Jewel Talk


Speaking of red gemstones, Ruby would be the first thing that comes to mind. But not all red gemstones are Rubies. There are other gemstones that take after Ruby and have regularly been mistaken in history for its deep rouge hue. These are such as the red Spinel and Rubellite which one can consider without breaking the bank.

Ruby has been commercialised as one of the popular ‘King of Gems’. It is a corundum with a deep red glow caused by the presence of chromium oxide. The value of a Ruby depends on several elements. For instance, a sizable, loop clean, unheated Ruby, and in pigeon blood colour, is rare. Hence it fetches a high market value.

In comparison, the Spinel was called ‘The Great Imposter’ of a Ruby but for a good reason. For many historical years, people believed that the Spinel and Ruby were the same stone. As said by leading gemmologist Joanna Hardy, author of the book Ruby, “Rubies owe their initial fame to the Spinel”. The colour of the red Spinel is so close to the Ruby, that it is indistinguishable with the naked eye for those not in the trade. In the olden days, both were frequently mistaken to be the same stone, as they were often found side by side in mines. Both gemstones were only scientifically distinguishable when the advancement of chemistry and mineralogy approached during the 19th century.

How about the Rubellite? While Rubellites exists in a range of hues, the crimson red colour is often compared with Rubies. Rubies have a richer red undertone, while Rubellites can have a red, purple or pink undertone. Did I mention that Rubellites belong to the Tourmaline family of gemstones? And Tourmalines comes in a rainbow of colours. But the Rubellite colour is quite rare and can sometimes be difficult to find.

In conclusion, Rubies, Spinels and Rubellites all have the criteria to play as the benchwarmer to the ‘King of Gems’, and each of these gemstones have their unique characteristics. Audrey Hepburn once said, “There’s a shade of red for every woman”. Which rouge are you?

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