Garnet Vs. Ruby – The Similarities & Differences

Garnet Vs. Ruby

Garnet Vs. Ruby

It is not uncommon for people to mistake a ruby for a garnet or vice versa. Those are the 2 most popular red gemstones and can look a lot alike.  However, they are very different stones.  There are a few physical properties that make them pretty easy to tell apart once you know what to look for. However, both make excellent choices for custom jewelry as they are durable and can be inexpensive. In this post, we will talk all things Garnet Vs. Ruby.  And we hope that after reading this, you will be a semi-expert on Garnet Vs. Ruby.

What is Ruby

A ruby is a precious gemstone known for its vibrant red color. It belongs to the corundum mineral family and is one of the four traditional precious gemstones, along with diamond, sapphire, and emerald. Rubies are formed deep within the Earth’s crust under high pressure and temperature conditions. They are primarily found in countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Rubies are highly valued for their rarity, durability, and beauty, making them a popular choice for jewelry. They are also believed to possess various symbolic meanings and have been associated with love, passion, and wealth throughout history. Whether worn as a stunning piece of jewelry or admired for their natural beauty, rubies continue to captivate and enchant people around the world.

Garnet Vs. Ruby

History Of Rubies

Rubies have a rich and fascinating history. These precious gemstones have been cherished and admired for centuries. The history of rubies can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where they were highly valued and often associated with royalty and power. The first recorded mention of rubies dates back to around 200 BC in ancient Sanskrit texts from India. Rubies were also highly prized in ancient Rome, where they were considered a symbol of wealth and status. Over the years, rubies have continued to captivate people’s imaginations with their vibrant red color and remarkable beauty. Today, rubies are still highly sought after and remain one of the most cherished gemstones in the world.

What is Garnet

Garnet is a gemstone that is widely known for its stunning beauty and rich color. It belongs to a group of minerals called silicates and is composed of a combination of different elements, including aluminum, calcium, iron, and magnesium. The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin word “granatum,” which means pomegranate, due to its resemblance to the vibrant red seeds of the fruit.

Garnet comes in a variety of colors, including red, green, orange, yellow, and even black. The most common color is red, which is often associated with passion and energy. It is also the birthstone for the month of January. Garnet is known for its exceptional hardness, rating between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making it a durable gemstone suitable for everyday wear.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, garnet is also believed to possess various metaphysical properties. It is said to promote vitality, courage, and self-confidence, while also providing protection against negative energies. Garnet is often used in jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings, and is a popular choice for both casual and formal occasions.

rough garnet

History Of Garnet

Garnets have a rich history that spans thousands of years. These beautiful gemstones have been prized for their deep red color and stunning brilliance. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “granatum,” which means pomegranate, due to the gemstone’s resemblance to the fruit’s seeds.

The history of garnets can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where they were used as decorative elements in jewelry and as talismans for protection. They were also highly valued in ancient Greece and Rome, where they were believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits.

Throughout the Middle Ages, garnets continued to be highly sought after. They were used as symbols of power and wealth by royalty and nobility. In fact, many European monarchs adorned their crowns and regalia with garnets.

Today, garnets are still cherished for their beauty and symbolism. They are the birthstone for the month of January and are often given as gifts to celebrate second wedding anniversaries. Whether worn as jewelry or simply admired for their natural beauty, garnets continue to captivate people around the world.

Garnet Vs. Ruby – The Similarities

Garnet and Ruby may be two different gemstones, but they actually share a few similarities. The main similarity between Garnet and Ruby is the color range. While Ruby is most commonly associated with a deep red color, it can also be found in shades of pink. Similarly, Garnet is known for its red hues, but it can also occur in pinkish tones. This overlapping color range makes it sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two gemstones, especially when they are used in jewelry.


Garnet and Ruby are both gemstones known for their beauty and vibrant colors. However, when it comes to conductivity, they differ significantly.

Garnet is a poor conductor of electricity. Its low conductivity is due to its crystal structure, which does not allow for the easy flow of electrons. This makes garnet a good insulator, meaning it does not easily allow electric current to pass through it.

