Top 10 Best Red Gemstones (2019 Review)

​Red gemstones inspire emotions and are quite a charmer when used in jewelry.

​In this article, you’ll learn:

  • ​What red gemstones are
  • ​Where to buy them
  • And the different types of red gemstones along with their pros and cons.
best red gemstones
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What Are Red Gemstones?

​Red is definitely a color that attracts attention. For years, it has been a dominant color and, in gemstones, has been used to make jewelry like necklaces, pendants, or even a piece of beadwork.

If you’re familiar with red gemstones then Ruby should be the first stone that comes to mind. Of course, red garnets will also fall in place along with red topaz, agate, and a few other red gemstones.

The popularity of this phenomenal color representing strong emotions such as passion, love, and lust, might be exactly why red gemstones are perfect for jewelry alike.

The following video will tell you more about red gemstones and the best options used in jewelry:

Where To Buy Red Gemstones?

Red gemstones are abundant in the world and mostly sold in online and local jewelry retailers. More often people nowadays prefer online companies like Blue Nile and James Allen as the one-stop shop for gemstones and jewelry.​

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What Are The Types Of Red Gemstones?

Red gemstones come in all kinds of minerals and the list goes on and on. However, we’ll have a look at the best red gemstones used in jewelry.

Here’s a list of some of the types of red gemstones you should look out for:​

  1. Ruby
  2. Garnet
  3. Red Zircon
  4. Red Diamond
  5. Red Agate
  6. Red Spinel
  7. Red Topaz
  8. Red Jasper
  9. Red Beryl (Bixbite)
  10. Red Coral

Reviews of the 10 Best ​Red Gemstones Used In Jewelry

Ruby

  • ​Generally heat-treated
  • Excellent hardness
  • Prestigious
  • $400-$10,000

With its silky shine and rich color, ruby can have shades from pink to orange and even brownish tinges of red. The color is obtained from chromium and iron content in the stone.

ruby jewelry

The color is the single most important factor that draws the line between affordable and expensive ruby gemstones. It is the second hardest gemstone (9 Mohs).

Since they’ll have zero cleavage, the stones are perfect for everyday jewelry like engagement rings.

​A highly valued ruby gemstone should have a medium-to-medium dark red hue or better known as “pigeon red” color. These types are probably the most beautiful and expensive too!

Since most high-quality rubies are generally expensive, there are synthetic forms and treated types selling at lower prices. Just remember, heat-treating in rubies is more of an industry requirement and you’ll find it mentioned in the certificates that come with the stones.

Pros

  • ​Very durable

Cons

  • ​Quite expensive
  • Synthetic varieties may bring confusion
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Garnet

  • ​Excellent transparency
  • Medium hardness
  • $10-$1000

Garnets come in all colors except blue. In the red variety, the gemstone has a more blood-colored hue with brownish undertones.

Lighter shades are rare to find but they’re always worth the dig. Garnets are really not expensive and can be good alternatives to rubies.

garnet jewelry

Garnets tend to come eye-clean, with impeccable transparency. However, they may not be entirely durable, especially with a hardness level of 6.5 to 7 Mohs.

That being said, when used in engagement rings, it is important to place them in protective settings such as halo to prevent damage or scratches. They may not be suitable for your perfect everyday jewelry, but a heedful buyer may possess this stone for decades.​

Pros

  • ​Ruby alternative
  • ​Affordable

Cons

  • ​Delicate

Red Zircon

  • ​Good brilliance
  • Brittle
  • Medium hardness
  • $75-$125

​The name zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia, which is synthetic and significantly cheaper than red zircon.

​Honestly, red zirconia is harder to find although they’ll have a similar zircon color. The stones come in vivid reds with undertones of orange and sometimes purple.

​Even though these stones are a beauty, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 Mohs, they are not your best bet for everyday wear. Zircons are not so expensive and most have to go through heat-treatment to enhance optical properties.

Pros

  • ​Relatively affordable
  • ​Great brilliance

Cons

  • ​Very brittle

Red Diamond

  • ​Excellent brilliance
  • ​Extremely rare
  • ​Exclusive gemstone
  • ​$800,000-$2million+

Yes, there are red diamonds, but you’ll have a dizzying experience looking for these precious red stones.

​They are extremely rare and the most valuable of all kinds of colored diamonds. In particular, vivid red diamonds are nearly impossible to find and only a few individuals actually have this stone.

​Interestingly, the red diamond’s color may not be a result of inclusions as most colored gemstones are.

Red diamonds are entirely made of carbon and obtain their red color from deformations in the arrangement of crystals within the carbon atoms. As a result, when light passes through, it’s bent, making the stone appear red.

Of course, the rarity of diamonds has significant implications for its price. A single carat of this stone costs several hundred thousand dollars! Alternatively, synthetic diamonds are available at affordable prices.

