The Ultimate Jewelry Guide to Precious & Semi-Precious Gemstones

If you love to buy gorgeous, glimmering gemstones to make yourself and your wardrobe items stand out, you're far from alone. In fact, the jewelry industry's revenue went up by 7% in 2019, the last full year in which spending increase can be calculated. Clearly, looking great and feeling classy is something that most Americans value!

If you're looking to purchase a gorgeous gemstone ring, necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings, you're likely wondering what stone is best for you. This question can be answered by looking into the qualities that make a good gemstone as well as the difference between precious and semi-precious stones.

Read on to learn what makes a gemstone precious or semi-precious so that you can decide which of these options is right for you!

What Makes a Gemstone Desirable?

There are three qualities that make a gemstone desirable. The first, of course, is the stone's appearance. You want something that shimmers and shines as it refracts the light, is colorful and beautiful, and looks good when set in jewelry. If a gemstone isn't attractive, then there's no reason to buy it regardless of its other qualities.

The second desirable trait in a gemstone is how hard it is. To determine this, look at the Mohs Hardness Scale, a tool that allows you to see how resistant to scratching and clouding a gemstone is. A harder gemstone is more durable and more likely to last a lifetime.

Finally, you'll want to find a gemstone that's rare. This will provide you with a feeling of uniqueness and exclusivity. Generally, that means looking into a gemstone that's either precious or semi-precious, which is what we're going to tackle in the next section!

The Most Common Jewelry Gemstones

Precious and semi-precious jewelry are incredibly desirable for those who are selecting gemstones. But what exactly does this mean? How are precious gemstones and semi-precious gemstones different from each other? Read on for a comprehensive answer to these questions:

Precious Stones

A precious stone is one that is of the highest caliber. All varieties are as beautiful as they come, hard enough to withstand all of the elements, and incredibly rare/difficult to find. As such, they're more expensive than other gemstones, but they make for the most beautiful and appealing pieces of jewelry.

Precious stones are a really exclusive category of gems. In fact, there are only four stones that fall under this category.

  • Diamonds

Diamonds are the hardest stone out there, are a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. These gems are popular because they're refractive of light in such a way that a rainbow appears when they're held the right way under the sun. They also are very rare and, as such, one of the most expensive stones on the market.

  • Rubies

Rubies are such a bright and deep red that people often say that they can see a fire in them. For millennia, people have been saying that rubies are the most precious of the precious gemstones, and why wouldn't they? As a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, they're durable in addition to being brilliant and gorgeous.

  • Sapphires

Sapphires are like rubies in that they're a form of the mineral corundum. They're also like rubies in that they're a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and are incredibly rare. However, their bright, shimmering blue hue is 100% unique, and it's a perfect way to feel the presence of the ocean's healing properties without actually going to the sea. As a result, people have been saying that sapphire is a healing stone for centuries.

  • Emeralds

Emeralds are a rich green hue that can't be synthetically replicated. As a 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, they're less durable than the other precious gemstones, but they're still difficult to scratch and they don't cloud over time. Some people regard them as being more valuable than diamonds because of their rich color and rarity, and this stone has been hailed in high esteem since ancient times all around the world.

Semi-Precious Stones

Semi-precious gemstones are still deeply valued for being beautiful, durable, and rare. However, they simply aren't one of the four precious gemstones. There are a lot of different semi-precious gemstones, with the most common being:

  • Aquamarine
  • Garnet
  • Topaz
  • Amythest
  • Alexandrite
  • Pearl
  • Onyx
  • Citrine
  • Opal
  • Moissanite
  • And many more!

It's interesting to note that almost every birthstone falls into the semi-precious category, though they aren't the only semi-precious gemstones. These stones come in lots of shapes and sizes. They also are all less expensive than the four precious gemstones, but their prices range from low to high.

Which Options Are Right For You?

There are a few factors that you'll need to consider when deciding if you want to buy precious vs semi-precious stone jewelry.

The first, of course, is your budget. If you're trying to save a bit of money while still purchasing a beautiful piece, then semi-precious gemstones are definitely the way to go. They're generally significantly less costly than their precious counterparts and are just as beautiful and reflective, albeit in a different way.

If you want more stones in your jewelry piece, semi-precious stones are also best. When stones are cheaper, you can get a necklace, bracelet, or ring that's fitted with more of them. This provides you with a rich and classy aesthetic and allows your jewelry to shine as much as possible.

You'll also want to consider your likes and dislikes. If you love light blue, then aquamarine is the stone for you, regardless of its 'semi-precious' status. Pearl's shiny appearance is unique and lovely. Basically, you might simply like the semi-precious gemstones for what they are!

Get Started

Now that you know the difference between precious vs semi-precious stones and have a clearer picture of which option is best for you, it's time to get started. Our online shop has some of the most beautiful gemstone pieces on the market, and you can get them at an affordable price. Because of the variety, you're sure to find the perfect piece to complement your personal style and wardrobe!

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