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What makes gemstones precious and semi precious?

What makes gemstones precious and semi precious?

05 Aug, 2022 | Gemstone | Gem Selection

The words for precious and semiprecious stones evoke images of opulence, splendor, and luxury. Historically, people have thought of precious stones as the ultimate prize. The article explains why some gemstones are regarded as more valuable than others. Learn the distinction between precious and semiprecious stones, see stunning samples, and get the lowdown on all your burning questions.


There are just four types of precious stones. However, there are many more types of semiprecious stones. Diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire are the four precious stones. The term "semiprecious" describes any other kind of gemstone. Gemmologists, however, caution in its use due to the obsolete nature of the system.


In what ways do rare stones vary from common ones? How can you recognize a valuable stone, and how many are out there? Instructions for purchasing and safely storing jewelry made from precious and semiprecious stones. 


Precious Gemstones?

A precious gemstone is an item with brilliant radiance and mystical air. The mere term "precious stone" conjures up visions of the rarest and most exquisite treasure, usually in vivid green, crimson, or blue. Precious stones have been considered more valuable than gold and money by writers throughout history and modern times. Four diamonds are considered special (diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire). Sometimes, other gems such as jadeite and pearls are included.


Semi-Precious Gemstones?

Even though a stone is considered semiprecious, it doesn't make it any less stunning or valuable. It's no secret that the price of a semiprecious stone may rival or even exceed that of a precious one. This is a significant factor in the decline in the usage of the precious/semiprecious distinction in recent years. The common understanding was that any gemstone save precious ones might be considered a semiprecious stone (diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald). Topazes, tourmalines, garnets, alexandrite, amethyst, peridot, and many more ranks among the most sought-after gemstones.


What is the difference between Precious Gemstones and semi- Precious Gemstones?

Transparency was the primary characteristic that set valuable stones apart from semi-precious ones. Semi-precious minerals, such as those found in mineral aggregates and rocks, may still be used for cutting, shaping, and ornamentation while opaque or only partially transparent.

The hardness of a stone is a defining characteristic of precious vs. semi-precious gemstones. Many people mistakenly believe that semi-precious stones are hard. There are semi-precious stones of varying hardnesses over the whole Mohs scale. As a result of the low hardness, semi-precious stones may be carved to create cameos and other table ornaments like ashtrays and vases.

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