Difference Between Precious and Semi-Precious Stones

If somebody is interested in gemstones, they are likely to be familiar with the terms precious and semi-precious gemstones.


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You may find just about any gemstone, including diamonds if you are in the correct section of the planet. 

None of them are simple to come by, and unless you know what each stone looks like before it undergoes the beauty process, you’d happily discard it. 

These stones are not similar and have been differentiated since the mid 19th century.

Precious Stones Vs Semi-Precious Stones

The difference between precious and semi-precious stones is that diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald are categorized as precious stones whereas all other stones except the above-mentioned are semi-precious stones such as amber, garnet, jade, and onyx, etc. 

Precious Stones Vs Semi Precious Stones

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Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, and emeralds are prized stones in the Western world.

This is, however, an economic categorization that was invented by marketing decades back to provide the misleading impression that precious stones are more expensive than semi-precious stones.

A semi-precious stone, often known as a gem or gemstone, is a mineral fragment that is polished and carved into jewelry and other ornamentation in its refined and cut state.

Natural resources or exact rocks that are not minerals are also utilized in jewelry and are called gemstones.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPrecious StonesSemi-Precious Stones
MeaningA high-value, rare and qualitative piece of stone that is used in jewelry is known as a precious stone.A low-value stone that is not qualified as a precious stone is known as a semi-precious stone.
Made up ofDifferent stones are formed with different materials such as carbon atoms are found in diamonds and rubies are formed with aluminum oxide etc. These stones are made up of organic material namely amber, pearl, and coral.
Where Do They Come From?There is no specific geographical area but most of these stones are formed in the Earth’s crust. For example diamond forms in “kimberlite pipes” i.e originating from the earth’s mantle.They come from three possible geographical areas named igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. 
Chief ProducerSrilanka has been the chief producer of precious stones since 500 B.C.Srilanka is the chief producer in the case of semi-precious stones.
Most Valuable StoneBlue diamond and red diamond.Amethyst

What are Precious Stones?

Precious metals and stones, especially gold and diamonds, have the advantage of having a high intrinsic value in a small package.

They may be easily “cashed” in almost any part of the world. As a result of their ease of concealment and transportation, they are vulnerable to money laundering. 

Terrorist groups have historically been involved in the gemstone trade. They have a long history of profiting from the trade of diamonds, tanzanite, amethyst, ruby, and sapphire

However, current data indicate that gemstones, particularly diamonds, are being used as a means of holding terrorist assets outside of the mainstream financial sector. 

The goal is no longer just to make a profit, but also to obtain as many stones as possible using criminal revenues that are kept out of banks and corporations.

The precious stone hallucination is another delusion that multitudes of otherwise sensible individuals are plagued by. 

Many people are monomaniacs about this subject to the point that they spend a lot of time cautiously and secretly burrowing into gravel beds

and sand deposits, pouncing on every gleaming bit of quartz-crystal or feldspar that happens to catch their sight.

To conclude that the term “precious stone” refers to four types of gems: diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. 

Although some people classify opal and pearl as precious stones, they are not widely utilized or well-received. People believe that precious stones are more important and valuable than semi-precious stones.

What are Semi-Precious Stones?

A semi-precious stone, often known as a gem or gemstone, is a purified and cut section of mineral that can be used to make jewelry or other embellishments. 

A gem is any mineral that has been enhanced in some way by modifying its shape, usually by cutting and polishing, and is used for personal adornment. 

In Jordan, semi-precious stones occur as xenoliths in a variety of rock types. Finan has high-grade copper, such as malachite and chrysocolla, as well as planchettes appropriate for gemstone manufacturing. 

In the Wadi Araba area, high purity garnet can be found in metamorphic rocks, whilst xenoliths of pyroxene, olivine, spinel-periodicity, and garnet can be found widely in basalt and pyroclastic materials in northeast Jordan.

The semi-precious gemstones researched are from the Miocene alkali basaltic rocks of the Harrat Al-Sham Basaltic Super Group Plateau in northern Jordan, containing volcanic centers

and volcaniclastic elements from the Aritian, Hassan, Ufiyahim, and Bishriyya formations.

These xenoliths and xenocrysts are semi-precious stones in some cases.

All types of gemstones that aren’t classified as important are referred to as semi-precious stones. Amethyst, Citrine, Rhodolite, and Peridot are the stones in question.

Some people argue that using the term “semi-precious” is irresponsible, deceptive, or ambiguous, and therefore should be phased out.

Main Differences Between Precious And Semi-Precious Stones

  1. On the scale of hardness, precious stones are tough and have a high rating of hardness ranging from 7.5 to 10 while semi-precious stones have a lower rating of hardness below 7.5.
  1. Precious stones are categorized and discerned according to their quality and colors but semi-precious stones are not categorized and discerned by any of the above characteristics.
  1. Only four gems are considered precious namely rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds whereas all other gems except these four gemstones are considered semi-precious stones.
  1. Precious gemstones hold a much higher quality while semi-precious gemstones stores hold lower quality.
  1. Precious stones come in a few colors whereas semi-precious stones come in a wide range of colors.
Difference Between Precious And Semi Precious Stones
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Hpx8CgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT7&dq=precious+and+semi+precious+stones&ots=I941PooSkU&sig=tvqe05AUJ6oLUYMKmKJGJePXx4M
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tFHCAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA5&dq=precious+and+semi+precious+stones&ots=EeDEyaw2lG&sig=RGifycvsZkNwEFQYkQmknmuCDwI
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