List of 10 Top Red Gemstones (+ Choosing Tips and Gift Ideas)

Red gemstones have been worn by people for centuries. Since ancient times, they have been associated with things like strength, fire, and blood. They are also used to represent strong emotions such as love and passion.👫🏻

What gemstones are red?

Red is one of the most popular gemstone colors. It is a color that grabs attention, which explains why red gemstones have been used throughout history and have been valued for centuries.

Red gemstones have been popular for ages because of their eye-catching color that blends beautifully with almost all skin tones. They are enchanting to look at and hold a lot of symbolism for many societies. The color red symbolizes our strongest emotions such as love, passion, and lust.❤️ Red gemstones, therefore, are the perfect gift to a loved one, symbolizing love and affection. They come in a wide range of shades and prices.

The quality of red gemstones is often evaluated by assessing the color of the gemstones. The aspects of color assessed by gemologists include hue, saturation, and tone.

Red Gemstone Jewelry: Lady Holding Red Gem Crown

Most gemstones usually have a secondary hue and a primary hue. It is common for red gemstones to have secondary hues of purple and orange in addition to the red primary hue. Gemstones that are purely red or those with just a hint of purple secondary hue are considered to be of the highest quality in red gems. The value of red gemstones drops as the hue strays further from this ideal.  

Clarity is also another aspect used when assessing the quality of gemstones. That said, clarity grades, are not as important when assessing the quality of red gemstones as in colorless gemstones such as diamonds. The darker color of red gemstones helps to hide these imperfections. However, you should avoid large fractures or inclusions since they can make the stone more breakable.

Red gemstones are usually hard to come by. Some of the most well-known are garnet, ruby, red diamond, red spinel, red zircon, red agate, red topaz, red jasper, red beryl, carnelian, among others.

Here is a list of red gemstone names and their properties.

Reviews: 10 top red gemstones (Appearance, meanings, properties & more)

Garnet

Origins

Gernet gets its name from the Latin word granatus which means seed. This gemstone resembles the red seeds of the pomegranate, hence the name. Large red garnet deposits are found in India, where they are mined in abundance. Deposits are also found in Central Europe in countries such as Russia and the Czech Republic.

History

Garnet has been used throughout history with evidence of the gemstone being used as jewelry dating as far back as the Bronze Age. It was also used by Egyptians as jewelry with remnants of garnet inlays in their carvings and jewelry dating back to 3100 BC.

Garnet was spiritually significant to the ancient Egyptians as it was believed to bring good fortune to wearers who perform good deeds and bad fortune to those who performed bad deeds. The ancient Egyptians used this gemstone as the symbol of life.

Vintage Style Yellow Gold Garnet Gemstone Ring

The gemstone was also popular with the Romans and was adorned by their nobility as signet rings during the middle ages. It was also used as a talisman, to protect warriors in battle and to ward off plague and pestilence. The stone’s popularity resurged in the Victorian era as royals wore them in clusters of red garnet gemstones.

Appearance

The most popular garnets are red in color. However, they are also available in a wide range of colors, ranging from dark red to vibrant green. The most common types are available in a beautiful range of reds, ranging from rust colored to deep violet-red.

Properties

All species of garnet have the same crystal structure, differing only in their chemical composition. The gemstone has a rating of between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The softer species of garnet are best adorned in earrings and necklaces since they are more susceptible to scratching. The harder species are more durable and can be worn every day in all types of jewelry.

Garnet is also thought to have healing properties. The gemstone is believed to play an important role in protecting your body from ailments and in the restoration of your health. Red garnet is linked to the heart and blood and is said to help with blood flow in the cardiovascular system and helps in the prevention of hemorrhage.

The gemstone is also believed to help with mental health as it helps people recover from conditions such as depression. It enables the wearer to get rid of negative thoughts and destructive patterns and ideas.

Value

Garnet is the January birthstone. The economic value of the gemstone depends on the species and their physical properties. Prices vary widely, from just $10 to over $1000.

Meanings

Garnet is often referred to as the second most romantic stone after ruby.

These gemstones are believed to symbolize eternity and are said to be a gift from the heart. They are said to symbolize commitment, honesty, and faith and are often used by crystal healers to help people boost their self-confidence and with issues surrounding creativity and inspiration. They are believed to illuminate one’s purpose in life.

Garnets are also believed to enhance intimacy and sensuality.

Pros

  • Relatively affordable
  • A good substitute for ruby
  • Excellent transparency

Cons

  • Medium hardness

Ruby

Appearance

Rubies are a classic red gemstone. As a gemstone, the ruby contains a rare element known as chromium in its crystal structure. This element is responsible for the red color and its fluorescence. The amount of chromium is responsible for the intensity of the red color of the ruby. It is this fluorescence property that allows rubies to glow in the sun.

