What are precious stones?
Natural precious stones are defined as visually appealing gemstones created from rocks or minerals. Often used for jewellery and fashion accents, this term was created in the mid-1800’s to refer to four specific stones; diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
All precious stones are translucent and are valued by the richness of their color, except for the diamond, which has a higher value based on being colorless. Their rarity, beauty, and method in which they are produced all add to the allure of a precious stone.
Traditionally, any accessory containing a precious stone would be deemed sophisticated and worn by someone of ‘high class’.
What is the difference between a precious stone and a semi-precious stone?
Precious stones and semi-precious stones are terms that were created in the mid-1800’s to describe gemstones, which were categorized solely based on their rarity. Stones found in abundance were labeled semi-precious, and a stone that was rare would be categorized as precious and more valuable.
Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds were classified as precious stones. All other stones are classified as semi-precious stones. The distinction between precious and semi-precious stones is their rarity and their quality.
Despite this distinction and classification of precious stones vs. semi-precious stones, it is not necessarily true that a precious stones is always more valuable or rare than a semi-precious stone.
For example a green garnet known as Tsavorite is classified as a semi-precious stone, however, it is more valuable than an emerald, which is classified as a precious stone. Now, value is measured by several different factors, and precious stones often do not hold more value than semi-precious stones. However, the label is still valuable and is used worldwide to promote and sell jewellery.