Diamond vs Ruby: Comparing Price and More

Diamonds and rubies have long been classic symbols to express love, connection, and appreciation. The beauty of these stones captivates the eye with their distinctive brightness. Adding mystery and allure when they shimmer in the light.

But what are the differences between these two gems? How do diamond vs. ruby prices, durability, and clarity compare?

Understanding the subtle nuances of each stone’s traits allows you to get a jewelry piece that speaks to your personality. So, join us as we dive deep into the differences between diamonds and rubies!

Diamond vs Ruby: Comparing Price and More

1. Price and Rarity

When you set out to compare diamonds and rubies, the primary thing is how much they will cost you. And secondly, how rare they are. Here’s a quick look at the pricing and rarity of these precious stones.


Diamonds are typically priced based on the well-known 4-point scale of 4Cs: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. The larger, clearer, and more colorless a diamond is, the more valuable it becomes.

As of now, the average price for a 1-carat, G color, VS2 clarity, round brilliant-cut diamond is approximately $6,800 to $8,500. However, note that prices can range from $2,000 to over $20,000 for a 1-carat diamond, depending on the specifics of each stone.

Diamonds, formed deep within the Earth’s mantle, are carbon atoms bonded together in a crystal lattice structure. Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not as rare as some might think.

However, the rarity of diamonds increases as their quality, size, and color improve. Colored diamonds, often called “fancies,” are rarer than colorless diamonds, and you won’t find them in most jewelry stores.


Real rubies (also known as corundum), on the other hand, are priced based on color, clarity, carat weight, and origin. The most valuable rubies are those with a vivid red hue, known as “pigeon’s blood.”

The average price for a 1-carat, high-quality ruby ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. But, high-quality rubies with outstanding color and clarity can fetch upwards of $15,000 per carat.

Genuine rubies are far rarer than diamonds. The vibrant red color of rubies is attributed to the presence of chromium, which replaces some aluminum atoms in the corundum crystal lattice. The finest rubies are sourced from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania. The rarity of rubies is significantly affected by their color, clarity, and size. Burmese ruby jewelry, Cambodian rubies, and Thai rubies are also rarely found and expensive.

Also read: Are Rubies Rarer Than Diamonds

2. Appearance and Color

Inclusions are tiny imperfections that impact a stone’s natural color, eventually deciding its price as well.

You won’t always find high-end rubies that boast the absence of inclusions because, unlike diamonds, some of these inclusions can enhance the overall beauty of this precious stone.

For instance, tiny rutile inclusions, known as “silk,” can scatter light and create a desirable glow, referred to as “asterism.” However, heavily included rubies are considered less valuable.


Diamonds are generally thought of as colorless, but in reality, they can occur in a range of hues. The colorless variety is the most popular, as it allows for the greatest light reflection and refraction. Creating the dazzling brilliance that makes diamonds so admired. However, diamonds can also appear with a yellow, blue, green, pink, or red color tone.

Likewise, diamonds are renowned for their exceptional brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

  • Brilliance is the reflection of white light within the stone.
  • Fire describes the dispersion of light into spectral colors.
  • Scintillation refers to the play of light and dark areas within the gemstone as it moves.

The combination of these three factors creates the “sparkle” that diamonds are famous for. This unparalleled optical performance is due to the diamond’s high refractive index and superior dispersion of light, resulting from its highly symmetrical crystal structure and strong covalent bonding.


Rubies are adored for their vibrant red hue. This intense color results from chromium within the stone’s crystal lattice. The most desirable ruby color is a deep, saturated blood ruby hue.

Rubies can also exhibit secondary hues, such as an orange ruby, violet red-star ruby, or a pinky-red color. These secondary colors can cause a ruby’s hue to range from pinkish-red to a deep, dark red.

Expensive rubies are typically dichroic, meaning they display two colors—red and orange-red—depending on the viewing angle.

This effect results from the gemstone’s crystal structure and how it interacts with light. Rubies also have a moderate to high brilliance, but their rich, vivid color captivates the observer’s attention.


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3. Durability and Hardness


Another difference between rubies and diamonds is their hardness. Diamonds are the hardest known natural substance on Earth, earning them a reputation for being extremely durable.

Composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure, diamonds are less likely to chip or scratch compared to other gemstones. The strong covalent bonding between carbon atoms gives diamonds incredible resilience, making them an excellent choice for everyday wear and high-impact activities.

Hardness is the resistance of a material to being scratched or scuffed. The Mohs scale is commonly used to measure the hardness of minerals, including gemstones. On this hardness scale, a stone is ranked from 1 (talc, the softest) to 10 (diamond, the hardest). Diamonds are renowned for their exceptional build, scoring a perfect 10 on the scale of Mohs.


Rubies are slightly less durable than diamonds. A variety of the mineral corundum, rubies consist of aluminum oxide crystals with trace amounts of chromium. This gives them their vibrant red color. Although rubies are also highly durable, they are more susceptible to chipping and scratching compared to diamonds.

However, their durability still makes ruby studs a popular choice for jewelry, especially for special occasions or pieces not worn daily.

Rubies score a 9 on the Mohs scale, making them the second hardest natural mineral, alongside sapphires, which are also a form of corundum. The hardness of rubies contributes to their resistance to wear, but they are more prone to scratching than diamonds.

4. Engagement Rings and Jewelry


Diamonds have always held a prominent place in the world of engagement rings and pieces of jewelry, primarily due to their unrivaled sparkle and timeless elegance.

As the hardest natural substance on earth, diamonds symbolize strength, commitment, and enduring love. And this makes them an ideal choice for couples ready to embark on their journey together.

The classic solitaire diamond engagement ring and wedding jewelry pieces remain favorites for their simplicity and timeless appeal.

Also read: Best Diamond Cut for an Engagement Ring


The authentic ruby gemstone range has been gaining popularity in recent years for its rich, fiery red hue and the romantic symbolism associated with the color.

Known as the “king of gems,” rubies represent passion, love, and courage. Such powerful characteristics make these flame fusion stones a fitting choice for couples seeking a unique and meaningful stone. A ring with a beautiful red center stone makes one of the best birthstone gifts and birthday gifts.

5. Care and Maintenance


Since diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth, they offer incredible durability. To keep a diamond in pristine condition, routine cleaning is essential. Use a gentle solution of warm water and mild dish soap, and scrub gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This removes dirt, oils, and grime without harming the stone. Additionally, it’s advisable to have your diamond jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected every six months to a year to ensure the setting remains secure.


Rubies are slightly softer than diamonds, with a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. But they’re still robust and can withstand daily wear. To maintain a ruby’s captivating hue and luster, clean it periodically using warm water, mild soap, and a soft cloth.

Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, as they may cause damage to the stone. Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe for rubies but avoid using them for stones with fractures or inclusions. As the vibrations may exacerbate these imperfections.


Which is more expensive, diamond or ruby?

Diamonds are more expensive than rubies due to their popularity and brilliance. However, the price can vary based on size, quality, and origin. So exceptional rubies may sometimes be more expensive than lower-quality diamonds.

Is a ruby harder than a diamond?

No, diamonds are harder than rubies. Diamonds are the hardest known natural material with a Mohs hardness of 10. At the same time, rubies, a type of corundum, have a Mohs hardness of 9, making them the second hardest natural mineral.

What is a 1-carat ruby worth?

The value of a 1-carat ruby can range from $100 to $15,000 or more. Depending on its color, clarity, cut, and origin. High-quality, untreated rubies with vivid color and excellent clarity command the highest prices.


Rubies and diamonds are two of the most beautiful gems in the world, each with its unique set of features. When it comes to cut, clarity, color, and cost – diamonds appear to be a far superior stone compared to rubies. They also cost more, given their higher quality and durability.

Rubies have a deep, vibrant red color but may be prone to more wear and tear than diamonds.

In short, whatever your reasons for wanting one of these wonderful stones in your life – be it admiration for its beauty or an expression of unyielding love – both diamonds and rubies are worthy candidates!

Related article: Which Moissanite Looks Most Like a Diamond


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James Allen is our most recommended online jeweler that guarantees a wonderful online shopping experience. You will find the most beautiful and best quality diamonds available for very competitive prices.

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