On the other hand, Ruby is a better conductor of electricity compared to garnet. Its higher conductivity is attributed to the presence of certain impurities, such as chromium, which enhance its ability to conduct electricity. This makes ruby a more suitable choice for applications where electrical conductivity is desired, such as in electronics or electrical wiring.

Garnet Vs. Ruby – The Differences

Garnet and ruby are both beautiful gemstones, but they have some distinct differences. Firstly, their chemical composition sets them apart. Garnet is a group of minerals that come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, and green. Ruby, on the other hand, is a type of corundum mineral that is always red or pinkish red.

Another difference is their hardness. Garnet has a hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively durable. Ruby, on the other hand, is extremely hard with a rating of 9, making it one of the hardest gemstones.

Lastly, their value and rarity differ. Garnets are more abundant and therefore more affordable compared to rubies. Rubies, especially those with a deep red color and few inclusions, are highly sought after and can command a high price in the market.

Garnet Vs. Ruby

Garnet Vs. Ruby – Luster

Garnet and ruby are both gemstones that are highly valued for their beauty and luster. While they may share some similarities in terms of their appearance, there are some key differences in their luster that set them apart.

Garnet is known for its vitreous luster, which means it has a glass-like shine. This luster is created by the way light interacts with the gemstone’s surface, reflecting and refracting off its facets. The result is a brilliant and sparkling appearance that is highly sought after.

On the other hand, ruby has a unique luster known as adamantine. This luster is characterized by a bright and intense shine that is often described as “fiery.” It is caused by the presence of chromium in the gemstone, which gives it its distinctive red color and enhances its luster.

Garnet Vs. Ruby

Garnet Vs. Ruby – Magnetism

When it comes to magnetism, Garnet Vs. Ruby have different properties. Garnet is not magnetic, while ruby is slightly magnetic. This means that if you were to place a magnet near a ruby, it would be attracted to it, albeit very weakly. On the other hand, a magnet would not have any effect on a garnet. So, if you’re trying to tell if a red stone is a garnet or ruby, a magnet can help.

Garnet Vs. Ruby – Fluorescence

Ruby and garnet are both gemstones that can exhibit fluorescence, but they differ in their fluorescence properties. Garnet typically does not fluoresce under ultraviolet light, while ruby exhibits strong red fluorescence. This difference in fluorescence can be attributed to the presence of different elements in the two gemstones. Garnet is composed mainly of silicate minerals, while ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum, which contains chromium. The presence of chromium in ruby is responsible for its vibrant red fluorescence.

Garnet Vs. Ruby
Here is a ruby and garnet under UV light.

Garnet Vs. Ruby – Price

When comparing the price of garnet and ruby gemstones, several factors come into play. First and foremost, it is important to note that both garnet and ruby are precious gemstones, but ruby is generally considered to be more valuable and therefore more expensive. This is due to its rarity and the demand for its deep red color. On the other hand, garnet is more abundant and comes in a variety of colors, which makes it more affordable compared to ruby. Additionally, the size, cut, clarity, and overall quality of the gemstone also affect its price.

Generally, garnet can run from $30 to 1000’s of dollars. Ruby, on the other hand, 00000can start at around $100 a carat for very low quality stones..

The Easiest Way To Tell The Difference in Garnet Vs. Ruby

The easiest way to tell the difference between Garnet Vs. Ruby is fluorescence.  Place the stone under UV (black) light and if it glows red, it is a ruby. Another very easy way, yet not very popular, is to test the hardness.  If you scratch the stone with a steel, only a garnet will show the scratch.  Ruby is harder than steel, so steel can’t scratch it.  Magnetism might also be a dead giveaway.

Hopefully this post provides some help in the question of Garnet Vs. Ruby.  Both are beautiful red gemstones that are perfect for jewelry.  But sometimes, there are factors that make one stone better than the other.

You can view our portfolio of custom engagement rings or custom pendants to look for ideas.  Or you can contact us with your own idea..  Why bother with mass produced jewelry at the chain stores when we can create something just for you.  We design custom jewelry creations that show your personality and style. And many times, for less than something comparable at the chain jewelry stores.

Garnet Vs. Ruby – The Similarities & Differences

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