Pros

  • ​Highly durable

Cons

  • ​Very expensive
  • Very hard to find
  • Lab-grown varieties may confuse buyers
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Red Agate

  • ​Banded gemstone
  • ​Waxy luster
  • ​Medium hardness
  • ​$1-$40

​In essence, agate can be described as a chalcedony of several colored bands. Red agate rarely comes in pure red color as most stones have white to grey bands. If you encounter a purely red agate, then it was probably dyed.

​Red agate has a smooth sheen and a distinctively waxy luster. It is also durable and has a fair hardness of about 7 Mohs. Due to its smooth nature, red agate is often cut in cabochons and worn in most jewelry types.

You may find a rough red agate stone cheap, but the price is often dependent on the settings and craftsmanship of the gem.

Pros

  • ​Affordable

Cons

  • ​Most have dyed colors

Red Spinel

  • ​Requires no heat-treatment
  • ​Reasonable durability
  • ​Often confused with ruby
  • Excellent brilliance
  • High refractive index
  • ​​$200-$1,200

In the past, people often confused red spinel with ruby and it was until gemological tools became available that we were able to distinguish the two as different stones.

A major distinction between the two would be varying hardness- red spinel has 8 Mohs while ruby rates at 9 Mohs.

​Even though ruby may be softer than its look-alike, the stone is popular for its high levels of clarity and brilliance.

Nearly all red spinel is inclusion-free and highly transparent due to high dispersion rates and refractive index. Red spinel is rarely treated and comes as an ideal gem for all types of jewelry.

Pros

  • ​Fair price to value
  • Great ruby alternate

Cons

  • ​Some types may be expensive

Red Topaz

  • ​Good durability
  • ​Zero to one inclusions
  • ​Often heat-treated
  • ​$1,000-$4,000

​Red topaz is a member of the “imperial” topaz. This class of topaz comes in different color ranges including yellow pink, pinkish red, and orange.

The red topaz is most likely the most expensive of all imperial topazes. They are quite rare with deposits occurring every now and then in Brazil.

It is durable (8 Mohs) and most stones are heat treated to enhance the color. However, deeper natural colored red topazes are more valuable.

Red topaz has a vitreous luster and is almost entirely free from inclusions. This gemstone is a perfect choice for pendants and necklaces, although they may also look stunning in earrings and engagement rings.​

Pros

  • ​Lasts longer

Cons

  • ​Quite expensive
  • Extremely rare
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Red Jasper

  • ​Widely abundant
  • ​Opaque gemstone
  • ​Medium durability
  • ​$2-$5

​Jasper is a type of quartz available in a wide variety of colors. Red jasper is the most common and can be found on the earth’s surface almost anywhere in the world.

However, with a little craftsmanship, the gemstone can make fascinating jewelry often with a bohemian vibe added to it.

Red jasper is an opaque gemstone with a vitreous luster. Since the stone has a rich color, it is nearly impossible to find heat treated gemstones.

The stone is relatively soft and less durable than most red gems (6.5 Mohs). The gemstone can easily chip or break away under pressure or rough conditions.

Luckily, the stone is affordable and easily replaceable. You’ll find red jasper in cabochons and smooth shapes as opposed to facets.​

Pros

  • ​Very cheap
  • Easily available

Cons

  • ​Chips/breaks easily

Red Beryl (Bixbite)

  • ​Extremely rare
  • ​Good hardness
  • ​$5,000-$15,000

Initially called bixbite, red beryl is a species of beryl that’s very rare. Just like diamonds, pure beryl is naturally colorless. However, when mineral impurities invade this gemstone, the result is often colored beryl, such as green beryl, emeralds, or the rare red beryls.

Found in only a few locations in Utah and New Mexico, this gemstone is sometimes considered the rarest gemstone on earth. Its first use is only a few years ago- in the mid-20th century.

Most bixbite has minor inclusions but due to its rare nature, red beryl barely compromises the stone’s value or price. This stone is a perfect choice for statement jewelry.​

Pros

  • ​Quite valuable (discovered recently)

Cons

  • ​Very expensive

Red Coral

  • ​Organic gem
  • ​Opaque
  • Very soft
  • ​$8-$72

Red coral is one interesting gemstone having been formed entirely from organic compounds.

red coral jewelry

The stone is entirely made of coral polyps and like most organic gemstones, it is very soft (3 to 4 Mohs). Red coral is a popular variety of the coral family, which come in different beautiful colors.

​It is a translucent to opaque stone, having an eye-catching vivid red saturation. Red corals are often set in cabochons although due to the unique nature of these gemstones, collectors often prefer them in their original shape.

If polished, the stone shows a waxy, glossy surface. Red corals are another type of red gemstones perfect for statement jewelry or other delicate pieces.

Pros

  • ​Affordable
  • Relatively common

Cons

  • ​Really soft
  • Not compatible in all jewelry settings

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