Are Sapphire and Ruby the Same?


Corundum is a mineral that occurs in two different forms: rubies and sapphires. While these corundum gems are nearly identical, the main distinguishing traits between ruby and sapphire stones are their hues, availability and pricing. If you're interested in learning more about identifying rubies and sapphires, as well as their intriguing chemical similarities and differences, keep reading for a quick overview of these lovely gems.




The name sapphire comes from the Greek term "Saphiros," which means blue. When they discovered that corundum gemstones feature a red variety, they gave it its own name, coming from the Latin word "Rubeus," which refers to red.

Today, "sapphire" refers to every color of corundum other than red. Ruby is the term used to describe the red variety of corundum. In addition, corundum gemstones come in a range of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, violet, purple and blue.




Ruby and sapphire are both made of aluminum oxide chemically. It’s the minute trace elements that give them their diverse colors. Chrome, for example, gives sapphire a pink tinge; vanadium produces a violet color, and iron and titanium produce the blue in blue sapphire stones.




On the Mohs scale (gemstone hardness scale), corundum hardness measures a 9, second only to diamond with a hardness of 10. Because rubies and sapphires are so hard and resistant to scratching, they make great choices for all types of jewelry exposed to everyday wear.




Rubies that are real are quite rare, especially the highly sought-after dark blood-red rubies. Sapphires are far more plentiful than rubies and are frequently found in greater carat weights. The differences in availability between natural rubies and sapphires account for a substantial portion of the price disparities between the two stones. Rubies are generally worth much more than sapphire gemstones.




Symbolism varies according to the color of the stone. The color red is closely tied with love and passion as well as strength and courage. Blue symbolizes peace, serenity, loyalty and sincerity.

Hence, December's birthstone ruby symbolizes intense passion, good luck, protection from misfortune, and personal inspiration. While, April's birthstone sapphire represents blessings, divine knowledge, sincerity, and faithfulness.




Rubies and sapphires have special energetic signatures that give them different metaphysical qualities, in addition to their traditional meanings. For example, red rubies purify the blood and stimulate the circulatory system. Whereas, blue sapphire stones soothe excess activity in the body and reduce stress.




Sapphire and ruby gems are two of the most popular gemstones on earth. Their great variety of colors, hardness, and symbolism make them ideal choices for all types of jewelry pieces. While these corundum gems share a common chemical structure, rubies and sapphires mainly differ in availability, hue and price.