The Difference Between Garnets and Rubies

Garnet is the birthstone for January while Ruby is the birthstone for July. There’s one difference.

What sets their red hues apart? What makes the ruby one of the most important colored gemstones and the garnet the most common and widespread?

Not all garnets are red. Whoa. We can choose from a color palette that ranges from greens to pinkish oranges to blues. The rare demantoid is a green garnet, spessartine is an orange garnet and rhodolite is a purple-red garnet. Some garnets can even change color, like the rare gemstone alexandrite.

The mineral responsible for the red ruby is colorless. It’s true. When enough chromium becomes part of the colorless mineral’s crystal structure, it creates the ruby red we love – and value. Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. The more chromium, the more fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color. And you know what? Ruby’s sister is the blue sapphire.

The Big Difference

You’ve heard of the world’s four precious gemstones, right? Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires … and rubies. No garnet. That’s because the garnet is a semi-precious gemstone … and a dead ringer for our precious ruby. Which is not to say that the garnet is any less beautiful. However, you don’t want to be sold a garnet when what you really want is a ruby. Here are a few ways to tell.

  • Examine the gemstone’s color. Red garnets can have hints of orange or pink while rubies are vivid red with occasional purple or blue secondary hues.
  • See the rainbow. Position the gemstone in a light until you can spot its spectrum reflected in the stone. If you see two rainbows with no yellow or green bands, you’re likely looking at a ruby. If you see only one full-color rainbow, the stone probably is a garnet.
  • Pull out the Mohs scale of hardness. Rubies rank 9, right after diamonds. Garnets rank 6.5 to 7.5, a much softer stone in comparison.
  • Make an appointment with Indy Facets. We will examine your gemstones with expert knowledge and care, we will help you decide which gemstone is perfect for you. We can even custom design the jewelry of your dreams, featuring a garnet, a ruby or any stone you desire!

By the way, the picture on the left shows garnets, the one on the right is a ruby.

Looking for personalized birthstone jewelry? Ask us about our Custom Jewelry Gift Experience.

Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler

Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as everyone’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience, and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call (317) 296-6273 for your private appointment or schedule online, www.indyfacets.com/schedule.

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