What is the difference between precious stones and semi precious stones? These terms are based on old traditions from the west. These days, all gemstones are considered precious since they are all rare and there is a limited supply of them.
The traditional precious stones are:
All other gemstones are considered as being semi precious stones. These are old terms and not necessarily true these days. To view the treatments associated with each of these stones, visit our Technical Information On Gemstones page.
Agateis a gemstone found in many continents from Brazil to Afghanistan to Australia. Agate can have many natural patterns and comes in a variety of natural colours.
Carnelian is a glassy, translucent gemstone that is typically light brownish-red to deep transparent stone. Carnelian belongs to the quartz family of gems and has been called Red agate or Red chalcedony in modern times.
Citrine is the orange to yellow form of the mineral Quartz. This gem can often be found as large clean faceted stones with the primary source being Brazil.
Diamond is the hardest and most well known gemstone. This is on for the gemstones that is considered a precious stone.
Emerald is the green variety if Beryl and is the most sought after. Emerald is considered a precious stone. The best Emerald comes from Columbia. There is a new source of Emeralds from Zambia which is becoming very popular.
Garnet is a large group of gemstones that covers multiple types. Garnets include Rhodolite, Pyrope, Demantoid, Tsavorite, Spessartite and Andradite.
Iolite is a purple gemstone that has a very unique property. When you tilt the stone, it turns colourless. In ancient times, it was called the water Sapphire because the colour would disappear when it was tilted.
Natural Jade gems were discovered over 7000 years ago. Jade was very popular in ancient times for its toughness and was used for making tools and weapons.
Lapis Lazuli is a semi precious stone that comes in a variety of blue colours. If usually has some pyrite visible from the surface giving it a unique look.
A pearl is a hard, rounded object produced by certain animals, primarily molluscs such as oysters. Pearl is an organic gem and has been used as jewelry for centuries.
Ruby has been referred to as the King of Gemstones and is one of the precious stones. Some of the most valuable gems in the world are Rubies
Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 and is found only in a relatively small area, approximately five square-miles, near the Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, East Africa.
Topaz is generally found as a bright blue gem in the market. Almost all Topaz has been irradiated to alter the colour of the original gem.
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