Red gemstones breathe life into jewelry. They add a soulful, mystical touch to jewelry pieces, and their one-of-a-kind beauty has made them popular among jewelry lovers. Because they’re so diverse, there are many types of red gemstones to choose from.
With so many options, picking your red gemstone can become a challenge. In this article, we’ll discuss 20 alluring types of red gemstones. But before we dive into the vast, beautiful world of red gemstones, let’s start by seeing what red gemstones mean.
What do red gemstones mean?
The color red has always been associated with fire, strong desire, love, passion, and warmth. Red gemstones signify warmth and vitality.
20 Stunning Red Gemstones You Should Know
Red gemstones have different compositions, which translates to different color shades and physical properties. They also have different hardness ratings on the Mohs scale.
The Mohs scale ranges from 1 to 10, and measures how hard or tough a material is. The higher a gemstone is on the scale, the more it can resist scratches and daily wear.
Here are 20 different types of red gemstones:
When you think of red gemstones, rubies are likely one of the first few options that come to mind. It is the most famed red gemstone.
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, and its striking red color is a result of its chromium content.
Rubies are an excellent choice if you need a gemstone you can wear daily, like a stone for an engagement ring. The ruby has a high hardness rating of 9, so it can withstand daily wear and tear.
💡 Fun Fact: Ruby is the birthstone for July and is traditionally given as a gift for 15th and 40th anniversaries. It is the second hardest precious gemstone, next to diamond. It ties with the sapphire!
This stone appears in a wide variety of colors including red. The red topaz is the most valued form of topaz. Topaz usually occurs naturally as large, heavy crystals. A topaz crystal weighing 596 pounds was once found in Brazil.
This gem is shiny and strong, with a hardness rating of 8. So you can wear topaz gemstones every day. But on the downside, high exposure to water or the sun may damage it.
Garnet is the general name for a wide range of closely related minerals. Some garnets like almandine and pyrope exhibit the color red and are known as red garnets.
Garnets are a popular type of red gemstone, and they’re both beautiful and easy to find. They have a hardness of 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale so they are suitable for everyday wear. Garnets are also known as the January birthstone.
Carnelian is a common variety of the chalcedony – a type of mineral made up of crystals that are too tiny to be seen by the human eye. Carnelian gains its orangey-red color from its iron content.
It’s great for everyday wear because of its hardness. You’ll find carnelian as beads for necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. As a fun fact, it was worn by royal architects in ancient Egypt to show ranks. Carnelian is also called a lucky stone.
Red Beryl (Bixbite)
Red beryl, or bixbite, is one of the rarest gemstones. It can be mined from only one place in the world: Utah.
Because of its extreme rarity, natural red beryl is very expensive. Fortunately, there are synthetic types available at a lower price. Red beryl has a hardness of 8 so you can wear it daily.
Jasper is an opaque type of chalcedony that contains silica. This gemstone is usually red, but it could also occur in colors like brown, yellow, green, or blue.
Jasper has a hardness of about seven, so it is suitable for everyday use. Jasper is known to be a nurturing stone.
Zircon is another beautiful red gemstone. It is a zirconium silicate mineral that exhibits diverse colors, one of which happens to be red.
With a hardness rating of about seven, zircon can be worn in different jewelry and used daily. But it’s also a brittle gemstone, so protect it from any hard physical force.
Coral is an organic gemstone gotten from the exoskeleton of tiny sea creatures called coral polyps.
This gemstone is typically red but may exist naturally in other colors like black, gold, and pink.
Red coral is often used as beads for necklaces, bracelets, or worn as pendants. Coral has a low hardness rating of about 4. It is a soft gemstone, unsuitable for everyday wear. Coral is said to symbolize good luck.
Spinel is a mineral that typically contains magnesium, aluminum, and trace amounts of chromium.
Like ruby, spinel gets its beautiful red color from its chromium content.
If you own a spinel gemstone, you can wear it daily. It has a hardness rating of eight so it is less susceptible to damage.
Interestingly, spinel is rarer but less expensive than diamond.
Tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of any gem. The red variety of tourmaline is called rubellite, and it has a striking red color close to that of rubies.
Tourmaline has a hardness of 7-7.5 so it is durable enough to be worn daily. It is the birthstone for October and the gem for celebrating eighth anniversaries.
