Rubies and diamonds are arguably two fashionable minerals used in jewelry. Historically, diamonds have always signified wealth and power. Besides the color difference, the two minerals are quite different in many other ways. Rubies are common gemstones that gained popularity amongst millennials.
A given ruby of the correct cut and color will be more valuable than a given diamond of equivalent weight. Apart from the difference in pricing, this article will explain some of the other factors you can use to tell the two minerals apart.
Ruby vs. Diamond: Some essential differences you should know
Ruby vs. Diamond – Carat Weight
The carat weight is arguably the most crucial price determinant for both minerals. The price of the ruby or diamond is directly proportional to their carat weights. According to a study, a 1-carat-diamond is so rare that only one in a million diamonds can achieve it.
However, the size of the diamond isn’t directly proportional to the carat weight. A diamond of smaller carat weight might be considerably larger than one with much more.
Rubies of high carat weights are rarer than diamonds. This explains why rubies of the same carat size with a given diamond will have a higher market price, with all other things being equal.
Rubies vs. Diamonds – Color Differences
Diamonds should be colorless. The pale yellow color in most diamonds results from impurities during production, and it diminishes the total market value of the diamond.
In essence, the paler your diamond looks, the less it will potentially sell for.
However, fancy colored diamonds are an entirely different story. They can be worth a lot of money based on their clarity and vividness. White diamonds, on the other hand, are valued based on how colorless the mineral is. Rubies are best as dark-purple or vivid red. The value of a ruby gem depends on the saturation. The saturation is a measure of the color’s intensity. Gems with higher saturation generally sell better.
The GIA grading system is the official way of determining the color, and hence, the price of ruby. It includes three factors: hue, tone, and saturation. The hue is the gem’s color, and popular hues include yellow, blue, violet, and green. The shade of the color is the tone, and saturation is, well, the saturation. Some of the most valuable rubies don’t have very dark or light colors. The simpler the gem looks, the more money it will potentially make.
Inclusions are some slight imperfections that affect the clarity of a gem. Also referred to ask birthmarks, these inclusions exponentially reduce the value of a mineral stone. Inclusions also make a gem more vulnerable to damage.
Rubies and diamonds are graded for clarity on different scales. While rubies are judged on a four-point scale, the scale for grading a diamond for clarity has 11 points.
This complicated scale may have something to do with the fact that a large percentage of all diamonds undergo processing to minimize inclusions in some way.
Refiners remove inclusions by drilling an ultra-fine pathway through the diamond and pouring corrosive acid to erase the inclusion. While this treatment may make your diamond look better, it will inevitably reduce its value at the same time.
The cut is another area where diamonds and rubies differ significantly. While it has a negligible influence on a ruby’s quality and price, it can be the decisive purchase factor for a diamond.
Most rubies are cut soon after the discovery, and these stones are called native cut rubies. If a recut enhances the color of the ruby or improves the refraction, it could also impact the price positively. For diamonds, the cut can massively change the look of the diamond. Jewelers who specialize in cutting diamonds favor heavier diamonds over well-cut ones.
Is a Ruby Harder Than a Diamond?
The one thing both minerals have in common is the incredible hardness. The Moh’s scale used to grade the hardness of minerals confirms diamond to be the hardest mineral out there.
The Moh’s scale defines hardness as the resistance of a material to being scratched. Diamonds score a perfect 10, while rubies aren’t too far behind, scoring a near-perfect nine. A quick disclaimer; the Moh’s scale has no such minerals named ruby. Ruby is gotten from conundrum, the mineral that produces ruby and sapphire. As they have the same base mineral, rubies and sapphires are just as hard as a conundrum.
Which is the better investment: rubies or diamonds?
Investing in mineral stones like diamonds isn’t similar to many popular investments in 2021. An investment in diamond or ruby gives a tangible commodity with a relatively stable price. Diamonds may be the most popular stone here, but an investment in sapphires, emeralds, or rubies can also provide a good return on investment over an extended period.
Whether you choose to invest in rubies or prefer diamonds depends on your investor profile and the extent of risk you are willing to take.
Diamonds show a more consistent price increase over the years compared to the price of ruby per carat. Investing in colorless diamonds is also different from investing in any of the colored varieties. Colorless diamonds, also termed white diamonds, are more commercial and have a generally higher demand. Most of the diamonds you see around are white diamonds, thanks to the general public perception of diamonds.
Investing in white diamonds carries fewer risks, but the rewards may be less. Colored diamonds, on the other hand, are much rarer and fall into a specific market segment. This is particularly true of red diamonds, the rarest of colored diamonds. In addition, the demand for colored diamonds has skyrocketed over the past few years.
Rubies and diamonds are pretty valuable stones. When you put a red diamond and a ruby side by side, it’s almost impossible to tell one apart from the other. However, these two minerals are pretty different. This article has listed some essential differences between rubies and diamonds that any investor must know before investing in these precious stones.