Diamond vs Ruby: Difference and Comparison

Diamond as we know is the hardest natural substance that ever existed in the world. Apart from it being a very precious stone especially for engagement rings, the crystalline structure of diamond and its properties have been a field of interest for scientists.

Ruby is more famous for its captivating red appearance that looks more like a vintage beauty. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Diamonds are harder and more durable than rubies, with a ten on the Mohs scale compared to a ruby’s 9.
  2. Rubies are rarer and more valuable than diamonds.
  3. Diamonds are prized for their brilliance and sparkle, while rubies are known for their deep red color.

Diamond vs Ruby

A diamond is a solid form of carbon element with atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. They are graded at 10x magnification. Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum and is a pinkish-red to a blood-red colored gemstone. It is not commonly eye-clean and is rarer.

Diamond vs Ruby

The hardness and sparkle of diamond among all other gemstones sets it apart and makes it a world-class element for making jewelry. Apart from using it as a precious gemstone, the physical properties of diamonds make it useful for many industrial purposes.

For example, its hardness is helpful for drilling or cutting other materials.  

The fierce red color of ruby makes it one of the top choices for making jewelry. Ruby is also considered a traditional gemstone as in many cultures rubies were considered as the power of lives.

In the Sanskrit language, ruby is known as “ratnaraj” meaning king of precious stones.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDiamondRuby
DefinitionDiamond is a very precious stone but more importantly another form of carbon element with the highest degree of hardness. Ruby is a very precious stone that belongs to the corundum gems family. 
Chemical CompositionDiamond is made of 99.95% carbon in a highly pressurized form and the presence of other trace elements can sometimes influence its color. The red color in ruby is due to the presence of Chromium and it varies from 0.1% to 4%. 
HistoryGolconda is known as the birthplace of diamonds and some of the earliest findings date back to the 4th century BC. The first discovery of ruby dates back to 2500 BC in Myanmar. 
ClarityThe clarity of a diamond is judged on an eleven-point scale. The clarity of ruby is judged on a four-point scale. 
ColorDiamond is believed to be available in 12 shades of base colors but yellow is the most common color for naturally occurring diamonds. Ruby has very rich shades of color that are available in tones of deep red, pinkish, purplish, etc. 
GeographyBrazil, Russia, and India are the largest producers of diamonds whereas Australia is the leading producer of red diamonds. Ruby is mainly found in Asia from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and also in Africa and Australia. 
CutDiamond’s cut heavily influences the price of the stone more than that of ruby. Ruby’s cut can improve its color or refraction and it has an impact on the price. 
WeightOne in every million diamonds has a 1-carat weight. Rubies that weigh more than 1 carat are even rarer than diamonds. 

What is a Diamond?

Though diamond was first discovered in India, Africa is also a nation rich in diamonds. There are three types of deposits from which diamonds are extracted, namely, kimberlite pipes, alluvial gravels, and glacial tills.

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The diamonds that are found in the kimberlite pipes were formed more than 1 billion years ago at a depth of approximately 120km from the surface of Earth. Glacial or fluvial erosions lead to the release of diamonds that were either redeposited in the rivers or glacial tills.

Kimberlite pipes are found in Kimberley, South Africa. 

Diamonds are available in various colors from pitch black to bright orange. They can also be transparent, translucent, and opaque.

Pale blue-colored diamonds or colorless diamonds are very rare whereas yellow is the most common. The color of a diamond can change when it is exposed to intense radiation or heat.

Diamonds also have high refracting power thus reflecting a great deal of light on the observer’s eye. Since diamond is the hardest material, its value is 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. 

For diamond jewelry, the cut is very crucial because a properly cut diamond increases its value. Among many diamond cuts, the round brilliant cut is the most popular one because it offers optimum sparkle.


What is a Ruby?

In various nations and cultures, many stories and legends developed revolving around ruby. For example, the Hindus believed that the ones who offered rubies to Lord Krishna were granted the wish to be born as emperors in the next life.

In Burma, warriors believed that rubies made them invincible at battles which is why they cat themselves and inserted ruby into the flesh. Ruby is significant for passion, power, and success and that is why it is also a perfect gift for loved ones. 

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Though ruby comes in several shades of red, purple, and pink, the red color of ruby is what makes it alluring. In fact, the word ruby is also derived from the Latin word “ruber” meaning red.

Color is the most important quality factor in rubies and as the intensity of red color increases, so does the quality. The various types of rubies are Myanmar rubies, Thai rubies, Madagascan rubies, Mozambique rubies, Afghan rubies and Tanzanian rubies. 

In the Mohs hardness scale, the value of ruby’s hardness is a 9. Though it has a good value of hardness, it should be removed before playing any sports or exercising.

Since the color of rubies can vary over a wide range of reddish and pinkish tones, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a pink ruby and a pink sapphire. 


Main Differences Between Diamond and Ruby

  1. Diamond is a form of carbon element with the highest degree of hardness whereas ruby is one of the most popular traditional gemstones belonging to the corundum family. 
  2. Diamond is made of 99.95% carbon in a highly pressurized form whereas the main formula of ruby is aluminum oxide and chromium. 
  3. India is the birthplace of diamond and its discovery dates back to the 4th century BC whereas the first discovery of ruby dates back to 2500 BC in Myanmar.
  4. The clarity of a diamond is judged on an eleven-point scale whereas for ruby it is a four-point scale.
  5. Brazil, Russia, and India are the largest producers of diamonds whereas Ruby is mainly found in Asia from Tajikistan to Afghanistan. 
  6. Yellow color in a diamond is most common whereas ruby in dark red color is the most common. 
Difference Between Diamond and Ruby
  1. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4769305
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/e01e84c498228d2123e0fe72e8ed718b/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y#page=90

Last Updated : 12 July, 2023

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