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Le Blog Des Bijoux

Four Ravishing Red Gemstones for Ladies Who Love to Rock a Touch of Red

by | 27 Jul 2020 | Gemstones

A sumptuous red gemstone with dazzling white diamonds is a timeless and captivating combination. The colour red is just innately alluring. And it’s an incredibly symbolic colour to wear. Described as ‘the colour of extremes’, red is associated with courage and fire, wealth and power, flesh and blood, passion and romance.

Almost every culture around the world views the colour red with great significance. In Asia, red is said to bring happiness and good fortune and is often associated with fertility, matrimony and celebration. In Mexico, Greece and Japan, red symbolises heroism. In Central Africa, red is synonymous with life and death. In Russia, it is the colour of beauty and honour.

Such strong connotations make red a bold, exciting and evocative hue to wear, particularly in jewellery. If red is a colour that speaks to you and you are looking to add a splash of it to your jewellery collection, then here are four formidable red gemstones for your consideration.

Ruby — the ‘king of precious stones’

Ruby is no doubt one of the world’s most culturally significant gemstones. Referred to as ‘the king of stones’ in Sanskrit, the ruby is the stone of myths and legends, power and prestige, love and life. Some of the most powerful and influential people in the world have worn rubies.

I adore rubies for their rich multidimensional tones which come alive when viewed in different lights. They are also incredibly durable. Second only to diamonds in hardness, rubies are the perfect coloured gemstone for engagement and eternity rings.

Rubies will appear to glow in the light.

Physical characteristics of ruby

  • Colours range from delicate pinks to saturated and deep blood reds.
  • Usually found in sizes of less than 1.5 carats.
  • Feature ‘rutile needle’ inclusions, with some stones exhibiting ‘asterism’ or a star-like effect under light.
  • Appear to ‘glow’ in the sunlight.

Ruby in jewellery

  • Most favoured cuts are oval and cushion.
  • Suitable for all types of jewellery, especially engagement and eternity rings.
  • Can be cleaned with warm, sudsy water using a toothbrush and a soft cloth, or in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.

Common associations and symbolisms of ruby

  • Associated with wealth, prestige, purity, wisdom, love, fertility and health.
  • Said to enhance courage, leadership and confidence and shield against negative energy.
  • Birthstone for July and the traditional gemstone for 15th, 40th and 80th wedding anniversaries.

Value of ruby

  • One of the most rare, desired and expensive coloured gemstones in the world.
  • Increases in value with the size, clarity and intensity of their colour and the appearance of asterism.

Red garnet — Noah’s ‘guiding light’

Red garnets have been revered since ancient times (when they were mistaken for rubies), adorning Egyptian pharaohs and Chinese rulers. Legend has it that garnets were used to project light in the Noah’s Ark, such is their ability to dispense light.

Brilliance and clarity are just two of the reasons I love garnets. I also love that you can capitalise on size with garnets, given their affordability when compared to rubies.

Rhodolite garnet in a desirable purply-red hue.

Physical characteristics of red garnet

  • Colours range from brownish red to purply red and intense red (though garnets can also be found in orange, yellow, pink, brown and green).
  • Most range in size from 0.25 to 4 carats.
  • Display good brilliance, vitreous lustre and clarity.

Red garnet in jewellery

  • Most favoured cuts are round, oval and cushion.
  • Suitable for everyday jewellery (with care to avoid scratching).
  • Popular in Victorian-era jewellery.
  • Should be protected from high heat and cleaned with warm, sudsy water, a soft brush and a microfibre cloth.

Common associations and symbolisms of red garnet

  • Associated with love and friendship.
  • Said to combat depression, relieve pain, promote passion, energy and good health.
  • Birthstone for January and the traditional gemstone for a 2nd wedding anniversary.

Value of red garnet

  • The most common and affordable stones are small to medium in size, in a brownish red tone.
  • The most expensive garnets are larger, with brilliant red or purply-red colour and good clarity.

Red spinel — the beautiful imposter

Some of the most famous ‘rubies’ that adorn crowns (such as the ‘Black Prince Ruby’) have later been identified as red spinel. Such is the similarity between the two gemstones!

Though spinels are not widely known, they can be traced back to 100BC, when they were used to decorate a tomb in Afghanistan. In recent years, interest in spinel has grown. I’m really not surprised — they are simply stunning red gemstones with great brilliance and durability. And given their relative affordability, they are an excellent alternative to rubies.

A ravishing red spinel.

Physical characteristics of red spinel

  • Strikingly similar in colour to rubies.
  • Rare in sizes beyond 2 carats.
  • Display good brilliance, virtuous lustre and some natural inclusions.

Red spinel in jewellery

  • Most favoured cut is cushion.
  • Suitable for all types of jewellery, including engagement rings.
  • Often mistaken for ruby in jewellery.
  • Should be protected from high heat and cleaned with warm, sudsy water, a soft brush and a microfibre cloth.

Common associations and symbolisms of red spinel

  • Associated with immortality, youth, vitality and passion.
  • Said to promote selflessness and devotion and raise energy levels and stamina.
  • Birthstone for August and the traditional gemstone for a 22nd wedding anniversary.

Value of red spinel

  • With an increase in public awareness and interest, the value of spinel is growing, offering an excellent investment opportunity.
  • Good quality red stones in larger sizes are the most expensive.

Rubellite — the queen of tourmalines

There was a point in time when every red gemstone was considered a ruby. Rubellite tourmaline is no exception. In fact, the famous ‘Caesar’s Ruby’, a stone gifted to Caesar from Cleopatra, was later identified as a rubellite tourmaline.

What I love most about rubellite tourmalines are their delicious purply-red tones. They are also more readily available (and affordable) in larger sizes when compared to other red gemstones. This means you can really capitalise on size for a truly striking piece of jewellery.

A dazzling deep purple-red rubellite tourmaline.

Physical characteristics of rubellite tourmaline

  • Colours are saturated reds tinged with pink, violet or brown.
  • More common in larger sizes than other gemstones.

Rubellite tourmaline in jewellery

  • Tend to be shaped into traditional emerald, oval and cushion cuts.
  • Suitable for all types of jewellery, including engagement rings.
  • Should be protected from high heat and cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a microfibre cloth.

Common associations and symbolisms of rubellite tourmaline

  • Associated with passion for love and life.
  • Said to promote enthusiasm, inspiration and drive.
  • Birthstone for October and the traditional gemstone for an 8th wedding anniversary.

Value of rubellite tourmaline

  • The most prized, and therefore the most expensive of all the tourmalines.
  • Commonly found in larger sizes, providing an excellent, affordable, sizeable alternative to a ruby.
  • Only the most vivid and saturated of red tourmalines can be called ‘rubellite’.

Ready to rock a red gemstone?

Coloured gemstones are my speciality and my passion. I love nothing more than guiding people to the right gemstone and creating a meaningful piece that they will treasure forever.

If you would like to discuss a bespoke design or enquire about a piece you have seen on this website, please complete an enquiry form or send an email to info@nataliebarney.com and it will be my absolute pleasure to assist you.

Tagged: garnet | red | ruby | spinel | tourmaline
Posted in: Gemstones

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