the battle of Garnet VS Ruby. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and budget. If having an untreated gemstone is important to you but you don’t have a huge budget, then Garnet is the stone for you. If prestige and history is important to you then consider a Ruby.