It is no secret that diamonds are the stars of the jewellery industry. Their popularity has only increased in recent decades. However, the latest trends have also drawn our attention to other precious stones, such as emeralds, sapphires and rubies. And of all these gemstones, rubies are perhaps the most comparable in terms of value and prestige. When it comes to the discussion of rubies vs. diamonds, several factors come into play. In order to judge which of them is more suitable for you, you must take into account the very characteristics that determine their value in the market. Here you will find everything you need to know on this subject.
The 4Cs of Rubies vs Diamonds
For this purpose the Gemmological Institute of America, GIA for short, has designed the 4Cs of the diamond quality system. They stand for colour, clarity, cut and carat weight and are factors that determine the price of a stone. However, they do not only apply to diamonds, but also to other gemstones.
To determine the differences between rubies and diamonds, it is important to consider each of their 4C. How do the two gemstones differ in terms of these characteristics? And with this knowledge in mind, which gemstone should you choose for your next piece of jewellery? Let’s do a quick comparison and find out.
If you look at a ruby as opposed to a diamond, the first noticeable difference is the colour. While rubies are traditionally represented as bright red stones, diamonds are always represented as colourless. Although this is true in some cases, the situation is much more nuanced once you have delved into the details.
The official rating scale for diamond colours begins with D and ends with Z. The former is a pure and colourless, while the latter is usually a canary yellow. The more tinted it is, the less it is worth on the market. Nevertheless, there are other shades of colour. Pink diamonds have become particularly valuable in recent years due to a developing engagement ring trend.
The colour ruby is also a hotly discussed topic, as perception shifts with geography. The red spectrum conventionally also includes pink. In some countries, however, these belong to the class of sapphires. For example, in Sri Lanka, pink gemstones are considered rubies, while many other countries classify them as pink sapphires.
In terms of clarity, the situation is similar for both precious stones. Natural rubies and diamonds cannot be free of inclusions. These occur as soon as the minerals start to form, which is why a real stone will always have its flaws. If this is not the case, then they have certainly been grown in the laboratory or are not authentic overall.
As far as the cut is concerned, rubies and diamonds are again similar. This characteristic is determined according to the size and shape of the stone mined. So you have a wide variety of choices, including oval, marquise, cushion, pear and so on. Nevertheless, diamonds also offer other elegant and unique possibilities, such as the Royal Asscher.
The carat weight of a ruby determines its price, but it also depends on whether the stone is of fine quality or commercial grade. This also applies to diamonds, as larger stones can be available for half the price of smaller stones if their eminence is not so impressive. As mentioned above, all these factors come into play when setting the price.
Of course, diamond prices will always be significantly higher due to the market monopoly. Aggressive marketing techniques established exorbitant prices for the stones right after the end of the Great Depression in the 1930s. It was also during this period that the common saying that “a diamond engagement ring should cost three months’ salary” was born.
What to Choose?
All in all, at this point one can say with certainty that rubies and diamonds are quite comparable in quality. Nevertheless, the former is far more affordable than its rival. So which one should you choose? According to the Chicago Tribune, the reign of the diamond in the jewellery market could come to an end, although it will always be the more elegant and robust choice.
Many people now orientate their engagement rings towards other gemstones. Blonde bombshell actress and singer Jessica Simpson received a 5-carat ruby engagement ring from her NFL boyfriend, making this design famous around the world. So if you are looking for a rare stone with an interesting colour and amazing features, rubies are the way to go.
When it comes to the 4Cs of quality, diamonds and rubies are quite comparable options. Of course, rubies will always be more affordable, and because of their unique colouring they are certainly worth your time. But if you are looking for prestige and elegance, you can’t go wrong with a diamond. After all, they are a girl’s best friend.