What Are Semi-Precious Stones and More

July 27, 2020
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In the jewelry world, a lot of focus is spent on the golds and diamonds of it all. It makes sense, they’re beautiful yes, and they’re tied to the most timeless and traditional styles, but they’re not the only thing out there! This time on the Stewart Kuper Jewelers blog, let’s take a look at some other beautiful treasures and answer the question “What are semi-precious stones?” and more.

First, What Are Semi-Precious Stones? 

Gemstones are a wide range of different, valuable stones and minerals that are used in jewelry. There are two distinctions of gemstones: precious and semi-precious. Our basis on these classifications are rooted in traditions, going all the way back to the Ancient Greeks!

Precious Stones

By modern standards, there are only four precious stones: diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. All precious stones are translucent in their purest forms and are also quite hard, ranking at an 8 to 10 on the Mohs scale. The big reason these are ‘precious,’ or as the dictionary says it ‘of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly’ is because these four stones were historically much rarer than other gemstones.

Semi-Precious Stones

So if diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald are the precious stones, what makes up semi-precious stones? Everything else, well just about. Here are some, in alphabetical order: agate, alexandrite, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, aventurine, chalcedony, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, onyx, peridot, rhodonite, sunstone, tiger’s eye, tanzanite, topaz, turquoise, tourmaline and many more! 

When to Use Semi-Precious Stones?

Semi-precious stones are a wonderful thing to use in all sorts of jewelry, especially when a piece doesn’t call for a traditional diamond. They bring entirely new ranges of color and shapes. Plenty of those semi-precious stone names might already be familiar to you as many birthstones are semi-precious stones.

What is the Rarest Semi-Precious Stone?

Still interested in rarity? Well when it comes to this group of stones, Alexandrite is one of the rarest stones, semi-precious or otherwise!

Where are Semi-Precious Stones Mined?

Everywhere! Many stones, semi-precious, and otherwise are mined in African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Australia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka are all places where different semi-precious stones come from.

Which Semi-Precious Stones Are The Most Affordable?

Unlike diamonds that have a strict grading system, semi-precious stones vary drastically. The size, shape, cut, and type of stone, all have some impact on the cost or value of the stone. Generally speaking, the more affordable semi-precious stones are tiger’s eye, rose quartz, amethyst, agate, and citrine, all because of their availability.

Want to see jewelry with semi-precious stones in person? Give Stewart Kuper Jewelers a call and schedule your personal appointment today, and together we can find the exact perfect piece for you!