Set of Red Ruby Earrings and Rings

Properties

Rubies are made of corundum, making them the red version of sapphires. The red color is a result of the presence of chromium in the crystal structure.

Rubies have a rating of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them the second hardest gemstones, second only to diamonds. They do not have cleavage, making them less prone to chipping or breaking. This makes them very durable and an excellent choice for daily wear.  

Value

Rubies are among the most valuable colored gemstone. Natural untreated rubies are very rare and highly sought after. This makes them very expensive. Most rubies available on the market, however, are either synthetic or treated one way or another.

They are heat-treated to enhance their color and to make them more desirable. These usually come with a certificate of authenticity. They are usually cheaper than untreated ones. The price of rubies ranges from $400 to $10,000.

Meanings

💋Ruby is said to be the most romantic gemstone of all.

Rubies have the strongest association with passion and love and are usually given as a gift to symbolize the strength of a relationship. This, coupled with their high value and appearance of luxury, makes them a symbol of high-class romance. This sentiment is even shared by royalty; Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson in 1986 with an 18-carat ruby and diamond ring to match his future wife's fiery red hair.

They are also often used by crystal healers to help people feel more comfortable and positive about their bodies. The confidence boost brought about by rubies also boosts sociability and sexual desire and is believed to attract new love. It is also believed that placing a ruby under your pillow before sleeping will help you remember your dreams.

Pros

  • Prestigious
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The synthetic varieties may bring confusion

Red Diamond

Appearance

Red diamonds are the rarest and the most expensive variety of colored diamonds. High-quality red diamonds with a vivid red hue are extremely rare and very difficult to come across. Only a handful of them are known to exist.

Most colored diamonds get their color due to the presence of foreign elements during their formation. Red diamonds, however, are made entirely out of carbon. Their stunning color is a result of deformities in their crystal lattice. The light passing through the crystals is refracted and appears red.

Red Diamond Gemstone on Black Background

Properties

Diamonds are the hardest minerals on earth, with a rating of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are very durable and can last for generations. For this reason, they are excellent for daily wear as they don’t chip or break.  

Value

Natural red diamonds are extremely rare, hence extremely expensive. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per carat. Because they are so rare, red diamonds have a propensity to attract a little drama—such as the Kazanjian Red Diamond; which was seized by the Nazis in WW2. Thus, the most famous red diamonds often have a little history, as well as a high value!

Most red diamonds, however, have secondary tints. These tints can affect the price of the stone. 😊Synthetic red diamonds are man-made varieties and are a more affordable alternative. Red diamonds cost between $800,000 to more than $2 million.  

Pros

  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Synthetic red diamonds may confuse buyers
  • Extremely rare

Red Spinel

Appearance

Red spinel is one of the most popular red gemstones. 📝They are so similar to rubies in appearance that in the past they were often mistaken for rubies, only to be identified as a stone in its own right with the development of modern-day gemological tools. Their resemblance to rubies is so uncanny that the famous crown of England once adorned a large red spinel, which was believed to be a ruby at the time.

Properties

Red spinel displays excellent brilliance with high levels of clarity. Their brilliance is due to their transparency and high refractive index. As a result, the dispersion of light makes the gemstone very brilliant. Red spinel has a rating of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them very durable. Their durability makes them suitable for use in all types of jewelry.

Red Spinel and Diamond Platinum Ring
Photo: AF Jewelers

Value

Red spinel is not known to be treated. Red spinel is quite affordable and offers a fair price to value. They cost between $200 and $1200.

Pros

  • Requires no heat treatment
  • Excellent brilliance
  • Has a high refractive index
  • Has a fair price to value

Cons

  • Some varieties are expensive

Red Zircon

Appearance

Red zircon is a natural and beautiful red gemstone. They are somewhat rare but the color is common with zircons. Most zircons are red-orange gemstones or red-pink gemstones, having orange and pink as secondary hues. 💡Red zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia, which is synthetic and cheaper than red zircon.  

Properties

Red zircon has a rating of between 6 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. For this reason, they are not suitable for everyday wear since they can get easily damaged or chipped. Most zircons usually have to go through heat treatment to make them more attractive.

Red Zircon Solitaire Ring

Value

Red zircon is relatively affordable, with prices ranging from $75 to $125.

Pros

  • Has good brilliance
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • Brittle

Red Agate

Appearance

Red agate is a red gem that is usually banded with layers of white or gray.

Red agate that possesses a single color is quite rare. Most of the red agates that display only the red color are often dyed varieties. Natural red agate is usually translucent to opaque. The gemstone has a waxy luster and a smooth sheen and is excellent when cut into cabochons.

Gold Vermeil Red Agate Ring
Photo: ESMEE BO

Properties

Red agate is quite durable with a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. The medium hardness makes them suitable for use in most jewelry.

