A Guide to Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones

By | April 3, 2018

Do you know what a precious and semi-precious Gemstones gemstone is? Gemstones have many different names. Some people call them gems and some call them jewels. Sometimes, people call them precious stones. Whatever you call them, gemstones are awesome!

A gemstone is a name given to a piece of mineral or other rock or organic material that after it has been cut and polished has been made into a piece of jewelry or another accessory.

However, gemstones are not always composed of minerals. Sometimes precise rocks or organic resources are considered gemstones and are also used in jewelry and embellishments.

How Are Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones Formed?

Even though the vast majority of gemstones are created below the surface of the earth, there are a number of different ways that the individual stones can be created.

A great number of these precious stones are created when the minerals react with water that is found just below the surface of the earth and the minerals then dissolve.

This process allows the minerals to form with gemstones like opals, agates, and amethysts forming when the solution cools or evaporates.

How Are Gemstones Classified?

A person who identifies gemstones is known as a Gemologist. Each gem is labeled according to its features using the practical language in the industry. The chemical arrangement is used by gemologists to classify the stones.

The origin of the terms “precious stone” and “semi-precious stone” was simply a result of a marketing tactic used by people that sold precious stones.

This terminology was invented to create the impression that precious stones are more valuable than they actually are.

A Guide to Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones

precious gemstones

Precious Gemstones:

Emerald Gemstone:

Emerald is a green-colored gemstone. It’s composed of the mineral beryl and derives its green coloration from trace chromium and also vanadium (sometimes).

The hardness of beryl is between 7.5 and 8.0 on the Mohs scale. Emerald gemstone is also known as Panna Stone or Panna Ratna (in Hindi).

As a May birthstone, Emerald is the perfect color to symbolize springtime because it represents rebirth and love.

Precious Ruby Gemstones:

Ruby is a precious stone that is typically red. The shade can vary from a pale rose to a purple or even dark crimson.

The mineral corundum makes up ruby and is responsible for its red coloration. The hardness of ruby is 9.0 on the Mohs scale.

Known for many years as the “king of all gems”, Ruby represents emotion, courage, love, and passion. Often owned by kings and royalty throughout the ages, rubies were believed to bring good fortune to the wearer.

Semi-Precious Sapphires:

Sapphire is a precious gemstone. While a traditional sapphire is blue which is named as blue sapphire, there is what’s known as “fancy sapphires”, which can be found in shades of green, purple, yellow, and orange. Yellow color sapphire is named Yellow Sapphire also called Pukhraj in Hindi.

Sapphire is the third hardest natural substance next to diamonds and having a 9.0 ranking on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Sapphire represents honesty, purity, trust, and loyalty. Because of this symbolism, Sapphires are the most popular gemstones to adorn engagement rings today.


A precious stone formed from pure carbon in a crystalline formation that is typically clear and usually colorless is known as a diamond. It’s also the hardest naturally-occurring substance on Earth.

It ranks the top highest on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness at a 10.

For hundreds of years, women and men have been wearing diamonds, and they are considered the ultimate gift and symbol of love.


Pearls are organic gemstones that are formed by shelled mollusks mainly bivalved oysters and mussels. Pearls rank between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale.

Natural pearls are extremely rare, incredibly expensive and typically small. Therefore, people have developed ways to culture pearls so that these beautiful gemstones can be enjoyed by many.

Pearls are a birthstone for the month of June. What makes pearls so unique compared to other gemstones is that they are the only ones that are formed inside a living creature

Semi-Precious Gemstones:

semi precious gemstones

Black Onyx:

Black Onyx is typically the first variation of this gemstone that comes to mind.

Considered the anniversary gemstone for the 10th year of marriage, black onyx is chalcedony, a variety of the micro crystalline quartz. The hardness of the black onyx is between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale.

Opal Gemstone:

Opal is a gem-quality form of hydrated amorphous silicon dioxide. The hardness of opal ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Opal is known for its remarkable ability to diffract light, which results in rainbow-like colors that change with the angle of observation – known as ‘play of color’.

Opal became known as the “Queen of Gems” in ancient times. Opal is an original and versatile gemstone that will never date or go out of style.

Blue Topaz:

Topaz is an aluminum silicate that contains fluorine and hydroxyl. Blue topaz is a beautiful stone that comes in a vast range of vivid blue hues. Very hard in nature, blue topaz is rated 8.0 on the Mohs scale.


Sodium potassium aluminum silicate is a lustrous mineral known as moonstone. The visual effect, or sheen, is caused by light diffraction from within the microstructure which is composed of feldspar layers. On the Mohs hardness scale, moonstone is between 6.0 and 6.5.

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