You Guide Before You Buy Ruby Jewelry and Alternative
Rubies are pinkish-red members of the corundum family of minerals. Corundum of any other color (blue, pink, yellow, and many others) is called sapphire.
Natural ruby shades vary from light to dark red, and rubies often have undertones, such as a purplish cast. The variations add to the charm and individuality of each gemstone.
Even though ruby is the birthstone of July, ruby jewelry is a universal favorite.
Maybe it’s because we associate the color red with feelings of love and passion. The intense and romantic hues add elegance and luxury to any jewelry design so it’s no wonder that ruby jewelry is always in demand. What you should know before you buy ruby jewelry
Check also: Sapphires The Gemstone For A Princess
Before You Buy Ruby Jewelry
Tips for Buying Ruby Stones and Jewelry
Before you drop a pretty penny on one of the four precious gemstones, make sure you learn some natural ruby jewelry basics first.
Ruby Hardness Makes the Gemstone Very Durable
- Rubies are rated at 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Compare that to diamonds at 10 and turquoise, which is relatively soft at 5-6.
Ruby Color Variations Impact Value
- Vivid, intense reds similar to the Burmese ruby are in demand and considered the most desirable gemstones.
- Some rubies are red with yellowish to orange tones.
- Some rubies are red with blue to purple tones.
There Are Common Ruby Treatments
- Nearly all rubies are treated with heat to improve color and clarity.
- Dyes are sometimes used to intensify ruby color.
- Coatings are used to camouflage surface fractures. Coatings will wear off in time.
Rubies From Certain Parts of the World Are More Valuable
- Burmese rubies are considered among the most beautiful examples of the gemstone.
- Other important sources of quality rubies include Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, and Afghanistan.
- Rubies of varying quality are found in other parts of the world, including the United States.
Star Ruby Is a Unique Ruby Variation
Some translucent rubies cut into cabochons (smooth domes) produce a star with six rays that stretch across the domed surface.
Synthetic Rubies Can Be Hard to Spot
Like many other popular gemstones, rubies can be created in a laboratory. Lab gems are an affordable choice when you’re buying a ruby, but the stone’s origins should always be disclosed.
Buy Ruby Jewelry From Reputable Dealers
- Large, high-quality, natural rubies are very rare and expensive and should be accompanied by a report from a qualified gem lab that certifies their authenticity.
- Buy ruby jewelry from reputable dealers who know what they are selling and who disclose all treatments that have been performed on the gemstones.
Now you should be ready to shop for ruby jewelry, but if you’re still not sure what to buy, learn more about the differences between natural and synthetic gemstones.
If you’re ready to get a little muddy, come along with me for a virtual trip to a ruby mine in Franklin, North Carolina, where you’ll find rubies that can be cut and mounted into the setting of your choice.
Red Gemstones That Are Ruby Jewelry Alternatives
Who doesn’t love a rich, blood-red ruby set in a beautiful piece of jewelry? Whether you were born in July or fancy warm tones, ruby is the gem of choice. However, if a natural, high-quality ruby doesn’t fit your budget, don’t fret. There are many alternatives that are every bit as stunning as a July’s birthstone.
Check out 5 of our favorite ruby gemstone alternatives. Some are obvious choices but others might surprise you.
The Impossibly Red Garnet
Garnet is the traditional January birthstone. It exists in many colors, including various shades of red. Natural garnet is inexpensive and abundant, which should not detract from its beauty. As January’s primary birthstone, the red variety of this gemstone is often underrated.
There are a few different varieties of red garnet: lucky for you, a list of them created to help you choose.
A couple of common red varieties of garnet are almandine and pyrope. Almandine is what you want to search for if your main objective is to save money. They are the most affordable and can come in carat sizes ranging from very big to very small.
Garnet is the type of low-risk gemstone that is safe to buy online without too much concern over whether the stone is authentic. There are some glass versions that look almost identical to garnet though, so just be sure you’re shopping from a reputable dealer.
The Queen Imposter Synthetic Ruby
Synthetic ruby created in a laboratory. Since it is synthetic and not simulated, these stones have the same chemical make-up as its natural counterpart — at a much lower price.
The main distinction between a natural ruby and a synthetic one is the color. Some varieties of synthetic ruby can be very bright pink, a color that is almost a dead giveaway. You’ll see these types of stones used in class rings and birthstone jewelry. You’ll also notice most synthetic ruby is virtually flawless.
