Precious VS. semi-precious gemsAnna S.
Are there precious and semi-precious gems?
Such gemstone classification is based on an old western division, which was first used in the middle on 19th century.
Traditionally, the following gems have been considered precious:
Therefore, all the other gemstones have been considered semi-precious.
These classifications are still commonly used nowadays. However, they are pretty controversial. Most professional jewellers prefer to consider all gemstones precious as they are all rare and supplied in limited numbers.
The problem is that the division into the categories of “precious” and “semi-precious” gems might give some people the idea that “precious stones” are more valuable, rare, beautiful and desirable than “semi-precious” ones. That’s absolutely inaccurate!
A good example is an outstanding Paraiba Tourmaline. Discovered in 1989, this gem is among the world’s most prized gemstones – two years ago it just blew up the market! Collectors all over the world are still hunting for it – and are willing to pay any sum to get Paraiba Tourmaline, even though it’s not a precious gem according to the traditional classification.
So, as you see, «precious» and «semi-precious» gems are very outdated categories. Choosing a gemstone, you’d better focus on whether it appeals to you, suits you, and fascinates you with its beauty.