Red Coloured Gemstones

Red Coloured Gemstones
by Alice Koh

The colour red represents Passion, Power, Leadership, Courage, Energy, Sexuality, Fertility, Prosperity and Wealth.

Red is considered a sacred and powerful colour because it is the same colour as blood. And blood is life.

In ancient Egypt the men who were depicted with red skin meant that they were couragous and strong. But red was also the colour of the demon desert Lord Set, who was depicted as having red hair. He represented chaos, fire, anger and the unpredictable storms of the desert.

Mars, son of Jupiter and Juno, the god of war, his colour was red and his animal was the wolf, the symbol of Rome. He was described as a hot tempered god who delighted in the blood spilled at battles. He was driven by mad anger and aggression, and represented the brutality and barbarous violence of war.

Red was also associated with the red sun, fire, the hot summer, lust, and of course, fertility.

Red coloured gemstones were considered powerful amulets for protection against evil forces, black magic, psychic attacks, nightmares, and in the middle ages, it was believed that it could ward off the plague and pestilence.

The Ruby

At one time, before the 1800s, red gemstones such as spinels, tourmalines and garnets were also called rubies.

Rubies have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale which makes them tough and durable. Rubies also come in large size carats. However they are very highly prized. Rubies that have been treated are more affordable.

For time immemorial, the ruby has been the gemstone of kings and emperors. Rubies are the Ratnaraj, ‘the king of precious stones’ in Sanskrit. In Vedic astrology the ruby represented the sun.

Rubies occur in deep rich red colour. In ancient times the blood colour red represented passion, seduction, power, violence, danger, fire, blood, excitement, lust and fertility.

It was also the colour of courage, self-confidence in battle, bravery, action and victory. It propels us to act, encourages our desires and awakens our genius creativity.

Ancient warriors in battle wore rubies as amulets for courage. It has been shown that sports teams that wear red perform better than their competitors because we innately associate red with power and aggression and that mentality geared us to fight to win in any battles (or sports).

Ruby is the birthstone for July. It is also a traditional gemstone gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversary

Vedic astrologers recommend that people who are striving for rulership and power wear the Manik which is the ruby as it represents the all powerful sun and the source of wealth, prosperity, status, honor, glory and fame.

Ruby gemstone is also a symbol of abundance and wealth.

Chao Mae Tubtim is the Ruby Goddess in Thailand. She is a fertility goddess. Women and couples who want to conceive seek the help of the goddess. The Chinese goddess Mazu is also associated with the ruby and the goddess who protect the people who travel and trade at sea. Ruby is also associated with the Egyptian goddess of war, Sekhmet. In the book of Revelation, god is said to be of the colour red, like the jasper stone.

Red Carnelian

Red Carnelian is a rare gemstone that can be found in large carat sizes at affordable prices.

It is of a brownish-red to orange-red variety of chalcedony coloured by impurities of iron oxide. It has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.

Carnelian had been made into signets, seal rings, amulets and talismans since over 4000 years ago.

Carnelian is called the Stone of Action and it gives courage and vitality.

Red Garnet Gemstones

The most popular red coloured gemstone besides the ruby is the garnet. Garnet has at least five gemstones that occur in a variety of red colours. These are Almandine Garnet, Pyrope Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet, Hessonite Garnet and Malaya Garnet. Garnets are multifaceted, durable, and tough. Garnets have a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, suitable for any type of jewellery and they are affordable.

Garnet comes in almost all colours from different varieties of red, green, yellow, orange, grey and black colours. It comes even in the colour blue, such as the blue color-changing Garnet.

Almandine Garnet

Almandine garnet comes in pure red, orange-red and brownish-red. It is semi-transparent.

Garnet species usually come mixed with other minerals. Very rarely are they found in a pure state. Almandine and pyrope mix is of a deep red coloured gemstone whereas almandine and spessartite combination form a more orange tone.

All garnets possess the healing spiritual benefits of purifying and detoxifying the body from harmful energies. They are energizing and grounding.

Almandine garnets like most garnet species are not known to be treated in any way to enhance their appearance.

