Rarity Of Rubies versus Diamonds

I was in the jewelry store the other day and wanted to purchase a piece of jewelry. I’m partial to diamonds, but I saw a Ruby necklace that I fell in love with. I had asked the lady at the counter which one she thought was better, but she didn’t really have a good answer for me. I wanted to know if one was better than the other. 

Rubies can be more valuable and rare than diamonds, but diamonds are harder and more durable, making them better for wearing all of the time. Natural Rubies are more difficult to come by whereas diamonds are easier to mine. They’re both gorgeous and hold their value pretty well. 

If you’re finding yourself in the same position as I did at the jewelry store, I’ve created this informative article just for you. I’ll go over everything you need to know about Rubies and diamonds, how durable they are, their value, their colors, and much more. 

Is Ruby More Expensive Than Diamond?

Ruby Stones are more expensive because they are rare. Rubies may be rarer than diamonds, but only in their gem-quality form. A diamond can be of different colors; some are rarer than others. The minerals that Rubies come from are common, but it’s actually the shade of red that is rare. They’re much less common in jewelry than diamonds, which are readily available. 

What Are Rubies?

Rubies are pink to blood-red colored gemstones that can be found worldwide. They register a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, just one point below a diamond. They are a variety of corundum and almost all of them have imperfections. A Ruby without an imperfection is extremely rare. A Ruby without inclusions is likely not a genuine Ruby. 

Rubies were first discovered in the Mogok region of Myanmar as early as 2500 B.C. The word “Ruby” comes from the word “ruber” which is Latin for red. They have also become the birthstone for those born in July. 

Rubies can be quickly identified by their red color. They may not always be a vibrant red though. The finest Ruby will have a pure, vibrant slightly purplish red color to them and are more expensive. Other Rubies can be red with overtones of orange and purple. These are less valuable. 

They’re one of the strongest gemstones on the Mohs scale of hardness, coming in at a 9. They are less hard than diamonds, but only by one point. It has excellent toughness and no cleavage, which tends to break when struck. Since they offer such superior durability, there is an excellent choice for jewelry that will be worn on a daily basis. 

Along with being durable, Rubies should be transparent. Rubies that are transparent are considered ideal and are of the highest quality. There are semi-translucent Rubies and opaque Rubies. The clearer it is, the more expensive it will be. However, a Ruby with inclusions will be more valuable than even the clearest diamond. 

If a Ruby isn’t good enough for a jeweler, they will use a heat treatment to develop or intensify a Ruby’s natural color. High levels of heat treatment will clear the Ruby up as well.

Some people choose to perform “lead glass filling”, which fills cavities and fractures in non-gem quality Rubies to alter the construction of the stone. This is not accepted by the jewelry trade as the lead glass is unstable and will deteriorate over time. 

In their natural form, Rubies are one of the rarest gemstones due to their high quality and spectacular coloring. Good quality Rubies that are larger than one carat are also extraordinarily rare and expensive. One of the rarest and most valuable types of Ruby is the Star Ruby.

Even though Rubies are dubbed as “valuable”, some are less valuable than others. Rubies can cost as little as $1 per carat to $100,000+ per carat depending on the 4C’s. One of the most expensive Rubies ever sold was the Sunrise Ruby, selling for over $1 million per carat 25 carats. 

What makes these gemstones even more spectacular is their mention in the bible. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, the Ruby is called ratnaraj or “king of precious stones”. It was also mentioned in the Roman scholar Pliny’s Natural History. A Ruby is also a symbol of power and wealth, considered to be a stone of the kings

Are There Different Types of Rubies?

Yes, there are 10 types of Rubies. One may come to the assumption that a Ruby is just a Ruby when in fact, they aren’t. There are several types of Rubies found all over the globe, some being rarer than others. 

The Indian Ruby is found in Orissa and Mysore. They have original cuts and colors and are used widely in silver and fashion jewelry due to their amazing aesthetic appeal. 

The Red Ruby is the most popular Ruby. It has a deep blood-red hue with spectacular saturation and luster. These are the most valuable Rubies you can get due to their dark red, well-balanced color-consistent makeup. 

Burmese Rubies are from Old Burma and are almost flawless, worth millions of dollars. They have very few marks and blemishes and have some of the finest qualities. This makes them one of the most sought-after gemstones. 

Star Rubies is a rare and natural Ruby stone that has a star-like visual effect, also known as Asterism. The Burma Star Ruby is considered to be one of the most valuable because of its brilliant red hue and star effect. 

The Pigeon’s Blood Ruby is associated with the color of a freshly killed pigeon. It has a bright red hue with a purplish tint when viewed in light. This puts it into the classification of a red Ruby gemstone. 

A Pink Ruby is only called that in certain parts of the world. Outside of the United States, a stone with low levels of chromium are called Pink Rubies and not a Pink Sapphire or Red Ruby. 

Tanzanian Rubies commonly have undesirable blue color-zoning. However, rare Rubies from this area will be perfectly red and very clear. They are also basalt0hosted, which means that’ ’re often more clear and a little darker.  

Mozambique Rubies are the most precious and have premium quality. These gemstones range from purple to fine red with a slight purplish touch. These gemstones are often more valuable than other varieties of gemstones found in Africa because of their vivid hues and high transparency.  

