The Basics of Gemstones

Though diamonds are considered the “popular” stone, colored gemstones have always been a close second runner. These brightly colored gems give uniqueness and personality to a piece of jewelry that diamonds simply cannot do. They also fit a person’s particular color preferences and styles in a way that diamonds cannot.

Before diamonds were even considered something for purchase, gems such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds and even opals were considered the precious stones of the time. It was believed that gemstones with special colors contained specific powers that diamonds could never possess. Many ancient medicinal individuals would collect these gemstones as part of their medicine cabinet.

Even today, gemstones are adored for their personality and uniqueness. Gem jewelry is categorized by two groups: Precious Gemstones and Semi-Precious Opal Gemstones. Here we will discuss each group a little further.

Precious Gemstones

There are only three pieces of gem jewelry that are actually considered to be “precious”. These include sapphires, rubies and emeralds. These are extremely rare jewels that have exceptional color and are considered prized possessions. These types of precious gems can be extremely difficult to come by in larger and good quality varieties. These are usually used as small blemishes in jewelry pieces or gemstone earrings, rather than sold in large and solid form.

Semi-Precious Gemstones

Basically, any semi-precious gemstone is one that does not contain sapphire, ruby or emeralds. Semi-precious gemstones will vary greatly in value depending greatly on the type of mineral. For example, the gem jewelry known as “black opal” is extremely rare, therefore very valuable. There are other semi-precious stones that are a lot easier to get a hold of and therefore are not considered extremely valuable. No matter what, however, semi-precious stones are considered rare and exquisite and will never be considered “cheap” by any means.

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