Diamonds are mostly known for being clear, sparkly gemstones. However, they can be red too. Red diamonds are very rare.
They have the same properties as white diamonds, with color being the only difference. If you are a sucker for red gemstones and also love diamonds, red diamonds are perfect for you.
As expected, red diamonds are very expensive. But you can find synthetic red diamonds at a more affordable price.
Pezzottaite is a new gem discovered in 2002. Pezzottaite is similar to red beryl but is a lighter red (close to pink) and different chemical composition.
Pezzottaite is hard and durable (hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale), so you can wear it daily. However, this gemstone is rare. Pezzottaite is named after its founder, Dr. Pezzotta.
Eudialyte is another rare red gemstone. This beautiful rare earth element is mildly radioactive, so you do not wear heavy amounts of it to protect your skin.
It has a low hardness of 5-5.5 and should not be worn daily. Eudialyte gets its name from the Greek word eu dialytos meaning well decomposable. This name reflects its easy solubility in acid.
Fire-opal is a form of opal with fiery red, yellow, or orange color.
Red fire opals are the most valued type of fire opals. They are soft and can be scratched easily, so it’s best not to wear them every day. You can use your red fire-opal earrings and pendants on special occasions.
Fire opals are mostly found in Mexico so they are sometimes called “Mexican opals.”
Cinnabar is a beautiful bright red gemstone. But because of its low Moh’s rating (2-2.5), it has to be used very carefully and rarely.
Cinnabar is said to symbolize prosperity. It comes from a Persian word that means “dragon blood” possibly alluding to its blood like red color.
Red Oregon Sunstone
The red Oregon sunstone is a member of the feldspar mineral family. It is a shiny, red gemstone that has found wide use in earrings, brooches, and pendants.
This gem scores 6-6.5 on the Moh’s scale, so it should not be worn daily. The stone is said to be a stone of radiance and leadership.
Friedelite is an uncommon, opaque mineral. It has a low hardness of 4-5 so it’s best reserved for a few, occasional uses. The precious gemstone is named after its discoverer, Charles Friedel.
Rhodochrosite gemstones are rare and uncommon. They’re typically pink, but may have lighter red shades, so if you like a that shade, this is for you.
Rhodochrosite has a hardness of 3.5-4 so it’s not a gemstone to be worn daily. If you get a piece of this rare gem, it’s best to reserve them for special occasions.
💡 Fun Fact: Rhodochrosite is the official gemstone of the state of Colorado.
Proustite is a transparent, deep-red mineral that contains silver.
This beautiful gemstone gets darker and less transparent when under bright light. Proustite also gets a dark film layer on its surface when exposed to bright light. So it’s best worn during late evenings.
Considering its very soft nature (hardness of about 2) and reactivity to light, store proustite gemstones in cool, dark areas away from hard objects.
Cuprite is a copper-rich, dark red gemstone.
It’s a very soft, heat-sensitive stone. It is suitable for only occasionally worn earrings and pendants.
Cuprite derives its name from the Latin word “cuprum” which means copper.
Red Gemstones FAQs
If you’re interested in any of the red gemstones in this article, you may need answers to a few questions before you make a purchase. Let’s get you answers to some of the frequently asked questions about red gemstones.
Which metals go well with red gemstones?
Which skin tones do red gemstones suit?
Red gemstones best suit people with cool skin tones. You can determine your skin tone by placing a sheet of white paper close to your face. If your skin looks pink or red, it means you’re cool-toned and a red gemstone would suit you.
Where to buy red gemstones
It is best to buy red gemstones at an accredited jewelry store that can provide authentic credentials like the GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG) or the GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional (AGP) certificates.
How much are red gemstones worth?
The worth of red gemstones varies depending on their quality and weight. Ruby, the most popular red gemstone, may cost about $1000 per carat if it has been heat-treated.
What gemstones are green that fluoresce red?
Emeralds are green but fluoresce red under ultraviolet (UV) light. Synthetic emeralds respond more to fluorescence.
Pick Your Shade
Whether you’re looking for red gemstone necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or rings, you can be sure that there’s a perfect one for you.
Remember, some gemstones are harder than others. If you’re looking for something to wear for extended periods, then it’s best to get harder gemstones. However, if you’re looking to get a stone for special occasions, then the softer stones are fine.
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