Difference Between Sapphire and Ruby

Most people know that sapphire and ruby are two different gemstones, and they differentiate the two by their colours.

Sapphire is blue, and ruby is red, but there are several other distinctions present, based on which one can make out the differences between the two.

Sapphire vs Ruby

The main difference between sapphire and ruby is that sapphire can come in several colours, but essentially it is blue, but ruby is solely red. This justifies the name of ruby, which means red, and on the other hand, sapphire means blue. Sapphire has a royal aura around it, but ruby is not behind, too, as it is known as king or queen of the gemstones.

Sapphire vs Ruby

Sapphire is a strong gem that is precious, and blue sapphire is a sign of royalty. Sapphire can be of several colours. Not only in jewellery but in the making of laser and watch faces, this stone gets used.

Pinkish-orange sapphire is the most valuable sapphire stone.

Ruby is a precious stone and known as the king of the gems. The colour of ruby is red, and its hardness is high on the Mohs scale, which means it is very durable and strong.

In jewellery making, ruby has occupied a special place for its fascinating colour.

Comparison Table Between Sapphire and Ruby

Parameters of ComparisonSapphireRuby
SymbolSapphire signifies royalty and luxury and it also symbolises romance.Ruby is known as the King of gemstones.
EtymologyThis word came from “saphirus” which is Latin.Ruby came from the Latin word “rubeus”.
ColourSapphire can come in several colours.The colour of the rubies is red.
ScarcityThe availability of sapphire is better than ruby.Ruby is rarer than sapphire.
BirthstoneSeptember month got sapphire as its birthstone.July got ruby as its birthstone.

What is Sapphire?

Sapphire means blue. But sapphire comes in more than one colour. The blue coloured sapphires have been named blue sapphires, and other colours are known as fancy coloured sapphires. Sapphire gets formulated by corundum.

The aluminium oxide found in corundum is pure and contains iron, titanium, and chromium. These minerals are responsible for the blue, yellow, pink, purple or green colour of the sapphire.

Sapphires are also available in grey, black and brown, and the grey ones can turn to white or even colourless when they undergo the heating process.

Corundum that forms pinkish-orange gems are called padparadscha, and this is the most expensive sapphire. It costs more than the best quality blue sapphire.

Artificially sapphires can get made too, and these synthetic stones cost a lot less than the originals.

Sapphires are found in many places, including India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, Kenya, Afghanistan, and in Montana of the U.S.A.

Not only in jewellery but also in laser it gets used. The wafers of sapphires are utilised in the making of watch faces. They are also useful in the making of Xenon Arc Lamps and windows of high-pressure chambers for spectroscopy.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is categorised as a precious stone. It is formed by a mineral named corundum. This stone is red, and it gains its colour from the chromium present in the conundrum.

Sometimes rubies become dark, having a purple tone. These are not as valuable as blood-red coloured rubies.

Heat often gets used on the ruby to improve its colour. This heating is capable of changing rubies eternally. Ruby is a durable stone that gets used mostly in jewellery making. However, the first laser was formulated with the use of artificial ruby.

The price of the gemstones get fixed based on their rarity, size, colour, cut and most importantly, their clarity. Rubies in large sizes are very hard to find, and they can even cost more than diamonds. Rubies over two carats are too rare to get hold of.

The mining of the rubies is done in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Africa, Thailand, and in Montana and South Carolina of the U.S.A. Synthetic rubies are made perfectly, but they cost a lot less than the original imperfect rubies.

Natural, original gemstones can not exist without carrying imperfections, but stones that carry fewer imperfections will have higher prices.

Main Differences Between Sapphire and Ruby

  1. Sapphire signifies royalty and luxury and sometimes romance, while ruby is known as the king of all gemstones.
  2. The word sapphire came from “saphirus”, which is Latin, and the word ruby got its root from the Latin word “Rubeus”.
  3. Sapphire means blue, whereas ruby means red.
  4. Sapphire has several varieties of colours, but ruby comes in red colour.
  5. Sapphire is available more than ruby, and ruby is a rarer gemstone.
  6. Every month has a birthstone assigned to it. In this case, September has sapphire as its birthstone and ruby, on the other hand, is the birthstone of July.
Difference Between Sapphire and Ruby


Even though the two gemstones are different and separated, they have one similarity to bind them together, both the gemstones are made of the same mineral named conundrum.

Even when it comes to the hardness of the stone, both score 9 on the hardness scale of Mohs. Both are strong and durable and resilient to damage. These can only be crushed by diamonds.

Rubies are rarer than sapphires. Both of the stones are made from conundrums, but other minerals present in them decide the colour of the gem ultimately.

Some rare rubies can even be more expensive than diamonds. Many people prefer to wear birthstones according to their birthday for a better life.

Every month has been assigned with a special gemstone, and sapphire is regarded as a birthstone for people who are born in September.

On the other hand, the people born in July can wear rubies to gain maximum benefits from life. According to western beliefs, gemstones hold some healing properties.


  1. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/eurjmin/article-abstract/23/4/683/69566
  2. https://ceramics.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1151-2916.1959.tb12969.x
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