Stones (or gemstones) are highly sought after by consumers interested in quality accessories. A good jewelry store offers classic and contemporary pieces that are adorned with them. However, do you know what types of gemstones every store should have?
In this post, you’ll learn the difference between precious and semi-precious stones and find out which gemstones can’t be missing from your jewellery store. Check out!
What is the difference between precious and semi-precious stones?
These designations are much more commercial than scientific, as there is nothing in the composition to justify the difference. Historically, the name “precious” was given only to the diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire, most coveted since antiquity.
This separation, therefore, was not about strength or rarity—diamond, for example, is more available in nature than other stones considered to be semi-precious. Therefore, the most accepted term nowadays is “ gem ”. Each of them is evaluated according to resistance to physical and chemical factors, occurrence in nature, special optical effects and specific weight, among other characteristics.
Natural gems are classified as:
- amorphous: volcanic glass, opal;
- organic: pearl, amber, coral;
- rocks: turquoise, lapis lazuli;
- crystalline: diamonds, emerald, aquamarine.
Most of them are mineral, that is, “manufactured” without animal or human interference by a process that can take up to millions of years. Every mineral gem is considered precious, although the four cardinals (diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire) are generally the most expensive.
According to the CPRM Portal , organic, non-mineral gemstones are not considered precious stones — it is also for this reason that jewelry specialists prefer to ignore the name “stone”.
There are also those manufactured in laboratories, called:
- artificial: no counterpart in nature, such as cubic zirconia;
- Synthetic: “clones” of the natural ones, such as synthetic emerald.
What are the main types of gemstones?
Among so many variations, there are those that are essential in your jewelry. Meet the 5 types:
Hardest material found in nature, diamond is a crystal appreciated by mankind since its inception.
To evaluate a diamond, you must take into account the four Cs:
- color: it is measured by the DZ method. It can range from colorless (D to F), almost colorless (G to J), very faint yellow (K to M), weak yellow (N to R) and light yellow (S to Z);
- cut: cut. The cut and polish of the gem should maximize its shine;
- clarity: equals diamond purity;
- carat ( carat ): the more carats, the more expensive.
The diamond surface is hydrophobic (cannot be wetted by water) and lipophilic (can be wetted and spoiled by oil).
Among natural gemstones, only diamond is ahead of you on the hardness scale. The ruby represents those born in July and, during the 17th and 18th centuries, it was very present in engagement rings because it was related to love. Between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, it was considered the most precious stone present on Earth. In the Bible, it is related to beauty and wisdom. Even today, it is linked to the sacred, mysticism and love.
It is the noblest variation of the mineral beryl. Although it is one of the most appreciated in the world, its value can decrease with the amount of inclusions in its gem. It is the stone of the month of May.
In antiquity, the Greeks referred to the emerald as “the green goddess of all stones” for its deep and unique coloration. Called the “love stone” by the Egyptians, it was also a symbol of fertility and reincarnation. Since those times, it was considered the mineral of unconditional love. Today, it is still widely used by Hollywood stars.
It has a wide range of shades, so much so that it can be found in every color of the rainbow. This happens to be one of the most complex silicate minerals. However, the Brazilian variation (Paraíba tourmaline) is one of the best known, expensive and best quality – a carat costs, on average, US$ 30,000. Discovered in the state of the same name, it is considered the rarest in the world, present in only five mines .
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