How to Choose a Red Gemstone for Valentines Day

Red Heart Diamond Earring

We are launching our Valentine’s Collection this week. It is busy in the studio ! We are all thinking romantic thoughts.. and dreaming of beautiful red gemstones. The best red gemstones are garnet, ruby, spinel and tourmaline. But if you are wanting to buy your loved one a red gemstone – which one should you choose ? Here is our short guide to the best red stones.
The first option is garnet. This year we have chosen garnet. We chose garnet because it is a very durable stone – good for those who want to turn Valentine’s romances into long term relationships !
The three species of red garnet are almandine, rhodolite, and pyrope. Almandine garnet is a medium-red color. Rhodolite is found in red with purple or raspberry overtones. Pyrope, from the Greek word pyropus meaning “fiery-eyed,” is the darkest red garnet. The finest specimens have a glowing red color. Garnets are mined in East Africa, India and Sri Lanka. The ones that we have chosen this year come from India and are Almandine garnets.
However you could also choose ruby as an alternative. Rubies are mined all over the world and especially in Myanmar, Madagascar, East Africa, and Sri Lanka. Ruby offers a distinctive range of red colours that vary from light (pinkish) to dark, velvety reds, and hits a brighter red in between. And, ruby is very hard – second only to diamond in hardness. Rubies vary massively in price and you will pay a lot for a natural un heat treated ruby. So take care that you know what you are buying.

Another alternative is spinel. Be careful – sometimes you will be told a stone is a ruby but actually it is a spinel. It is quite hard to tell the difference. The Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby in the Crown Jewels are actually spinels ! Spinel is a durable gem that is affordable but also not used very often. It’s mined in Myanmar, Sri Lanka , Tanzania, Tajikistan and Vietnam.

A final option for your Valentine’s gift is tourmaline. According to the GIA, where I studied, this colourful gemstone occurs in more colours and colour combinations than any other gemstone variety . In the tourmaline family, a red gemstone is referred to as a rubellite. Widely available, rubellites also come in larger sizes. Most rubellite is mined in Brazil and Nigeria. This is a cheaper alternative but still a fine looking red gemstone.

Happy Valentines Day !

Alexandra Robson
Alexandra studied at Esmod School of Fashion in Paris and at Cambridge University. She set up the British Luxury Jewellery Brand, Augustine Jewels in 2013 - it specialises in luxury jewellery using platinum,18ct gold, sterling silver and natural gemstones including diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Everything is Handmade in England by the finest craftsmen. Augustine Jewels are now sold all over the world. Previously Alexandra was a Partner at Accenture where she specialised in Consumer Goods and Retail.

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