Mix synthetic ruby with a cubic zirconia instead of diamonds and the result is jewelry that will suit nearly any budget.
The Bohemian Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite is very similar to what we might see in very low quality, opaque ruby. Translucent variations of rhodochrosite found in shades of strawberry-pink to watermelon-red.
It’s a softer stone than ruby, so not as durable. But look how stunning rhodochrosite is when cut as a cabochon and used by itself in a setting. Darker stones command higher prices, but most rhodochrosite jewelry is inexpensive. It is so inexpensive that you might consider ordering a cabochon and making a piece of jewelry yourself.
The Old World Carnelian
Carnelian is a form of chalcedony, a type of quartz made up of tiny crystals. You’ll find carnelian in shades of red and orange-red, and many stones with brownish undertones.
The gemstone isn’t as transparent as ruby or garnet, but its affordability means you’ll find endless lovely pieces made by talented jewelry designers. Carnelian has a vintage feel that is understated yet elegant. This ruby alternative is not for those that want bling, but for jewelry lovers that want to make a unique statement.
The Blinged Out Red Swarovski Crystal
Swarovski crystals are not gemstones, so they make this list as the most affordable option. Use this stone when you’re buying gifts for young children who don’t yet know how to take care of finer things.
These jewels are quality cut pieces of lead glass and available in deep colors which are beautiful in their own right. Swarovski crystals trademarked and known for being higher quality than other glass crystals on the market.
Want a piece of costume jewelry that truly looks like the real thing? Look for jewelry that has crystals mounted into prongs instead of glued into the setting for a little higher quality look that will last.
Prices vary, but the crystals are affordable — you should be able to find something to suit any budget.
The Jeulia Stone Ruby Jewelry Alternatives
Jeulia® Stone is also an excellent alternative to natural gemstones because it is more scratch-resistant for everyday wear. Unlike natural gemstones that mined from the earth using large machinery; explosives, and unsafe working conditions; the Jeulia® Stone developed to be more durable with better optical characteristics; than of a diamond while maintaining an ethical standard to protect our environment.
Top Online Jewelry Stores
Thousands of websites sell jewelry, making it often difficult to know where to shop. It can also be tricky to buy jewelry online when you don’t see it in person. It’s smart to choose reputable and well-known jewelry companies that also work with your sense of style. Here are some top online jewelry stores to check out.
Before You Buy Ruby Jewelry Know the Best Places to Buy Jewelry Online
InterContinental Hong Kong/Flickr
If you have decided to splurge on a special piece of jewelry, Tiffany is the place to go. Offering some of the most elegant jewelry in the world, Tiffany features both men and women’s jewelry, watches, engagement rings, and gifts. Tiffany is a classic and quality and always guaranteed.
offers jewelry from dozens of wonderful designers, including Andrea Barna, Misha of New York and Sorrelli. Stylism is a fantastic website because of the vast amount of jewelry available, including very affordable pieces starting as low as $20.
The Blue Nile very well known for its diamonds. In fact, they are larger than the next three online jewelry retailers combined! While known for diamonds, Blue Nile also features pearls, gemstones, and other jewelry.
Jewelry Television offers fine jewelry at discounted prices. You can choose from diamond and gemstone jewelry, bridal jewelry and a large collection of loose stones. Even if you don’t catch the show, you can check out all they have to offer online.
QVC offers a huge selection of jewelry in every price range. The website is easy to navigate, allowing you to filter your choices by the department, material, brand, and more.
If you have a cosmopolitan sense of style, you need to check out BijouxNYC, which draws its inspiration from New York City. Their City Chic line features affordable, colorful jewelry created from pearls, shells, quartz, and other stones. Their bridal collection is also very nice with most pieces under $100.
Though many people might think of books, movies, and music at Amazon.com, their jewelry selection is also very nice. You can find everything from affordable gift items to extravagant diamond pieces.
If you love color, Angela Moore is the answer. Her fun jewelry collection features colorful necklaces, earrings, charms, and more. The vibrant, beaded earrings are only $25 a pair.
Their motto is “Really nice jewelry. Really low prices.” and it’s definitely true! If you are looking for discounted diamond and gemstone jewelry, Super Jeweler has a wonderful selection.
Sites You Can Trust
With so many places to purchase jewelry online, it’s smart to not only find ones that carry the types of jewelry you like but sites that are reputable, especially when choosing fine, investment jewelry.