Garnet was given its name in 1270 by Philosopher-magician Albertus Magnus from its similarity to a rich red pomegranate seed.

Almandine garnet is the official birthstone of January. It is the traditional gemstone to be gifted for the 2nd wedding anniversary.

Pyrope Garnet

Pyrope garnet is the most well-known of all garnets. Its rich red blood colour resembles the colour of ruby. It occurs free from inclusion and has an amazing brilliance.

Pyrope is also known as Bohemian Garnet because historically it was mined in former Czechoslovakia.

Pyrope has a hardness ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is a multifaceted gemstone and can also be found in large carat sizes and at affordable prices.

Ancient people believed that garnet could light up the night and protect the wearer from evil.

Rhodolite Garnet

Rhodolite Garnet is a fine, multifaceted gemstone with a rich red colour similar to the ruby but less pricey.

Most gem-quality rhodolites have a purplish red to reddish colour. A purple specimen that resembles Amethyst have been found in North Carolina and India.

Rhodolite is derived from the Greek word 'rhodon' meaning rose in reference to the rose colours found in this lovely gemstone.

Rhodolite garnet is created from two varieties of red garnet mix which are pyrope and almandine. It is also known as the Stone of Health.

Rhodolite Garnets have a hardness ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale.

As Rhodolite has a pink tint, it is also a crystal of love and compassion.

Like almost all garnets, rhodolite is not known to be treated in any way, it is completely natural.

Rhodolite garnet was first described in the 1890s by William Earl Hidden who discovered it in North Carolina, USA and named it after the North Carolina pink rhododendron flower.

Rhodolite Garnets can be used in all types of jewellery items including rings.

It is an official birthstone for the month of January and is a traditional gemstone for the 2nd wedding anniversary.

Star Garnet

Star garnets are mostly found in hues of red. They have a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale. They occur with a high refractive index.

Star garnet is a rare and unique variety of garnet. It is only found in India and Idaho, USA. It exhibits a four-rayed star due to the aligned inclusions of rutile.

Star garnet stone helps the wearer purify and heal his or her mind, body and soul.

Red Zircon

Red Zircons have a hardness ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Colours include reddish-orange to red to brownish-red. They occur with a very high refractive index ranging from 1.81 to 1.98. Some even exhibit the phenomenon of tenebrescence. For example, when they are taken out from the dark, they shine a ruby-red colour, but once they are exposed to the light they slowly change their colour to orange-brownish-red.

Zircon is December’s birthstone.

The rosy red variety of Zircon, though not well known by the general public, is loved by gemstone expert/aficionado.

It is often found in large carat sizes. It is recommended that rings should come with a protective setting in order to protect the facet edges.

Red zircon has an excellent luster, brilliance and fire.

During the Middle Ages, zircon was believed to be able to help the wearer sleep and ward off nightmares. It was also believed that zircon gives honour, wisdom and prosperity to its owner.

Red Spinel

Red Spinel is not only rare but also it is considered one of the finest jewellery in regards to gemstones. The rich red colour of spinels have been mistaken for centuries for fine rubies. Though it is rarer than rubies, spinel is more affordable.

Red Spinel has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale and it comes with a high clarity. Spinel is never treated in any way. It is a great substitute for ruby.

Like most red gemstones, spinel is believed to elicit passion, devotion and vitality and help increase physical energy and stamina in the wearer.

Red Fire Opal

Mexican Red Fire Opal is a variety of opal that sparkles bright yellow, orange and red. It has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale with a resinous, sub-vitreous to waxy luster. Its transparency and clarity varies from transparent to opaque.

Red Fire Opal is very rare and is the most sought after of opals. Thus it is very valuable although it lacks the play of colours that opals are famous for.

Red Fire Opal represents true joy and helps the wearer with passion, creativity, vitality and sexual energy.

Red Fire Opal in rings require a protective setting due to its sensitive nature.

Fire opals are available in very large sizes and are usually faceted to enhance their vivid fiery body colour.

