Jewellers Share Interesting Facts About Semi-Precious Gemstones

Semi-precious stones, in particular, have the unfortunate reputation of being less desirable than precious stones. Jewellers are doing their best to dispel this reputation by crafting exquisite pieces out of semi-precious gemstones. There’s actually a lot to learn about these quirkily coloured gemstones.

Where the Distinction Came From

One common misconception about these classifications is that these have been around for centuries, when in fact the terms have only been used during the 1800s. Back then, "semi-precious" meant stones that are "of less commercial value than a precious stone". The list of precious stones is surprisingly short - it only consists of four stones, namely emerald, ruby, sapphire, and diamond.

Despite this unfortunate definition, semi-precious gemstones aren’t actually much different from these four precious gems. Efforts have been made to discontinue the use of the term, but doing so would be extremely difficult, especially since it has been in use for over 150 years.

Other Semi-Precious Stones Aren't Stones

If you take a look at the extensive list of semi-precious stones, you'll find some gems that aren't stones at all. Pearl, for instance, is an incredibly rare organic substance found in certain molluscs. Amber, on the other hand, is a fossilized tree resin favoured for its striking orange colour. Coral is an organic substance as well, and is often found under the sea.

Given their irresistible allure, it's no wonder that a lot of people are enamoured by these organic gemstones as well.

Certain Stones are Rare

Generally speaking, semi-precious stones are usually more abundant than precious stones, though there are a few exceptions. In fact, a number of semi-precious gemstones are actually rarer than diamonds or rubies. Apart from pearl, gemstones such as alexandrite, tanzanite, and demantoid garnet are hard to find and difficult to produce. Since these stones are found in fewer places and produced in smaller quantities, these would often fetch higher values over precious stones.

They Are Equally Beautiful

It all boils down to the fact that there really are no visual cues to discern precious and semi-precious stones. All gemstones are beautiful on their own, and would look even better when used as a centrepiece for a finely-wrought jewellery piece. Make the most out of the elegance of semi-precious gemstones by visiting top jewellery shops like Jacob's.


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