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Ruby vs. Garnet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 22, 2024
Ruby is a precious, red-colored gemstone made of corundum, highly valued for its rarity and vibrant hue. Garnet is a group of silicate minerals available in various colors, commonly seen in red, valued for its use in jewelry and industrial applications.

Key Differences

Ruby, a variety of the mineral corundum, is renowned for its deep red color and exceptional hardness, second only to diamonds. Garnet, in contrast, refers to a group of minerals with a similar crystal structure but varying in color and composition, often found in shades of red, but also in green, yellow, and other colors.
The color of a ruby is its most distinguishing feature, typically a vibrant, deep red, often with a hint of blue, deriving its color from chromium. Garnets, although commonly known for a similar red hue, can display a wider range of colors, including orange, green, and purple, depending on the specific mineral composition.
In terms of rarity and value, rubies are generally more prized and expensive, especially those with a pigeon-blood red color and high clarity. Garnets, while also cherished in jewelry, are more abundant and thus typically more affordable than high-quality rubies.
When it comes to usage, rubies are primarily used in fine jewelry and are often associated with luxury. Garnets, besides being used in jewelry, have diverse industrial applications, such as in abrasive materials due to their hardness and durability.
Historically and culturally, rubies have been associated with power, wealth, and passion, often featured in royal insignia and crowns. Garnets, with a history dating back to ancient civilizations, have been used as gemstones and abrasives and are believed to have various healing properties.

Comparison Chart

Mineral Composition

Corundum (Aluminum Oxide)
Group of Silicate Minerals

Typical Colors

Deep, Vibrant Red
Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, etc.


9 on the Mohs scale
6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale

Rarity and Value

More Rare and Valuable
More Common and Affordable

Cultural Significance

Symbol of Power and Passion
Used Historically, Healing Properties

Ruby and Garnet Definitions


A high-level, interpreted programming language.
He developed the application using Ruby due to its simplicity and productivity.


A mineral used to determine the temperature and pressure of its formation.
Geologists found garnet inclusions that revealed the rock's metamorphic history.


A type of solid-state laser that uses a synthetic ruby crystal as its gain medium.
The ruby laser was one of the first lasers ever invented.


A group of silicate minerals used as gemstones and abrasives.
Her vintage ring was set with a dark red garnet.


A precious red gemstone made of corundum.
The necklace was adorned with a stunning ruby at its center.


A color ranging from deep red to purple or green, based on the mineral variety.
The curtains were a rich garnet, complementing the room's décor.


A deep, vibrant red color resembling the gemstone.
She wore a dress in a rich ruby shade to the gala.


An ancient gemstone known for its durability and widespread use.
Garnet has been used in jewelry since the Bronze Age.


A term used in bird names, like Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is known for its iridescent red throat.


Often symbolizes deep and enduring friendship or love.
He gifted her a garnet necklace to symbolize their lasting friendship.


A red, translucent variety of the mineral corundum, highly valued as a precious stone.


Any of several common, widespread aluminum or calcium silicate minerals occurring in two internally isomorphic series, (Mg, Mn, Fe)3Al2Si3O12 and Ca3(Cr, Al, Fe)2Si3O12, generally crystallized, often embedded in igneous and metamorphic rocks, and colored red, brown, black, green, yellow, or white and used both as gemstones and as abrasives.


Something, such as a watch bearing, that is made from a ruby.


A dark to very dark red.


(mineral) A hard transparent mineral that is often used as gemstones and abrasives.


A dark red color, like that of the gemstone.


Of a dark red colour.


A mineral having many varieties differing in color and in their constituents, but with the same crystallization (isometric), and conforming to the same general chemical formula. The commonest color is red, the luster is vitreous, and the hardness greater than that of quartz. The dodecahedron and trapezohedron are the common forms.


A tackle for hoisting cargo in or out.


Any of a group of hard glassy minerals (silicates of various metals) used as gemstones and as an abrasive


Are rubies rarer than garnets?

Yes, rubies are generally rarer and more valuable than garnets.

What is the symbolic meaning of a ruby?

Rubies are often associated with passion, power, and wealth.

How is garnet different from ruby in terms of composition?

Garnet is a group of silicate minerals, while ruby is a variety of corundum.

What are the industrial uses of garnet?

Garnet is used in abrasives, waterjet cutting, and as filtration media.

Is the red color of ruby and garnet the same?

While similar, ruby's red is typically more vibrant and consistent, while garnet's red can vary.

Which is more expensive, ruby or garnet?

Rubies are generally more expensive than garnets due to their rarity.

Do both ruby and garnet have historical significance?

Yes, both have been valued throughout history, with rubies often featured in royal insignia and garnets used since ancient times.

What is the primary source of ruby's color?

Ruby's red color primarily comes from chromium impurities.

Are garnets always used in jewelry?

While often used in jewelry, garnets also have significant industrial applications.

What is a ruby?

A ruby is a precious gemstone made of corundum, known for its deep red color.

Can garnets be colors other than red?

Yes, garnets can be found in various colors including green, orange, and yellow.

What is the significance of garnet as a birthstone?

Garnet is the birthstone for January and symbolizes friendship and trust.

Can the color of ruby and garnet fade over time?

Generally, both ruby and garnet are color-stable, but prolonged exposure to light and chemicals can affect some stones.

What is the hardness difference between ruby and garnet?

Rubies are harder (9 on the Mohs scale) than garnets (6.5 to 7.5).

Can garnets be synthetic like rubies?

Yes, synthetic garnets are produced, but synthetic rubies are more common.

Is the ruby a birthstone?

Yes, ruby is the birthstone for July.

Are there famous historical rubies?

Yes, notable rubies include the Black Prince's Ruby and the Sunrise Ruby.

How can you tell a ruby and garnet apart?

Rubies are generally more brilliant and have a higher refractive index than garnets.

Has garnet been used in ancient artifacts?

Yes, garnets have been found in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman jewelry.

What are the most prized varieties of ruby and garnet?

The most prized rubies are pigeon-blood red rubies from Myanmar, while tsavorite and demantoid are highly valued garnet varieties.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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