Ruby vs Emerald: Difference and Comparison

The term gemstone refers to a precious piece of mineral crystal that is polished and cut to make adornments and other pieces of jewelry. These gemstones are bought by collectors for their higher prices and beauty.

They are believed to provide physical and emotional benefits to the bearer, for instance, rose quartz is believed to bring love, amethysts relieve stress, and so on.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rubies are red gemstones from the mineral corundum, while emeralds are green gemstones derived from the mineral beryl.
  2. Emeralds are more expensive than rubies due to their rarity and rich green color.
  3. Both rubies and emeralds are valued based on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

Ruby vs Emerald

Ruby is a red gemstone made of corundum, while emerald is a green gemstone made of beryl. Rubies are harder and more durable than emeralds, but emeralds are rarer and more valuable due to their extraordinary color and rarity. They differ in cultural meanings and associations.

Ruby vs Emerald

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Also called ‘Ratnaraj’ or king of gemstones, ruby is the most important part of the mineral category corundum. Rubies derive their name from the ‘Ruber’, a Latin word meaning red.

These are used extensively in gemstone jewelry. Moreover, fine quality rubies have known to fetch prices of more than $1,000,000 per carat. They are counted among the most expensive gems.

Found in beryl minerals, emeralds have a distinct and vibrant green color. They were originally called ‘Marakata’, a Sanskrit word that stands for ‘the green of growing things.

Early civilizations of Asia, Africa, and South America have been known to impart the highest honor to this gem. Moreover, these gems are part of the ‘big three’ colored gemstones having the highest price.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRubyEmerald
ColorRuby is redEmerald is green in color
The country with the most abundant sourceMyanmar with more than 90% of the world’s sourcesColombia is the most abundant source of emerald
Best qualityThe best quality ruby is obtained from the Oriental worldThe best quality emerald is obtained from the Western world
Hardness on the Mohs scale9.07.5 to 8
PriceHigher owing to higher demand in jewelry and gem marketLower compared to a ruby
Crystal systemTrigonalHexagonal

What is Ruby?

Birthstone of people born in July, ruby is the color of passion. These have been imparted great value since ancient times.

It has also been mentioned in the Bible as the gemstone used to portray the various tribes of Israel during the Exodus.

They have been enjoyed by kings and queens all over the world since times unknown and have been an essential part of the royal regalia. Till today, their importance has not diminished.

Ruby is used in all jewelry forms including earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. It is also used as a centerpiece gemstone in rings and pendants.

Sometimes, it is used as a replacement for a diamond. These days synthetic ruby is used as a cheap alternative to the high-priced ruby.

Large rubies are extremely difficult to find and thus fetch a higher price. Fine-colored ruby with excellent transparency and a characteristic deep red color can sell for over several thousand dollars per carat.

Varieties of ruby are as follows:

  • Burma Ruby- These rubies are found in Burma.
  • Star Ruby- These rubies display asterism.
  • Burmese Ruby- These have an uncommon red color.
  • Pigeon’s Blood Ruby-These are the most desirable forms of ruby which have a hint of blue combined with blood-red color.
  • Ruby Zoisite- Opaque red ruby found in green Zoisite found in Tanzania.
  • Ruby Fuschite-These are found in India in a green Fuschite mica matrix.

What is Emerald?

Birthstone of people born in May, emeralds have earned their reputation as the gem of romance and royalty. Each emerald is different from the other because of its natural inclusions that occur during the growth process.

Another distinguishing characteristic of emeralds is their softness. Because of this, shaping emeralds require a high degree of precision and skill.

Emeralds are counted among the oldest gemstones found on earth. It is believed to have been developing 2600 million years ago.

Their use dates back to the Egyptian era when several of them had been mined for Cleopatra’s jewelry. These ancient emeralds are believed to be housed near the Red Sea. Moreover, the mines are now referred to as ‘Cleopatra’s Mines’.

Vast varieties of emeralds can be found in Brazil, Columbia, Zambia, Zimbabwe. These countries account for the maximum production of emeralds.

Infrequent production is found in Nigeria, Pakistan, Madagascar, Russia, and a few others. In 2015, another kind of emerald was exported from Ethiopia.

This gem gained a lot of traction as the most magnificent gem found in over 100 years. Emeralds are symbolic of a lot of things.

Their symbolism is derived from their rich roots in a variety of religious and mythological tales. Their most noteworthy symbolism is companionship and loyalty. They also symbolize fertility, rebirth, and love.


Main Differences Between Ruby and Emerald

  1. Ruby is the birthstone for people born in July while emerald is the birthstone for the ones born in May.
  2. Ruby symbolizes passion, courage, and life force. On the other hand, the emerald symbolizes fertility, rebirth, and love.
  3. Ruby is produced in Myanmar, India, East Africa, and so on while emerald is produced majorly in Brazil, Columbia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  4. Ruby has derived its name from the Latin word ‘Ruber’ meaning red while emerald has derived its name from the Latin word ‘Esmeralda’ which means green.
  5. Ruby fetches a slightly higher price in the market compared to an emerald.
Difference Between Ruby and Emerald

Last Updated : 14 July, 2023

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