Both men and women wore stones since the prehistoric times but then these were just stones as the literal meaning of it. Later on the modern items came on and were included as an accessory or embellishment for jewelry.
However, no matter how dominant is the feature of the stone or how rare it is, it may not be as valuable as other stones. Ideally, the stones that are used by craftsmen to make fine jewelry are divided into two broad classes:
- Precious stones and
- Semi-precious stones.
When you visit a store you will find beautiful stones that are rare as well as colorful and can be used as an essential setting for ornamentation. However, all of these may not be precious. To differentiate between these two variants, you will need to know a few things first.
The major difference
Both of these variants have significant difference in features and functionality and not only in price. Here is what you should know.
- Precious gemstones typically feature good color. It will be larger in size and will be very difficult to get due to its natural uncommonness. There usually three colored precious gemstones that you will usually find in a store that have upheld its repertoire and status among jewels. These are ruby, sapphire, and emerald. It is because of their intense scarcity, surprising colors and also the price that make them the most precious stones in the world.
- Semi-precious gemstones on the other hand are those gemstones excluding ruby, sapphire, or emerald. However, the basic worth of these semi-precious gemstones will radically alter depending on the availability of the stone. The natural black opal is very rarely found and hence is considered very valuable as compared to other semi-precious stones.
The most significant difference between the two types of stones is that semi-precious stones are found in a large number than the limited precious stones.
The price factor
Price is another significant factor you will find that differentiates between precious and semi-precious gemstones. Therefore, when you look for A Grain of Sand’s gemstones and find that the price of it is well below $50 per carat, consider it to be semi-precious as all precious stones will be priced much more than that.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Today you will find a specific semi-precious stone such as Paraiba Tourmaline which may be priced high above and beyond any usual semi-precious stone.
The main reason for such price difference between semi-precious and precious gemstones is due to the simplicity in custom taxes especially during importing. That means the precious stones are more valuable and therefore will be taxed higher. This is done by the government because the consumption of precious gemstones is usually by more elite people.
Another significant reason for such price difference is in its use and setting. Usually semi-precious stones are set in plain silver, 925-silver or any lower quality brass jewelry. On the other hand, precious stones are set in gold making it costlier than the semi-precious stones.