Ruby vs Sapphire

Ruby vs Sapphire

Written by Rebecca Howarth on 10 June 2023

Ruby, Ruby… Sapphire. How do the two compare?

With Ruby’s birthstone month approaching, we wanted to shine some light on the versatile beauty, and answer one of our most commonly asked questions.

“How Do Rubies Compare with Sapphires?”

Would you believe, rubies and sapphires are from the same family called the Corundum. They come in a range of cuts, colours and clarity and can suit a range of jewellery types. In fact, when it comes to featuring either of these gemstones in your piece, they are a reliable choice. They are one of the most durable out there, both ranking a 9 on a hardness a scale- 10 being the maximum, which is where you will find a diamond. They are a gemstone family suitable for all types of jewellery as, when looked after properly, they can withstand daily wear.

What distinguishes one sibling from the other is basically the colour. Ruby is possibly considered the most iconic from the family, due to its striking red colour.  However, it is not isolated to the perceived deeper red like that of Queen Elizabeth’s Ruby tiara. It has a range of hues and tones- “Pigeon Blood” red, purply red or even a pinkish red. As long as its red- it’s a ruby!

Anything that is not dominantly red, is then a sapphire. Sapphires come in all other colours of the rainbow and within each strand is a huge scope of tones and intensity. Pink will never be “just” pink: hot, pale, bright, the colour of a flamingo… you name the inspiration, we could probably find it!

So, you might ask- How do I get one, what can I do with it and how much will it cost me?

Luckily, rubies and sapphires are both found all over the world, so are not usually difficult to source.

The element that may impact the cost, will be the colour, carat and quality. But, this is the case with many gemstones. So, sometimes it is better to have in mind what it is you are looking for. An Inspiration board is handy for this!

If you are design-focussed but know you want a splash of colour, support is here to help match the gemstone to your style. You may have a colour in mind already, but you will be blown away with the wealth of possibilities that fit specific designs. For example, the range in colours make sapphires the perfect choice for rainbow or graduating designs in yellow gold- if it’s reddish, it could always feature a ruby too! The subtle tones of a paler sapphire pair well in white gold elaborate design, like the peach in this geometric style engagement ring. Alternatively a deep red ruby can steal the show in a statement piece- perhaps partnered with a diamond, accentuating the rich tones in a yellow gold setting. Or of course, as a symbol to commemorate your 40th ‘Ruby’ wedding anniversary in a white gold eternity ring like this.

With either a ruby or sapphire, if you have your heart set on a specific colour- like the golden orange of the setting sun, or pale lilac of your childhood bedroom- finding the exact one you envisage may alter your budget. If it is a rare colour and larger carat, it may prove more expensive. On the other hand, sometimes, if a particular colour is suddenly fashionable, that too can impact the cost! Bluey-teal sapphires in a yellow gold band are a strong contender for engagement rings at the moment. Not forgetting the oval blue sapphire in Princess Diana’s, now Princess Kate’s, white gold engagement, which is still highly sought after. Both trending beauties are therefore holding value.  

However, once your own design grows,  you may discover alternatives to get as close as possible to what you imagined. With expert guidance and your ideas, we will find the perfect ruby or sapphire that fits not just the design but importantly reflects your story.