What’s The Difference …

… between Precious/Semi-precious, Natural/Synthetic, and Simulants/Imitations? Gemstones have been categorized as “Precious” or Semi-precious” since the 1800s. So what’s the difference? “Precious” was reserved for four types of gems:  diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.  All others were considered “Semi-precious”. “Semi-precious” stones would include:  agate, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, aventurine, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, onyx, peridot, rhodonite, sunstone, tiger’s eye, tanzanite, topaz, turquoise, tourmaline…, and the list goes on. Separating gemstones into categories implies that precious stones are worth more than semi-precious stones.  Although this can be true, it is often misleading as … Read more >