Telling Rubies and Garnets Apart

Both ruby and garnet are beautiful stones that are an intense red in color, which makes it imperative to know how to avoid confusing the two. Simply put, you do not want to pay the price of a ruby and get a garnet, although nothing says that garnets are not worth buying. There is, however, a gap in  value and you don’t want to waste money on a stone you thought was something else.


Secondary tones are different for rubies and garnets. While both are highly valued for having little else but red in them, the more affordable stones show hints of other colors. While garnets reveal earthy and orange tones, rubies carry purple and blue.


The part of the spectrum, which a stone absorbs, is often sufficient to identify its composition, such as with a jewelry diamond. When held up to a source of bright light and at the right angle, a ruby lets out a rainbow from its other end, which is devoid of yellow and green. It absorbs these two components, so if you see either, the stone is not a ruby. Garnets are known to reflect both the green and yellow parts of the spectrum after being subjected to bright light from an angle.

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