Is ruby cheaper than a diamond?
While diamonds are certainly beautiful, arguably they are not that unique. Well, most diamonds.
Gemstones have a wider range in terms of color profiles as well as uniqueness and have become a preferred choice amongst a lot of people and ruby is on top of this list.
There are various factors apart from desirability when it comes to choosing between the ruby and the diamond, but price plays a big factor.
So, let us get back to the main question, “Is ruby cheaper than diamond?
Generally speaking, no one can say with absolute certainty that one is more expensive than the other unless they have looked into all the factors that determine its price.
So let’s talk about these various factors:
IS RUBY CHEAPER THAN DIAMOND FACTORS
The gem, whether a diamond or ruby can command a higher price depending on how rare it is and how difficult it is to source it. Diamonds are found more abundantly as compared to Rubies. The scarcity of rubies (especially over 1-carat weight) can definitely drive up the price of the ruby.
Exceptions: Colored Diamonds are very rare and can be sold at very high prices.
You can find “100 D Flawless” Diamonds, but it is very difficult to find 10 perfectly factored Rubies.
The price of both Diamonds and Rubies can be influenced by their quality.
For diamonds, the 4 C’s, Carat weight, Clarity, Cut, and Color all play a role to determine its value.
When it comes to Rubies we look at six factors which we call 4C’s + OT. The most important are Color, Origin, and Treatment which determine its price.
The price of diamonds is not based on where it is mined. Although origin can be determined based on information provided to testing institutes of the rough stones before cutting and polishing, this is just to help with where the diamond was sourced from and to know whether it has been mined responsibly and it generally does not affect the price but it may appeal to your personal sensibilities.
On the contrary, the price of rubies is most certainly dependent on their origin. Rubies sourced from Burma are considered the finest in the world and command the highest prices. However, other countries such as Thailand, Madagascar, and Vietnam also produce high-quality rubies at a more affordable price.
Both diamonds and rubies can be treated to improve their color and clarity. These treatments bring down the price of the gemstone.
Natural gemstones without any treatment or negligible treatments command a higher price than treated gemstones.
If the gemstone has color or clarity-enhancing treatments, reputable gem labs like GIA, GRS etc will mention that they are treated.
If you want to know more about treatments on rubies you can read our blog post here
And to know more about treatments on diamonds, you can read this article on the GIA website.
Today most people selling or buying a diamond or a ruby rely on a good certificate from a reputable gem lab to determine its price.
The certificate builds trust and focuses on the above-discussed factors to determine the quality of the gemstone and its origin which lays the foundation to subsequently ascertain the asking price and buying price.
6. DEMAND AND SUPPLY
In 1888, the pricing of diamonds was being controlled by big corporations like De Beers who held the monopoly of the world’s diamond supply that therefore resulted in them controlling diamond prices.
With time that has changed and now diamond prices, although not fixed, follow a set standard based on grading as discussed above and guidelines set by online global marketplaces like RapNet that help moderate prices creating more transparency for sourcing and selling diamonds.
The demand and supply of diamonds directly influence the price of diamonds as well.
On the contrary, Rubies do not have a standardized pricing as they are rare and the price is based on what the seller wants to price the gemstone at, over and above the above-mentioned factors.
Diamond prices do go up and down regularly, and since most diamonds are not rare, the stone once bought will have a similar or slightly lower resale value. However, due to price transparency, it is easier to liquidate or sell a diamond.
In comparison, a top-grade investment Ruby with all the above factors in check will always increase in value.
IS RUBY CHEAPER THAN DIAMOND – ACTUAL PRICE COMPARISON
For this comparison, I have decided to compare diamonds and rubies which most consumers consider buying (This is my opinion based on my 15 years of experience).
Generally, consumers prefer the middle range color or clarity range for diamonds, which are I-color, VS1-clarity range, and top make grade which we call ‘Triple Excellent.’ So these diamonds are white, clean, and sparkly enough for the average consumer.
For rubies, Mozambique origin currently is easier to source and a lot more reasonably priced than the Burma equivalent. So, for this comparison, I have focused on Top ‘Vivid Red,’ Unheated, well-cut Oval shape, Mozambique Rubies.
I have also included top ‘investment’ grade Burma rubies which are exceptionally difficult to source and almost impossible to find. The price for these rubies are very subjective as just finding ‘two’ to compare is impossible. Anyways, I have provided some price estimates below.
|1 CARAT RUBY V/S 1 CARAT DIAMOND||3 CARAT RUBY V/S 3 CARAT DIAMOND|
|US$3,000 to US$3,500 for the Mozambique Ruby price||US$36,000 to US$39,000 for ruby|
|US$5,000 to US$5,500 for Diamond Price||US$40,000 for a diamond|
|US$20,000 for Burma Ruby||US$300,000 or more for Burma Ruby|
To conclude, as you can see above, even after restricting the criteria of rubies or diamonds the price ranges between the two are quite ‘broad’ and we have to take into account many factors to determine the correct price.
Is ruby cheaper than a diamond? Not an easy question to answer.
For more prices on ‘different’ diamond sizes and quality, I do recommend checking our previous blog post here: https://www.buygemstone.info/how-much-does-it-cost-to-buy-a-0-50-carat-or-1-carat-or-2-carat-diamond-ring-in-bangkok-thailand/
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