Precious vs Semi Precious Stones (Semiprecious Stones)
The use of beautiful, colored stones for embellishment and ornamentation of fine jewelry has been popular among jewelers and people alike for the last many centuries. In most of the jewelry pieces, precious stones are used to make the piece of jewelry more attractive. The stones that are used for crafting jewelry are divided into precious and semi precious stones. Not many people are aware of the differences between precious and semi precious stones and are susceptible to being duped by fraudulent people. This article will highlight the differences between precious and semi precious stones to make people more aware.
Most popular precious stones (and of course most valuable) are rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. Some people also include pearls in this category though technically they are not stones but sold as stones because they are equally beautiful and attractive.
As far as semi precious stones are concerned, the most popular ones are topaz, moonstone, opal, zircon, amethyst, turquoise, aquamarine, etc. There are also bloodstone, malachite, coral, agate, garnet, azurite, and some more that are not as valuable as those mentioned above but are still considered semi precious stones.
Both precious and semi precious stones are found either as rocks or minerals in rocks under the surface of earth. They are then polished and their value enhanced by crafty artisans who make them fit enough to be used as embellishments with ornaments and jewelry. Though there is no way to judge the artistic value of a precious or semi precious stone, their value is dependent upon their quality and rarity. You may be surprised to see a 10 carat jade selling for just $10 while finding another smaller piece of jade selling for almost $100. You may get a piece of ruby for less than the price of a rare agate which is so called semi precious stone. This makes the situation very confusing, and it is prudent to refer to stones as just gemstones rather than precious and semiprecious. A soon as a salesman in a jewelry shop uses the word semiprecious the value of the gemstone is lessened in the eyes of the customer, and it loses all its desirability.
As far as a precise definition of precious and semi precious stones is concerned, there is none, and besides diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, nearly all other gemstones are classified as semi precious. To classify as a valuable semi precious stone, it all boils down to rarity and craftsmanship of the artisan. When amethysts were rare, they were considered precious, but as soon as huge reserves of amethysts were found in many parts of the world, this gemstone stopped being referred to as a precious stone.
Difference Between Precious and Semi Precious Stones
• Gemstones that are found under the surface of earth in the form of rocks and minerals and used for embellishment of jewelry are classified into precious and semi precious stones depending upon their rarity and use.
• While diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphire are classified as precious, agate, jade, azurite, topaz, and many others are classified as semi precious stones.
• There is no legal definition of precious and semi precious stones and it is their rarity and craftsmanship of the artisan that decides the value of a gemstone.