You may think of rubies when asked to recall red gemstones, but did you know many other gemstones are also available in shades of red?
Agate – Agates are often found in affordable sterling silver or costume jewelry. Red agate occurs naturally, but can also be dyed. The color ranges from a pale orange-red to a deep burgundy. It is also found in banded varieties with other colors mixed in. Agate is quite durable and makes beautiful jewelry.
Apatite – Red apatite is one of the rarest colors of apatite. A nice quality stone can look comparable to a fine ruby. Apatite is made of the same materials found in our teeth and bones, calcium phosphate. It also comes in a rainbow of other colors.
Andesine-Labradorite – This stone is actually a color-enhanced version of labradorite, thus the name. It has a lovely red color, typically with traces of orange and green.
Bloodstone – Also called heliotrope, bloodstone is a dark green stone mixed with red jasper. Bloodstone is a type of quartz. Considered to have healing properties, it is thought to remove negative energies and support energy. Bloodstone is one of March’s birthstones.
Carnelian – Carnelian is a clear-to-translucent reddish-brown variety of chalcedony. It comes in shades from orange-red to a deeper red. It is a zodiac birthstone for the signs of Leo and Virgo. Most carnelian is heat-treated to achieve the red color.
Cinnabar – Red cinnabar is a lovely deep, true red. It is a very soft stone (2.5 on the Moh’s Scale) so it is most often used as a collectible stone rather than made into jewelry.
Coral – Most red coral found today is dyed from lighter shades such as white. Natural red coral ranges from orange-red to a deep blue-red. It can be cut into stones or carved.
Cuprite – Prized for its deep red color, cuprite is a rare gem that sparkles more than a diamond. Unfortunately, the stone is rather soft, which keeps it from being as valuable. Most cuprite stones large enough to facet came from a single mine in Namibia.
Diamond – The most popular diamond color is white, but did you know they also come in red? Red is the rarest diamond color in the world. Itis so rare in fact, that it is thought that only 30 true gem-quality red diamonds are known to exist. The color comes from the diamond’s pure carbon content.
Eudialyte – a unique gem that is mildly radioactive, eudialyte is best worn in smaller sizes. It has to be carefully stored away from other stones as the radioactivity can alter their color.
Fire Opal – Fire opals come in many colors including pink, green, orange and white. Red opals can be translucent or opaque. Most red fire opals come from Mexico.
Friedelite – More commonly kept as a collector’s stone, Friedelite has a lovely orange-red color and can be beautiful in jewelry.
Fluorite – Fluorite is a beautiful stone that is very soft (4 on the Moh’s Scale) and should be worn carefully. Also called fluorspar, this stone is typically used in chemical applications, but some stones are transparent enough to use as gemstones. There are many colors of fluorite available, including red.
Garnet – Garnets come in a variety of colors, but they are best known for their shades of red. There are dozens of types of garnets. Some of the red varieties include Almondine, Speccertite, Pyrope, Andradite, and Grossular. Garnets are January’s birthstone.
Jadite – Green is the most common and popular color of jade but it can be found in red. There are actually two kinds of jade, nephrite, and jadeite. Jadeite is considered higher quality and more valuable but it is difficult to tell the difference.
Jasper – Jasper is from the quartz family. The name comes from the Greek for “spotted stone.” It can also be found in shades of brown, orange, yellow and gray. A solid color red jasper stone is fairly rare.
Moonstone – Most moonstones are white or white with rainbow iridescence, however, some moonstones are naturally pale red. It can be solid in color, or iridescent. The name comes from the mythical belief that the stone was formed from the light of the moon. Some moonstones have a star-like appearance.
Pezzottaite – A lovely pinkish-red gemstone that is often sold as a substitute for Bixite, pezzottaite is fairly new to the gemstone market. It wasn’t officially recognized a distinct gemstone variety until 2003. Pezzottaite was named in honor of the Federico Pezzotta, a young Italian mineralogist.
Red Bixite – Although green emerald is traditionally the most famous member of the beryl family, red beryl is the rarest of all. Red beryl is also known as bixbite. Because it is so rare, most people have never even heard of it. It is sometimes sold as red emerald.
Rhodochrosite – Typically known for its pink varieties, rhodochrosite is rare in shades of red. They are commonly mined in South Africa. A soft stone prone to damage, rhodochrosite is best worn as earrings or a pendant.
Rhodonite – A very soft stone, rhodonite is very difficult to cut and is typically found in larger multi-carat stones. It ranges in color from pink to a fine rose red. It is found in Russia, Sweden, New South Wales, California, and New Jersey
Ruby – Rubies bring to mind a deep red color and are the most well known of all the red gemstones. Rubies are valued based on their color and transparency. The most valuable are deep red. Rubies are July’s birthstone.
Sphene – Sphene is the gemstone name of the mineral Titanite. It is known for its brilliant fire. The dispersion of Sphene exceeds even that of Diamond. However, the stone has a low hardness which makes it difficult to use in jewelry. It comes in several shades, among them a deep red.
Spinel – While not as valuable at its natural blue counterpart, red spinel still makes lovely gemstone jewelry. At one time only the red varieties were used as gemstones but in modern times all colors of spinel have value.
Sunstone – Also known as Oregon Sunstone, these orange-red gems are typically full of sparkling bits of color. Named for the way the light plays through the stone, sunstones also come in shades of orange to pink-orange.
Topaz – Known for its bright tropical blue color, most topaz actually starts out as a yellow gemstone. The blue color is only achieved through heat treatments. Imperial topaz is the name used for natural red topaz stones.
Tourmaline – Red is one of the rarest of all tourmaline colors. It varies in shade from deep pinkish-red to darker burgundy. Most red tourmalines have significant inclusions. Tourmaline is mined in many places around the world but the most valuable stones come from Africa.
Zircon -Zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia. Zircon is a natural stone whereas CZ’s are man-made. Blue and white are the most common naturally occurring colors of zircon but you can also find beautiful red stones. Zircon is a soft stone that wears best in necklaces and earrings where it is less likely to be damaged. It also comes in other shades, including pink.