Value

Red agate is an affordable gemstone. However, the settings and workmanship involved in turning the stone into jewelry often raise the final price of the gemstone. It costs between $1 and $40.

Pros

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Most have dyed colors

Red Topaz

Appearance

Topaz is available in a wide variety of colors. Red topaz is one of the most valuable topaz colors. The gemstone has a vitreous luster and is most stunning when faceted. It has transparent crystals with barely any visible inclusions. Red topaz is usually heat-treated to enhance the brilliance of the red color.

Red Topaz Red Gemstone Earrings in 925 Sterling Silver
beenjeweled / Etsy

Properties

Red topaz is a durable gemstone that has a rating of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. For this reason, topaz is an ideal gemstone for all kinds of jewelry and for daily wear.

Value

Similar to most gemstones, the more vivid the color, the higher the value of red topaz. The price of red topaz ranges from $1000 to $4000.

Pros

  • It is durable

Cons

  • Expensive

Red Jasper

Appearance

Jasper is a type of quartz and it is available in many colors. Red Jasper is one of the most common types of jasper. It is opaque and has many spots and patterns on its surface. The gemstone is opaque and has a vitreous luster. Jasper does not usually require any treatment.

Red Jasper Pendant Necklace in Heart Shape
Amazon

Properties

Red jasper is a relatively soft stone with a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. As such, the gemstone is susceptible to chipping or breaking if subjected to sudden pressure.

Value

Red jasper is a quite common gemstone. For this reason, it is quite affordable. It is usually cut into smooth shapes, with prices varying depending on the designs.

Pros

  • Quite affordable

Cons

  • Brittle

Red Beryl (Bixbite)

Appearance

Red beryl is also known as bixbite and is a species of beryl. Pure beryl is usually colorless but impurities within the crystal structure result in colored beryl. The red version of beryl is the rarest form of beryl.

It is extremely rare and is usually considered to be the rarest gemstone on earth. The gemstone is relatively new and was only used as jewelry in the mid 20th century.  

Lab-Created Red Beryl Ring
DesignedbyLin / Etsy

Properties

Red beryl has very good durability with a rating of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. Its price ranges from between $5000 to $15000.  

Value

Since they are very rare, red beryl is usually a collector's item and is very valuable.

Pros

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Extremely rare
  • Very expensive
  • Found in small sizes

Carnelian (Cornelian)

Appearance

Carnelian, also known as cornelian, is a gemstone that has been worn since ancient times and was quite valuable in the past. Although it is not as valuable today, the gemstone is still used to create stunning pieces of jewelry. It has both transparent and nearly opaque varieties.

Red Carnelian Dangle Earrings
Amazon

Properties

Carnelian has a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. As such, the stone is quite durable and can be used for everyday wear.

Pros

  • Has a vintage vibe

Cons

  • Medium hardness
Other Red Gem Options
There are several other types of red gemstones that make remarkable types of jewelry. Most, however, are not very hard and are used for occasional wear while some are collector’s items. Examples include pezzottaite, friedelite, Oregon sunstone, rubellite, rhodochrosite, proustite, cinnabar, cuprite, realgar, etc.

What are the benefits red gemstones offer?

Red gemstones, similar to other colored gemstones, are used for personal expression. They possess a lot of symbolism and meanings. They are also very expressive with the most prevalent emotions conveyed being love and passion.

Red gemstones are also used for root chakra healing. The red color related to the base chakra which is situated at the base of the spine. The base chakra relates to self-awareness on a psycho-spiritual level. Red gemstones are used to create security and stability and to give us strength.

How to choose red gemstone jewelry? (With gift ideas)

Red gemstones are available in different hues and tones, ranging from pale pink to blood-red gemstones. As such, red gemstones can be paired with almost anything.

When choosing red gemstone jewelry, you should choose the hue and tone of the stone while taking into account the metal and skin tone of the wearer. For instance, if you have a dark skin tone and you go for a dark red gem, you should avoid pairing it with a dark metal since this will cause a low contrast, reducing the charm of the gem.

Red Gemstone Styling and Gifting Ideas

Large red gemstone earrings and pendant necklaces are worn to make a bold statement at a milestone event or party. They also strongly highlight the passions of the wearer.

Red gems also make a good inclusion to engagement rings. They can be cut into a heart shape to enhance the statement of the ring and the commitment.🤵🏻

Shop for your desired red gemstone today

Although red may seem like a feminine color, red gemstones are available in amazing designs that can be worn by both men and women.

When shopping for jewelry, it is important to do so at a licensed jeweler. You should also check the origin of the stone before making any purchase. Inquire about any treatments performed on the stone and request for a certificate of authenticity where applicable.

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