Red Gemstone Buying Guide – Part 1

Blame it on St. Valentine, but February is synonymous with the color red. Giving your special someone a red gemstone jewelry piece would be the ultimate token of affection to mark the upcoming holiday dedicated to romance. When considering purchasing a red gemstone such as ruby, garnet, or red diamond, there are a few key facts and considerations to keep in mind.

Ruby
Ruby is often referred to as the king of gemstones and is a variety of the mineral corundum. Like its sister, gem sapphire, rubies are second only to diamonds in hardness, which makes them a good choice for everyday wear. When purchasing a ruby, look for mixed-cut ovals and cushions as these cuts bring out the vibrant red of the stone. Rubies can display a rare optical phenomena called asterism, which has star-like rays. When shopping for a ruby, it’s important to make sure you know what you are buying. Synthetic rubies are popular and many are sold in jewelry today and most natural rubies are heat treated to enhance color. Additionally, other gemstones, including spinels and pink sapphires, can be mistaken for rubies, so it’s best to look at the gemological identification report before making a significant purchase.

Garnet
Garnets come in a multitude of colors including green and yellow, but are usually associated with the deep red variety from the minerals Almandite, Pyrope or Rhodolite. With a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, garnets are durable enough for daily wear.

Red Diamond
Natural-color red diamonds are among the rarest available. Color intensity often equates to higher value, so the purest and most saturated red diamonds are the most desirable. Red diamonds are not color graded according to the D-to-Z color scale. Colored, or “fancy-color” diamonds, are rated on a color scale that ranges from “Faint” to “Fancy Deep”. GIA produces a Colored Diamond Grading Report that many retailers will provide to accompany the diamond.

Please join us here later this week for the next red gemstone lineup! We’d love to know which of these red gemstones appeals to you the most, and why, so we welcome your comments.

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