Ruby vs Pink Sapphire

Everybody knows that rubies (like roses) are red and sapphires (just like violets) are blue. But what if I were to tell you that that’s not the whole story? You see, sometimes sapphires are red, and as for rubies, well, they’re actually sapphires. Confused? Let us guide you through the fabulously rosy world of pink sapphires and rubies.

A little bit of science

It’s all quite simple really. A sapphire is the name for any gemstone made of the mineral corundum. These stones are usually blue, thanks to trace elements of iron and titanium, but change the trace elements and you change the color of the stone. Add some chromium and voila! you have a fabulous pink sapphire. Add enough chromium, so that the sapphire takes on a rich red hue, and that red sapphire is then called a ruby!

King of the Gems

Ratnaraj, the Sanskrit name for ruby, translates as ‘king of the gems’ and throughout history and across cultures these deep crimson stones have been believed to impart vitality, passion and good luck. Sapphires can be found all over the world, but for 500 years Burmese rubies from the famed Mogok mine in present-day Myanmar have been regarded as the finest, with their intense ‘pigeon blood’ hue commanding the highest prices per carat of any colored gemstone. In 2015 Sotheby’s sold the Cartier Sunrise ruby ring for an astounding $30.3 million! That works out at $1.2 million per carat!

Pretty in Pink

Pink sapphires come in a dazzling variety of shades ranging from the softest pale blush to an intense hot magenta. Luckily for lovers of pink, new mines which were opened up in Madagascar in the 1990s have made these rose-colored beauties much more accessible. If you still want to stand out with something rare then I suggest you add a dash or orange to your pink. This gives you the captivating padparadscha sapphire which can only be found on the island of Sri Lanka. 

In the Stars

Extremely rare, the star sapphire (and ruby, of course) is one of the most mesmerizing of gems. When light hits the stone reflections from needle-like inclusions create an effect known as asterism, which usually manifests as a spectacular six-pointed star. The best star sapphires have perfectly centered, clearly defined stars and in order to best display this magnificent phenomenon these stones are always cabochon-cut.

Star sapphires and rubies have been viewed as talismans since ancient times and were believed by travelers to ensure safe passage. More recently, Rosser Reeves, a successful ad man, put his prosperity down to the star ruby that he always carried. Originally mined in Sri Lanka, the richly colored 138 carat gem, said by many to be the finest star ruby in the world, was purchased by Rosser in the mid 1950s. He took the ruby everywhere he went and called it his “baby” and good luck charm! In 1965 however, after having left it in the back of a taxi, Reeves sensibly donated the ruby to the Smithsonian Institution.

I do! I do! I do!

Move over diamonds! Colored stones are once again becoming a fashionable choice for an engagement ring. Both Katy Perry and Eva Longoria wear stunning deep crimson rubies enclosed by diamonds on their ring fingers. This combination harks back to the 17th century when it was believed to represent eternal love. For the more modern bride the pink sapphire, symbolizing loyalty, love and good fortune is an increasingly popular choice. Lady Gaga sported a bubblegum pink stunner for her second engagement. However, for the modern royal bride, like Princess Eugenie, nothing beats the rarity and sunset-toned beauty of the padparadscha sapphire.

Whether you prefer your stones blush, fuchsia or crimson, intensely colored, or softly hued, we at JupiterGem have something for you. With rubies and pink sapphires to suit all tastes and budgets, and highly trained experts ready to assist, we will help you find your perfect match. (graduated gemologist, Chantelle Lobo) (graduated gemologist, Chantelle Lobo)

graduated gemologist

Growing up in a country like India, bursting with color, culture and creativity, Chantelle's curiosity drew her towards the fascinating world of gemstones and jewelry. Trained with the best at the Gemological Institute of America and the SSEF, Switzerland, her knowledge encompasses advanced methods of gemstone identification, diamond grading and the manufacture and sales as a jewelry professional. Her adventures have taken her to source Spinels on the busy streets in Myanmar to exceptional Sapphires in Srilanka, a selection of gems from Madagascar and even rare Jades in China. With over 7 years of experience in the jewelry industry, her strong foundation in this niche field allows her to make key observations on the value or quality of gemstones and jewelry. She now continues to fuel her deep-rooted interest for these special stones by seeking out precious one-of-a-kind gems around the world. Linkedin: