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What makes a gemstone precious?

What makes a gemstone precious?

17 Jun, 2024 | Gemstone | Gem Selection

Precious stones, which are ancient symbols of wealth, power and beauty, have captivated the human mind. What then defines a precious stone? Here are some factors that contribute to this.

Rarity 

This is one of the main determinants of the value of a gemstone. Rareness is another characteristic of valuable gemstones such as emerald, ruby, sapphire and diamond. Rareness is an indication that diamond, ruby, sapphire or emerald belongs to the precious category. The gems that make these types are found in very few places on earth due to strict mineralization conditions needed for their formation. Just for example, trace amounts of chromium and vanadium are responsible for intense green coloration in an emerald due to scarcity and requirement for exact incorporation within mineral structure. 

Durability 

Another key feature is its ability to last longer than other similar items. Precious stones must be hard enough not to scratch easily so they can be used as frequently wear accessories. This quality can be measured with Mohs scale for measuring the hardness of minerals. Diamonds have the highest content in nature hence having 10 on Mohs scale meaning that they will take more time before breaking. Sapphires and rubies come second after diamonds on Moh’s scale with 9 points thus making them become precious stones. 

Aesthetic Qualities

The value of a gemstone is influenced by its aesthetic quality, such as color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Every precious stone has unique features that are associated with its beauty. For instance, diamonds are known for their brightness and fire which come from their ability to refract light exceptionally well. Ruby gems are valued for their deep red color, sapphire for its brilliant blue and emerald for its lush green color. Moreover the shape of these stones enhance these natural features which make them more sparkling and hence attractive. 

Historical and Cultural Significance 

The worth of many gemstones is increased by the historical background around them. They have been used in royal regalia throughout history; they have also served as religious artifacts while some were used as symbols indicating power or status of individuals in the society. Hope Diamond and Black Prince’s Ruby, for example; not only do they retain value because of their size and splendor but also due to their rich pasts. In addition cultural beliefs and mythologies add onto this; earlier civilisations believed that emeralds were protective stones that had healing properties. 

Market Demand 

Lastly, market demand also shapes the value of gemstones. It is possible for prices of particular stones to be driven higher by fashion and jewelry appointments. To illustrate, rarity in pink diamonds and preference for current customers have resulted in an upswing in their popularity and price. 

Therefore, the value that a gemstone has depends on its rarity, durability, aesthetics, cultural-historical significance and market demand all together. This aspect makes them appealing as well as valuable hence there are highly sought after.

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