Red Andesine Labradorite

Andesine-Labradorite has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It comes with a dull to vitreous luster. It is translucent to transparent and has perfect cleavage.

Andesine-Labradorite is usually a reddish colour gemstone but can exhibit shades ranging from yellow to orange to honey-red and can feature amber to champagne and even tints of green. Andesine-Labradorite also has a metallic schiller known as labradorescence that can be seen as you turn the gemstone and view it from different angles.

Andesine-labradorite is 50-70% albite and 30-50% anorthite and is a member of the plagioclase feldspar group. Its name "andesine" refers to the Andes Mountains where andesine was first found and the name "labradorite" was derived from Labrador, Canada, where labradorite was first discovered.

Other feldspars that display similar dazzling phenomena include : Labradorite, Sunstone, Spectrolite, Rainbow Moonstone and Moonstone.

Andesine-labradorite first appeared in 2003 which makes it a relatively new gemstone.

Its metaphysical attributes include:

From the side of labradorite: a powerful stone of protection that shields the aura against negative energy coming from the surroundings.

Andesine is also used to dispel negativity while helping the wearer ease stress.

Through lattice diffusion, that is, diffusing copper into yellow labradorite, yellowish labradorite is altered into reddish andesine-labradorite.

Precious Red Coral

Precious red coral has been used by humanity since prehistory as an amulet and stone for protection. Precious coral has a hardness of 3.5 on the Mohs scale. Thus, owing to its lack of hardness and durability and being an organic gem, precious coral is best for necklaces and earrings but not rings. Due to its softness and opacity, coral is usually cut en cabochon or used to make beads.

Corallium rubrum or the red coral, is also known as Noble or Precious Coral and is the most sought after. The most desired of the Noble Coral is the red "oxblood" coral. The other most prized is the one called the "angel skin coral" which is a pink to salmon colored coral.

Precious coral is typically translucent to opaque and exhibits an attractive vitreous luster.

The red variety varies its colours from bright-red to dark-red, and orange-red.

Since ancient times, precious coral was believed to be endowed with mysterious, sacred, spiritual and very powerful properties. No other gemstone has been used more than the precious coral to destroy the first glance of the Evil Eye (of the Serpent headed goddess Medusa).

In Italy precious coral was called the Witch Stone, because it was believed that it protected women from sorcerers and men from female witches. Furthermore, the ancient Egyptians deposited precious coral in tombs of the departed to protect them against evil spirits. It was believed, just as in ancient Greece, that coral contained sacred blood of a god or a goddess.

In Hindu astrology red coral is associated with the planet Mars or Graha-Mangala and used for pleasing Mars. Therefore, Hindu gurus warn against wearing discoloured, dirty or dull precious coral specimens. If we are to wear precious coral, it must be pure with no blemishes.

Today coral is still used widely for protection against the evil eye and black magic.

Strawberry Quartz

Strawberry Quartz derives its name from the Greek word "KRISTALLOS" meaning ICE and Strawberry which is the color of the mineral.

Quartz is of a silicon and oxygen chemical composition. With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, it is durable enough to be used in all types of jewellery. It is transparent to translucent. The best gemstone quality of strawberry quartz is the one that comes in a beautiful strawberry colour and is transparent.

Strawberry quartz has a glass-like luster and a trigonal crystal structure. It contains inclusions of iron oxide which gives it its beautiful reddish pink colour like strawberries. It is also known as Red Fire Quartz.

Quartz is a master healer. It is widely used in healing and energy work.

The strawberry quartz brings joy and happiness within itself. It enhances our self-love and gets rid of stress and anxiety. It gives us a more positive outlook, giving us the ability to see the funny side of things, and liberating us from the restrictions that we impose on ourselves.

Strawberry quartz can be confused with Rose Quartz. It is not known to be heat treated in any way to improve its color and beauty.

More red gemstones include: Red Diamond, Red Beryl Bixbite, Sard, Sardonyx, Red Jasper, Red Imperial Topaz, Rubellite Tourmaline, Cinnabar, Pezzottaite, Red Tiger's Eye, Red Apatite and Red Fluorite.