Everyone knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but were you aware that red gemstones have a magical way of radiating a woman’s passion, sensuality and opulence?
Gentlemen, do I have your attention now?
To help you find the fiery stone that will best compliment her smouldering looks and personality – and your budget – let’s demystify the four red gemstones and the unique qualities that they each possess:
RUBY – the royal jewel
Rubies have a rich and royal history, dating all the way back to the seventh century BC where Marco Polo mentions the gem in his travels. They are said to be able to foretell doom, and the first wife of King Henry VII is rumoured to have owned a darkening ruby that foretold her demise. The king of all precious gems remains a sign of absolute luxury today.
● Shade and Size: Rubies come in a wide range of shades ranging from a delicate pink tiny all the way through to intense blood red. One of the rubies most beautiful qualities it’s multi-dimensions and different shades it displays from each angle. Rubies are usually cut in ovals. Most of the best quality rubies are less than 1.5 carats.
● Value: The rarest of the red stones and considered one of the “big three” of precious gemstones; rubies are the most valuable of the red stones.
● Best For: A nine on the Mohs hardness scale, I always tell clients that rubies are perfect for any piece that you might wear frequently, especially engagement rings.
GARNET – Noah’s guiding light
Garnet comes from the Latin word for pomegranate and is said to be a cure for melancholy. You’ll see stunning garnet used in many types of jewellery and church windows. Legend says that Noah suspended garnet in the ark to project light, a believable myth given its incredible light dispensing qualities.
● Shade and Size: Garnets do come in a variety of shades but they’re often deep red with a slight brown tinge. The utmost quality stones give off no trace of brown. Most range from a quarter of a carat up to four carats, but the rarest weigh more than 12 carats.
● Value: Small to medium garnets are the most affordable of the red stones. However, large garnets of excellent colour and clarity can be quite expensive.
● Best For: Most types of jewellery. They have a moderate durability of 7-7.5 and can be cut in most sizes.
RED SPINEL – the beautiful black sheep
Some of the most famous “rubies” that adorn the crown jewels are in actual fact Spinels, showing just how similar the two red stones are. The “black sheep” of the gem stone world has been traced back to 100BC as an ornament on a Buddhist tomb in Afghanistan. In recent years people have become more aware of red spinel and the scarcity of high quality stones. As a result, prices have increased.
● Shade and size: With a very similar shade range to rubies, the two are often confused. However, there is one important difference – Red Spinel doesn’t have the multi-dimensional quality of the ruby and shows only one shade when viewed from different directions. Large sizes are very difficult to find, in fact, anything over two carets is considered a rarity.
● Value: Spinel’s are far more affordable than rubies, partly due to the fact that they only come in smaller sizes. The most valuable shades are red, hot pink and flame orange.
● Best For: if you’re after a small red stone, but don’t want to splurge for a ruby, I highly recommend the red spinel. They are an 8 on the hardness scale, making them a fairly durable option and suitable for wearing often.
RUBELLITE – the gemstone of the rainbow
Rubellite, also known as Red Tourmaline, comes in a variety of colours, tones and hues. It’s also the birthstone for October and is said to give its wearer courage and strong will power.
● Shade and size: Rubellites are available in a blood red colour, but most come tinged with pink, violet or brown. The true rubellite doesn’t change colour in the light. Large sizes are far more common than the other red stones.
● Value: Prices vary greatly depending on the size and quality of the stone, but they’re a less expensive alternative to the ruby.
● Best For: Due to the availability of larger stones, rubellites are a good choice for dress rings or pendants. They range from a 7 – 7.5 and a half on the hardness scale but can be slightly brittle and must be cared for.
As you can see, there’s far more to the world of red stones than rubies. With something for every occasion, and every woman, red gems are the perfect way to bring out your woman’s smouldering looks, style and personality. And I can’t think of a single downside to that scenario!