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Semi Precious vs Precious Stone Classification

By Edited Nov 15, 2016 0 0

People firmly believe that there is such thing as semi precious stones on one side and precious stones on the other. Indeed, identification and classification of gemstones is not a trivial task, but in this article I would like to emphasize the fact that we need alternative approaches to these subjects. In reality, if you closely considered the gemstones belonging to these two categories, you would come to the conclusion that this distinctions is artificial. The classification of stones was different in almost all of the past cultures, civilizations, and epochs. Whether from marketing purposes or from any other reason, in the past a group of precious stones was artificially proclaimed, wherein diamond, and some other gemstones were included and separated from the remaining minerals and crystals. This situation, with some exceptions, remains as such until today.

For instance, we can take into consideration here the fantastic amethyst crystal. For decades this beautiful stone from the quartz family has been revered as one of the few types of precious stones. We can easily understand why -- in the past, the amethyst deposits used to be scarce. The most beautiful specimens were mined in Russia and transfered to Europe to be sold there. But this had changed after the discovery of large quantities of amethyst in Brazil, meaning that all of a sudden there were beautiful amethysts to be found everywhere on the market. The availability meant that amethyst was no longer so "precious" as before, and it also contributed to downgrading this crystal to the semi precious family.

Strictly speaking, according to the current conventions, precious stones are only the diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, opals and pearls. Another matter is the quality of the stones and crystals as expressed in terms of their transparency, color, optical properties, etc. For example, some semi precious stones are visually so attractive that they easily fit the precious stones' requirements. You can also imagine that the contrary can be true -- if a certain ruby or diamond stone is not attractive enough, it cannot be considered precious. In fact, you can buy such "low quality" 1 carat loose diamonds for less than $100. The low quality in this case means that they are not transparent and not perfectly cut -- in every other respect they can be as real as the precious diamonds. So we see that there is a thin line separating these two categories.

The group of semi precious stones, as it is established today, comprises more than 150 types of stones and minerals. Some of the more widely known are carnelian, aquamarine, aventurine, jade, tiger eye, moonstone, hematite, turquoise, jasper, agate, rose quartz, and amethyst. Some mineraloids of organic origin, such as amber for instance, are also sometimes considered to be members of this group.

In reality, all stones can be precious if they mean something to you, if they can serve the purpose of bringing joy to someone's life, or if they can help or even heal with their beneficial vibrations, light dispersions and color play. The artificial divisions (promoted very often by the jewelry industry) that have a side effect of producing envy, greed and competition should be disregarded and the extraordinary quality, beauty, durability and glamor of all the stones, regardless of whether they are semi precious or precious, can and should be equally admired and respected when considering gemstone jewelry.

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