Red Gemstones: Information, List & Buying Guide

December 23, 2023
Red Gemstones

Ever wondered why red catches your eye like no other color? Join us in uncovering the mystery of red gemstones, a journey into the heart of color and elegance, where every sparkle tells a tale. From the classic elegance of Rubies to the scarce splendor of Red Diamonds, we're exploring the gems that make us stop and stare. It's a journey through color and charisma, where red isn't just a shade, but a statement.

Of all the colours in the spectrum red is the most eye-catching and the one that demands respect (a red fire engine or red traffic light) and, whether clothing (Julia Roberts’ stunning red dress in Pretty Woman) or gemstones be they necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets or rings, draw attention to the wearer.

Introduction to Red Gemstones

Red Gemstones refer to a category of precious or semi-precious stones that primarily exhibit a red hue. These gemstones are valued for their beauty, rarity, and often for their symbolic meanings. Red, as a color, is associated with passion, energy, and power, making these stones popular in various forms of jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and earrings.

The intensity and shade of red can vary widely among these gemstones, ranging from deep, rich crimson to lighter shades of red. Some of the most well-known red gemstones include rubies, red diamonds, and garnets, each with their unique characteristics and levels of hardness, clarity, and value.

Red gemstones are often used as birthstones and are sought after for their aesthetic appeal and the striking presence they add to jewelry pieces.

Red Gemstones Rings

See our Coloured Gemstone Jewelry

List of Red Gemstones

If red is your favorite color you probably know every red gemstone there is but if you do not know the different types of red rocks and stones used in jewellery here is a short list beginning with the one that is most associated with the color red, namely, the Ruby that gets its name from the Latin ‘Rubeus’ meaning ‘red’.

Gemstone Description and Characteristics Birthstone Month
Ruby The quintessential red gemstone, rich in color and clarity. July
Red Diamond Extremely rare and precious, known for its small size. April
Red Spinel Once mistaken for Ruby, now recognized as a distinct gemstone.
Red Beryl Exceptionally rare and expensive, found in Utah and New Mexico. Scorpio
Fire Opal Stunningly beautiful, rare, and highly valuable. October
Imperial Topaz The rarest and most valuable variety of Topaz. November
Red Zircon Similar hardness and brilliance to diamonds, often a substitute. December
Red Garnet Traditional and modern birthstone for January. January
Red Fluorite Unique but delicate, less common among Fluorite colors.

1. Ruby

Red Gemstones - Ruby

Ruby is a sister stone to sapphire because they belong in the same family, i.e. the mineral group conundrum differentiating only in color. As with most coloured gemstones, the richer and clearer (clarity) the color the more expensive the Ruby is. It is the birthstone for July.

2. Red Diamond

Red Diamond Gemstones

Second in line is one of the rarest of all the red rocks, the Red Diamond, rare because only they are in extremely short supply, only a few known to exist and those that are known are quite small. The Diamond and the hardest of all gemstones is the birthstone for April.

3. Red Spinel

Red Spinel Gemstone

Third on the list, though it maybe should be in the second spot because of its earlier erroneous identification as a Ruby, is the Red Spinel, once identified as a spinel-ruby. Then, with the advent of modern science the mistake became clear and the Red Spinel was recognized in its own right as an individual gem no relation to the ruby yet, even today, it is often substituted for a Ruby.

4. Red Beryl

Red Beryl Heart Shape Gemstone

Fourth on the list is the Red Beryl (formerly known as Bixbite) which, like the Red Diamond, is also one of the rarest of all red rocks and therefore one of the most expensive of all coloured gemstones. Its rarity may be due to the fact that it is found in only two places on earth: the US states of Utah and New Mexico. It is the birthstone for the zodiac sign Scorpio.

5. Fire Opal

Fire Opal red gemstone

Fifth on the list is the stunningly beautiful Fire Opal from Mexico. Like the Red Diamond and the Red Beryl, the Fire Opal is another extremely rare red gemstone of great value and an expected high price tag, but well worth it because they are so beautiful and eye-catching. Opals are the traditional and modern birthstones for the month of October.

6. Imperial Topaz

Imperial Topaz Red Gemstone

Sixth on the list is the Imperial Topaz and in red the rarest and therefore most valuable and expensive of all varieties of Topaz. Unfortunately, though, these red rocks are hardly ever found. Topaz is one of November’s birthstones.

7. Red Zircon

Red Zircon gemstone

Seventh in line is the Red Zircon (known as hyacinth). I say not necessarily 6th because they have almost the same hardness as diamonds with a similar brilliance and are often used as substitutes for diamonds at a much lower cost. Zircon is one of the modern birthstones for December.

8. Red Garnet

Red Garnet Gemstone

Eighth in line is the Red Garnet, the traditional and modern birthstone for the month of January.

9. Red Fluorite

Red Fluorite Gemstone

Also on this list though again of no particular number but because I like it, is the beautiful Red Fluorite, red being the less common of all Fluorite’s colours. Its flaw, however, is its softness which, therefore, makes it unsuitable for most jewellery pieces.

Other Notable Mentions

In addition to those above there are several others that are called red gemstones but because of banding or striping, e.g. Red Agate, Sardonyx (another type of Agate), Red Sunstone, and Red Jasper I see them as not true reds and therefore do not belong on the above list, just as Rubellite (a Tourmaline) and Pezzottaite (the Beryl family of gems) are not on the list because their colours are more raspberry or purplish-pink rather than a true red.

Also eliminated from the list is recently discovered Andesine (belonging to the feldspar group of minerals) because of the controversy or suspicion surrounding it that it is not a true red gem but rather an elaborately enhanced labradorite whose colours are blue and green.

And lastly but by no means least, Coral which, by its very name, precludes it from the list but which also should stay where it’s at, in the sea rather than harvested for jewellery.

Comparison of Red Gemstones

Here's a comparison table that highlights the key characteristics of each red gemstone mentioned in the article:

Gemstone Color Rarity Value Birthstone Month
Ruby Rich Red Moderate Expensive (Clarity) July
Red Diamond Red Extremely Rare Extremely High April
Red Spinel Red Rare High
Red Beryl Red Extremely Rare Very High Scorpio
Fire Opal Red Extremely Rare Very High October
Imperial Topaz Red Extremely Rare Very High November
Red Zircon Red Moderate Moderate December
Red Garnet Red Common Moderate January
Red Fluorite Red Common Low (Softness)

Contact LL Private Jewellers

For further information on any of these gemstones, please contact LL Private Jewellers. In fact, you should see them first, before you buy any red gemstone, because of the rampant duplicity in the marketplace where the genuine article has been substituted with a look-alike whether out of ignorance or greed, as in the old saying, “All that glitters is not gold” so a red stone might look like a ruby but be a chunk of red glass.

For more information about any red gemstones, please contact LL Private jewelles at 604-684-6343.

About The Author

Author's Name

Emma Rae

Emma Rae, a distinguished Canadian jewelry writer, boasts over five years of expertise in the industry. Known for her deep understanding of jewelry design and trends, she's a credible and authoritative voice. Her insightful writing, featured in top jewelry magazines and online platforms, showcases her passion and respect for craftsmanship. Emma engaging and knowledgeable articles have earned her recognition and trust in the jewelry fashion world.



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