Gemstones Are Not Semi-Precious

Gemstones are the naturally occurring crystalline form of minerals, which are desirable for beauty, valuable because of rarity and durable enough to be enjoyed for generations. There are more than 30 popular varieties and many more rare collector varieties. Although some varieties have been treasured since before history began and others were only discovered recently.

Because of the variation in price from inexpensive to very expensive, the jewellery industry no longer uses the term semi-precious. After all, a ruby costing $10,000 per carat is definitely NOT SEMI-precious!

The International Coloured Gemstone Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit association representing wholesalers, cutters and miners from 41 countries. The goal of the association is to increase the understanding, appreciation and sales worldwide. There is no official regulation concerning the certification of gemstone jewellery. However, the value is assessed using the same 4″C”‘s as diamonds.

Gemstones Are Not Semi Precious

It is best to compare the colour between the “master” stones, the ones kept by the jewellers and the stones you are interested in. Therefore, it is recommended that you purchase them from jewellers with large inventories.

Colour is the most significant factor involved in value determinations. The brighter, not darker, the stone the more valuable the jewellery. Clarity is considered the second most significant factor in assessing value. Those free of flaws are the most valued. However, not all inclusions or flaws detract from the value. Some varieties, such as sapphires and cat’s eye chrysoberyl are valued for their inclusions. For, without inclusions which give rise to the stars in sapphires and the eye in the cat’s eye jewellery, the stones would be valueless. Sold by carat weight, jewellers sometimes cut them in unique shapes in order to enhance the beauty and value of the jewellery.


  • Traditional: Emerald, blue sapphire and ruby;
  • New Classics: Tanzanite, tourmaline, aquamarine, imperial topaz, and tsavorite garnet,
  • Connoisseur: Black opal, jadeite, pink topaz, chrysoberyl cat’s eye, fancy coloured sapphires, demantoid garnet, and alexandrite;
  • Collector’s Gems: Spinel, zircon, moonstone, morganite, and other beryls;
  • Affordable Gems: Amethyst, white opal, citrine, ametrine, peridot, rhodolite garnet, blue topaz, iolite, chrome diopside, kunzite, andalusite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, onyx, chrysoprase, nephrite jade, and amber.