Mogox Rubies are world famous and come from mines located in Mogok. They are the most sought-after type of Ruby and are uncommonly rare. They have high prices and display a vivid red color. 

Lastly, we come to the Glass Filled Ruby. These were first identified in Japan in 200. They are made from natural rubies but are filled with lead glass to enhance transparency and durability. These are good for fashion jewelry, but not worth a lot. 

What Are Diamonds?

Diamonds are made of carbon. They form as carbon atoms under high temperatures and pressure. When this happens, they bond together and begin to grow crystals. They come from three types of deposits: alluvial gravels, glacial tills, and kimberlite pipes. The kimberlite pipes form from intrusions of magma and deliver diamonds from the mantle. 

Diamonds can vary from colorless to black and they can be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Many of the diamonds you see today used as gems are transparent and colorless. Colorless or pale blue stones are the most valuable, but rare. You will find that most diamonds will be tinged with yellow coloring. Fancy diamonds are red, blue, green, orange, violet, yellow, and yellowish green. 

Along with being gorgeous, diamonds are extremely durable and hard. They sit at a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, the next one down being a Ruby. They are so durable due to their atomic structure. Each carbon atom is linked to four equidistant neighbors throughout the diamond. The strongly bonded crystal structure makes diamond properties that differ from graphite, which is carbon’s other native form. 

Diamonds have high refractive power, giving them their brilliance. A diamond that is properly cut will return more light to the eye than a gem of lesser refractive power will. Most of the time, diamonds will have a yellowish tinge to them. 

If a diamond isn’t up to a jeweler’s standards, they can treat it. They can use laser drilling to enhance its quality by removing inclusions and they can fill the fracture to fix a cracked diamond. They can enhance its color by irradiating it, annealing it, and using high-pressure, high temperature treatment. Additionally, they can use coatings to give a clear diamond coloring. 

Altering diamonds won’t increase their rarity. Colorless diamonds may be rare, but fancy yellow and red diamonds are so rare that there are only twenty to thirty known to exist. Diamonds over one carat in weight are one in a million and the biggest diamond recorded was found in Cullinan, weighing 530.20 carats.  

The overall value of a diamond is determined based on the 4Cs: clarity, carat weight, cut, and color. The more flawless and colorless the diamond, the higher the price. In general, diamonds can cost between $800-$4,000 per carat, depending on its 4Cs. 

Diamonds symbolize wealth and the ability to manifest abundance. Since ancient times, the diamond has also symbolized eternal love, faith, and trust. This is why most people choose diamond engagement rings. When I was a kid, I always thought somebody who wore a lot of diamonds was rich. 

Are There Different Types of Diamonds?

There are 4 different types of diamonds; natural and lab-created. Natural diamonds are white and colorless. These are the more expensive type of diamonds and the most sought-after.  

Lab-Grown diamonds are man-made and don’t last as long as regular diamonds. These diamonds are 50%-60% cheaper and may become 70% cheaper than real diamonds in the upcoming years. 

Treated diamonds are mined like regular diamonds but their attributes are artificially enhanced or manipulated. This results in a better look due to inclusion filling. Treatments are generally done to diamonds that can’t be sold otherwise, making the price much lower than non-treated diamonds. 

Natural Fancy color diamonds are the most beautiful types of diamonds. They’re very rare, 1 to 10,000 compared to regular diamonds. The most famous diamonds are pink and canary yellow, but can also be found in blue, purple, violet, red, green, yellow, gray, white, and black or a combination of these colors. 

The 4Cs of Rubies and Diamonds

The 4 C’s of diamond and Ruby grading are cut, color, clarity, and carat. Jewelers use this grading system to determine how much a diamond costs and its value. 

The first C is cut. A well-cut diamond or Ruby will allow more light to go through the crown. A diamond that has a shallow depth or is too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or bottom of the stone. 

The second C is color. The color of the diamond or Ruby is important. It ranges from an icy white colorless to a light yellow. It can be difficult to tell the difference from one color grade to another with the naked eye. The best way to determine the color is to put them side by side and compare them. Colorless diamonds are the rarest and most expensive. Yellow is the least rare and least expensive. The color of a Ruby could vary from deep red to purplish with the most valuable being deep red.  

The third C is clarity. Clarity affects the rarity and price. The clarity refers to the tiny markings within the diamond. Flawless is the rarest and most expensive. A diamond that has inclusions is less clear and therefore will cost less whereas a Ruby that does have inclusions will cost more since it’s considered to be more natural. A Ruby without inclusions is extremely rare. 

The last C is the carat weight. A carat is divided into points. ¼ carat is 25 points, ½ is 50 and so on. The more points the diamond or Ruby has, the more carats it has, and ultimately the more it’s going to cost. 

Is It Better To Wear Rubies Over Diamonds?

Since a Ruby is less hard than a diamond, I would rather wear a diamond. However, it depends on the person’s preference. Rubies tend to be more expensive than diamonds, so some people choose not to wear them all the time. There’s not a specific one that would be better to wear than the other. 


As you can see, Rubies and diamonds are very close in value and hardness. They are two very beautiful gemstones that are equally spectacular. I love the color of Rubies, but I also love how diamonds shine all of the time. Also, Rubies are harder to pair with white gold or silver whereas diamonds pair well with any color band. 

I hope that this article has helped you get to know the ins and outs of Rubies and diamonds. They’re valuable and marvelous stones that each have their own story to tell.