Pink gemstones are at the height of their popularity, and will probably remain very popular for at least another decade. A pink gemstone is always a very fun and feminine touch, so there’s no real reason for them every going out of style. Two of the most impressive pink gems are pink tourmaline and pink sapphire, and choosing just one of them is difficult.
This is why we’re comparing pink sapphire and pink tourmaline today, so you can decide which would work best for you. And, if you’re not sure which would be best, we have a few other options for you to consider.
Pink sapphire vs pink tourmaline
Pink sapphire is a stronger, harder gemstone than pink tourmaline and far more expensive – at least 3 times more expensive. But finding pink sapphire is more difficult than finding pink tourmaline because this is the rarest color for a sapphire. Pink tourmaline is the birthstone for October so it is in high demand, easy to find.
Both pink tourmaline and pink sapphire have varying degrees of pink, but the most vivid pink, eye-clean tourmaline is still 3 times less than a medium-color eye-clean pink sapphire.
What is pink sapphire ?
Pink sapphire is a variety of corundum that owes its pink color to trace amounts of chromium. In order for a pink sapphire to be called a ruby, it musty have high amounts of chromium, high enough to give it an overall red color instead of pink. So you could say that a pink sapphire is an underdeveloped ruby, in a way. Still, pink sapphires are incredibly beautiful and occur in different shades of pink, from baby pink to hot pink.
What is pink tourmaline ?
Pink tourmaline is one of the most famous color versions of tourmaline, along with green. This is a family of crystalline boron silicates. Pink tourmaline is also October’s birthstone so if this is your month, or simply a very special month for you, the pink tourmaline may carry extra meaning for you.
Now let’s compare pink tourmaline and pink sapphire, see how they differ in more detail.
Pink sapphire is tougher than pink tourmaline
The first difference between pink sapphire and pink tourmaline is their hardness, which is a key factor for everyday jewelry. Pink sapphire is far more durable than pink tourmaline, as it has a Mohs hardness rating on 9 out of 10. Pink tourmaline ahs a hardness rating of 7-7.5, which is the bare minimum for daily wear jewelry.
Even so, a ring with a pink tourmaline and one with a pink sapphire will look very different after a few years. In time, the softer pink tourmaline will get cloudy as it accumulated scratches. The pink sapphire will survive for far longer, as it’s a much harder gem.
If you want a pink tourmaline we suggest you restrict it to occasional wear such as formal events. Or, get a pendant or a pair of earrings instead of a ring of bracelet. Much less chances of hitting those and scratching the gem. If you’re looking for a gem for something you wear every day, such as a lucky charm or an engagement ring, pink sapphire is a better, more durable option.
Read also: Purple Sapphire VS Amethyst
Pink tourmaline is more affordable than pink sapphire
Pink tourmaline sells for far less than pink sapphire, and this can matter a lot when it comes to jewelry. For example a medium tone pink sapphire, eye-clean, sells for about $6,000 per carat. A very fine pink sapphire, with a vivid color and also eye lean can sell for as much as $17,000 per carat. For pink sapphires the color saturation and overall tone changes the price considerably, with red-toned pinks fetching a higher price than blue-toned pinks.
A pink tourmaline with a medium tone and eye clean sells for about $550 per carat, while a very vivid color sells for $2000 per carat. You’ll find that very pink tourmalines are often tagged as rubellites, which is simply the name for red tourmaline.
So even the most expensive tourmaline will be about 3 times more affordable than a medium tones pink sapphire. If you’re looking to spend wisely, or you want jewelry with a lot of gemstones, then pink tourmaline is definitely friendlier.
Pink sapphire is harder to find than pink tourmaline
When all is said and done, you still have to track down the gemstone if the jeweler doesn’t have it readily available. And this is where supply and demand comes in. Pink sapphire is pretty much the rarest version of sapphire you could ask for. As such, not many jewelers carry it, and those who do may sell it at a premium simply because it’s quite rare.
Meanwhile pink tourmaline is very easy to get a hold of, even the very vivid ones. It also helps that pink tourmaline is the October birthstone, so many people ask for their birthstone and jewelers simply have to carry it.
In short, your jewelry is easier to put together with pink tourmaline, if you want it to be done quick, or don’t want to pay extra for a gem that is not readily available such as pink sapphire. If you’re not in a rush, or if you like the appeal of a rare, hard to find gem like pink sapphire, then maybe that one is for you.
Now, these were the key differences between pink sapphire and pink tourmaline. Quite important differences, but the decision is ultimately up to you on which gemstone would suit you better. So let’s take a look at how easy or worthwhile it is to substitute one for the other.
Can you use pink sapphire in place of pink tourmaline ?
You can use pink sapphire in place of tourmaline, and your gem would last for decades without a scratch. It would also be more expensive but you’d never have to worry about taking it to a jeweler to re-polish the gem. Sapphires are very tough gems. However the high price may mean a significant compromise on the intensity of the color.
If you opt to use pink tourmaline instead of pink sapphire, it would be easy to tell that it’s not a real sapphire after a few years of wearing it. The tourmaline will scratch and get cloudy as you wear it every day, which a sapphire would never do. But, you’d find it far easier to get a very bright pink tourmaline for a reasonable price, so you could only wear the gem for special events.
Other pink gemstones to consider
If you’d like a few other pink gemstones to consider instead of pink tourmaline or pink sapphire, the following list has quite a few options. Some are easier to find than pink sapphire, some are more affordable, some are simply something different. In the end, jewelry is me,ans to make you feel good, to accent your style, and to make you happy, no stressed about prices. So you find a gem that suits you and actually gets you excited when it sparkles for you. Here’s a list you can try.
Morganite is everyone’s favorite lately, and for very good reason. This gem has a light pink color, with a slight orange undertone. So morganite can get peachy-pink and it just seems to go very well with rose gold and some white gems (diamonds, moissanite, white sapphire).
Morganite is a member of the beryl family, right alongside green emeralds, yellow heliodor, and icy blue aquamarine. As a member of the beryl family morganite scores a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, which is tougher than pink tourmaline but still softer than pink sapphire. This means it will scratch in time, but it will take a couple of decades to really get cloudy.
Morganite sells for about $160 per carat. This gem is always eye-clean, extremely clear, and comes with a very mild color. Morganites simply don’t achieve a strong color, just like aquamarines are always very pale.
Pink topaz is a far brighter gemstone than others on this list, as it has some of the wildest shades of pink possible. Really, pink topaz takes pink and runs with it. You can get hot pink, fuchsia, and nearly neon pink with $11 per carat ! Pink topaz is usually very clear, eye-clean even, so you get a bright color, very good clarity, and an amazing price.
Pink topaz also scores an 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes it quite durable for daily wear and a great option if you’re just looking for a pink gem, and not a specific kind of gemstone.
Rhodolite or almandine garnet
Garnets have always been very well known for their red colors, and they do come in pink as well. You have a higher chance of finding a pink garnet if you go for almandine garnet (red with blue hues) or rhodolite garnet (a neutral red with equal blue and yellow). One thing to note about pink garnets, they’re not as bright as other pink gems. They have more of a very light, watered-down burgundy wine sort of pink, if that makes sense.
In terms of hardness garnets are about as soft as pink tourmaline, averaging a 7 on the Mohs scale. So they would scratch just as easily as tourmaline and should be very well taken care of. You can find pink garnets for about $50 per carat, with high clarity but a medium color intensity.
Pink spinel is not as famous as red spinel, but it’s definitely something you can find and it comes in a wide range of pinks, just like pink sapphire and pink tourmaline. The hottest pink spinel can sell for as much as $1,500-$2,000 per carat, while a softer color can sell for $900 per carat.
Spinel was very often confused with ruby due to the exceptional body color, so a pink spinel should easily emulate a pink sapphire. But, it’s a bit softer than pink sapphire, an 8 on he Mohs scale so it will definitely get cloudy in time but will far better than pink tourmaline.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.