The Different Ruby Colors of Ruby And What They Each Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The Different Ruby Colors of Ruby And What They Each Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


When people think of rubies, they often picture a bright red gemstone, but what color are rubies? The deep red hue most common in rubies is due to the presence of chromium, but the intensity and shade can vary.

However, not all rubies are the same shade of red. Some rubies can have overtones of orange, purple, or even pink, making each stone distinct and unique in color.

But rubies don’t come in just one shade. Let’s explore the different shades of rubies, from more delicate pink hues to deep, mysterious burgundies.

The Most Common Ruby Color

Rubies are famous for their striking red color, catching eyes and sparking interest all over the world. They’re a form of corundum, a mineral that, when red, we call a ruby.

Corundum turns into a ruby through a natural process involving heat and pressure deep within the Earth. The presence of elements like chromium gives the corundum its red color, ranging from pinkish tones to deep, dark red.

When people think of rubies, they usually picture a vivid red gemstone. This is because any corundum stone that shows more red than any other color is classified as a ruby, making that rich red synonymous with this beautiful gem.

The Different Colors Of Rubies

Rubies are like a painter’s palette of red, showing off a stunning array of shades. From the palest pink to the deepest burgundy, each ruby is a unique piece of the Earth’s beauty.

The color of a ruby can tell a story about where it’s from and how it was formed. The depth and hue of red in a ruby are influenced by its journey from deep inside the Earth to the surface.

Deep Red

oval cut opaque deep red ruby
Ruby provided by SunriseJewelss

Deep red rubies are a breathtaking sight, often considered the epitome of ruby beauty. This specific shade is rich and intense, symbolizing passion and energy in every facet.

Mozambique is known for its deposits of these deep red rubies, contributing significantly to the ruby market. The region’s unique conditions allow the formation of rubies with a particularly vibrant and sought-after shade of red.

Compared to other ruby shades, the deep red from Mozambique is darker and more intense. It stands out against lighter pinks and medium reds with its striking, profound color.

Medium Red

oval cut medium red ruby
Ruby provided by AntiquefinejewDesign

Medium red rubies are a stunning display of warmth and vibrancy, lighting up the spectrum of ruby colors. This particular shade is a balanced, eye-catching red that captures attention.

Thailand is renowned for its medium red rubies, where the conditions are just right for forming this inviting color. The rubies mined here add a beautiful variation to the global collection of these gems.

When compared to other shades of rubies, the medium red has a distinctive charm. It’s not as dark as the deep red rubies and not as light as the pinkish varieties, striking a perfect middle ground that’s both striking and elegant.

For those interested in learning more about rubies and other minerals, consider checking out our rockhounding guide for tips on rock hunting near you. It’s a great way to start an adventure and see the wonders of the geological world firsthand.


oval cut red ruby
Ruby provided by GemtreeByAliya

Red rubies are known for their deep and vibrant hue, making them stand out in the world of gemstones. This shade of ruby, with its fiery glow, is particularly captivating and sought after.

Tanzania is a significant source of these red rubies, offering a rich ground where these gems can develop their characteristic color. The environment in this region is just right for creating rubies with a deep and vivid red.

When placed alongside other ruby shades, these red rubies are noticeably more vivid and defined. They stand out with their pure red color, setting them apart from the darker or lighter variations found in other regions.

The price of rubies can vary widely depending on their color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Generally, the more vibrant and clear the ruby, the higher the price it commands, making these gems a significant investment for many.

Pigeon’s Blood

pear cut pigeon's blood ruby
Ruby provided by RainbowGemsEmporio

Pigeon’s blood rubies are celebrated for their vivid red color with a hint of blue, making them one of the most sought-after gemstones. This distinctive hue resembles the color of a pigeon’s blood, giving these rubies their unique name.

Myanmar, particularly the Mogok Valley, is famous for producing pigeon’s blood rubies. Rubies from Myanmar are typically the most sought-after and valuable.

When compared to other ruby shades, the deep color of pigeon’s blood rubies is more pronounced and striking. They shine with a luminosity and vibrancy that makes them stand out as the epitome of ruby beauty.


oval cut pinkish-red ruby
Ruby provided by Gemseporium

Pinkish-red rubies offer a softer, yet still captivating, variation of the classic ruby color. This delicate shade combines the warmth of red with a gentle touch of pink, creating a unique and beautiful gem.

Afghanistan is known for its deposits of these pinkish-red rubies, with the rugged terrain hiding these precious stones. The specific mix of elements in this area contributes to the development of the rubies’ lovely hue.

The subtlety of pinkish-red rubies makes them a favorite for those who prefer a more understated elegance. Despite their softer color, these rubies carry all the allure and fascination of their brighter counterparts.

For those interested in learning more about these and other gems, consider checking out our gem/crystal mining guide for tips on where to find crystals. It’s a great way to dive into the world of gem hunting and discover the treasures beneath our feet.


pear cut purplish-red ruby
Ruby provided by EarthlingGemsShop

Purplish-red rubies are a striking type of gem, combining deep reds with subtle purple tones. This is a unique color rubies aren’t usually known for, but their warmth and depth add a twist to the classic ruby red.

Madagascar and Sri Lanka are prime locations for these enchanting purplish-red rubies, where the local geology favors their formation. The minerals and conditions on these islands give rise to the rich, vibrant hues found in these gems.

The purplish-red rubies are sought after for their unusual color and beauty, though they tend to be less valuable. Even so, they have a captivating color that stands out for its richness and depth.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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