Ruby vs. Garnet: What's the Difference
Garnet and ruby are both gemstones, yet their values differ significantly. Ruby is much more rare and valuable than garnet. Ruby gemstones are one of the world's four most precious stones, along with diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds. Even though garnet is also a gemstone, it is a semi-precious gemstone with a lower value than ruby.
Rarity & Value:
Rubies are not the rarest of gemstones, but they are difficult to find. Garnets—silicate minerals in various colors—are less rare than rubies. Rarity equals worth. Furthermore, it is much more uncommon to find natural rubies larger than one carat. The price of gemstones corresponds to values such as their rarity, size, color, clarity, and cut.
Where They Are Found:
Ruby mines exist in various countries. The precious stone is closely related to sapphires, and regions that have ruby mines usually also have sapphire deposits. Southeast Asia is home to the world's greatest ruby deposits, with Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, and Afghanistan accounting for the bulk of the globe's rubies.
Clarity & Light:
Color & Shade:
Toughness & Durability:
Though the rocks might not look different to a novice, experts can see significant differences in their properties. For example, while rubies' hardness ranks 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, a good score, they are durable and pretty resilient stones. However, rubies' hardness does not protect them from being scratched by a diamond, which ranks a perfect ten on the Mohs scale.
Because of their high value, most rough rubies are enhanced to improve their appearance. Rough rubies undergo various treatments, such as glass filling to improve transparency and heat treatment to enhance their color.
1. Heat Treatments
- Heat-treated rubies show improved clarity and color. Sri Lanka rubies often have pink and purple hues modifying their valuable ruby-red shade. With heat treatment, Sri Lanka rubies become a more intense red. Due to a high iron content, which quenches fluorescence, most Thailand rubies tend to have a garnet-red color, not the valuable ruby-red shade. With heat treatment, Thailand rubies lose their brownish tint. Likewise, Möng Hsu rubies (not to be confused with Myanmar rubies) lose their dark, unsightly cores. Furthermore, this is a long-term and permanent solution; as a result, the color effects will not fade with regular wear and cleaning.
Heat-treated rubies are sometimes treated with flux to help heal severe fractures. If these fractures heal successfully, there should be no adverse effects on the stone.
2. Glass Filling
Rubies and other gemstones can lose a lot of clarity due to cavities and fractures, so fracture-filling treatments are available. Glass-filled rubies show improvements in clarity and sometimes color. The drawback of this treatment is that it isn't long-lasting, and glass-filled rubies treated in sonic jewelry cleaners can be harmed.
3. Flux Filling
4. Beryllium Diffusion
In conclusion, while ruby and garnet share some similarities, they also have key differences. Knowing these differences can help you decide which stone to wear as part of your jewelry collection. Whether you choose a single ring with one stone or whether you want two different stones, ruby and garnet are both beautiful accents.
Ruby vs. Garnet: Comparison Chart