Frequently asked questions about jewelry

What are Semi-Precious Stones?

What are semi-precious stones?

A semi-precious stone is also known as a gem or gemstone (also a jewel, a gem, a precious stone), which is a portion of mineral, which, in refined and cut form, is used to create jewelry or other embellishments. There are also organic resources or precise rocks that are not minerals (for example jet or amber) that are also used for jewelry and would also be considered to be gemstones, as well.

In the West, precious stones are diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. All other stones are considered semi-precious stones. However, this is a commercial based classification and was a distinction that marketers created years ago which gives the false impression that precious stones are more valuable than semi-precious stones.

For example, a Tsavorite green garnet is more valuable than a mid-quality sapphire. It’s a concept from the West that often puts misconceived notions of the truth into consumers’ minds. So contextually there is a difference between semi-precious and precious but it is mostly for show and strictly from a commercial perspective.

What are gemstones?

A gemstone is a precious or a semi-precious stone used in jewelry. Gemologists identify gemstones. They label gems in the arena of gemology using practical language and their features. A gemologist uses the gemstone’s chemical arrangement to classify it. For instance, diamonds are made of carbon (C). Many gems are categorized by a crystal system because they are crystals. Gemstones are classified into different varieties, species, and groups. They are also characterized in terms of dispersion, hardness, specific gravity, refractive index, luster, fracture, and cleavage. Flaws in a stone are known as inclusions.

Semi-precious stones chart

Semi-Precious Stones Chart




Blue Topaz








Rose Quartz




Black Onyx




What is the difference between a precious stone, a semi-precious stone, and a gemstone?

A precious stone and a semi-precious stone are both classifications of gemstones. It is a portion of a mineral, which, in refined and cut form, is used to create jewelry or other embellishments. The term "precious stone" versus "semi-precious stone" is a commercial term that simply isn’t always applicable.They are terms that exist solely in the West and were created as a marketing tool by the people who were looking to sell precious stones. Precious stones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. All other stones are considered semi-precious stones.

Semi-Precious stone list

  • Actinolite
  • Adamite
  • Agate
  • Alexandrite
  • Algodonite
  • Amblygonite
  • Analcime
  • Anatase
  • Andalusite
  • Anglesite
  • Anhydrite
  • Apophyllite
  • Aragonite
  • Amber
  • Amethyst
  • Ametrine
  • Ammolite
  • Andalusite
  • Apatite
  • Augelite
  • Axenite
  • Azurite
  • Barite
  • Bayldonite
  • Benitoite
  • Beryl
  • Beryllonite
  • Bismutotantalite
  • Boleite
  • Boracite
  • Bornite
  • Brazilianite
  • Breithauptite
  • Brookite
  • Brucite
  • Bustamite
  • Aquamarine (Beryl)
  • Heliodor (Beryl)
  • Morganite (Beryl)
  • Emerald (Beryl)
  • Red Beryl (Beryl)
  • Calcite
  • Canasite
  • Cancrinite
  • Cassiterite
  • Catapleiite
  • Celestite
  • Ceruleite
  • Cerussite
  • Chabazite
  • Chrysoberyl
  • Chrysocolla
  • Chalcedony
  • Chambersite
  • Charoite
  • Chicken-Blood Stone
  • Childrenite
  • Chiolite
  • Chromite
  • Cinnabar
  • Citrine
  • Cobaltite
  • Colemanite
  • Coral
  • Cordierite
  • Corundum
  • Covellite
  • Creedite
  • Crocoite
  • Cryolite
  • Cuprite
  • Datolite
  • Danburite
  • Diamond
  • Diaspore
  • Diopside
  • Dioptase
  • Dicksonite
  • Dolomite
  • Dumortierite
  • Ekanite
  • Eosphorite
  • Epidote
  • Enstatite
  • Ettringite
  • Euclase
  • Eudialyte
  • Euxenite
  • Feldspars
  • Fergusonite
  • Flourite
  • Fossilized Organisms
  • Friedelite
  • Gadolinite
  • Garnet
  • Gaylussite
  • Grandidierite
  • Gypsum
  • Hambergite
  • Hauyne
  • Hematite
  • Hemimorphite
  • Herderite
  • Hodgkinsonite
  • Holtite
  • Howlite
  • Huebernite
  • Humite
  • Hureaulite
  • Hurlbutite
  • Hyperitdiabas
  • Idocrase (Vesuvianite)
  • Inderite
  • Iolite
  • Jade
  • Jasper
  • Jeremejevite
  • Jet
  • Kammererite
  • Korite
  • Kornerupine
  • Kurnakovite
  • Kyanite
  • Labradorite
  • Langbeinite
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Lawsonite
  • Lazulite
  • Legrandite
  • Lepidolite
  • Leucite
  • Linarite
  • Ludlamite
  • Magnesite
  • Malachite
  • Mali Garnet
  • Manganotantalite
  • Marcasite
  • Meliphanite
  • Mellite
  • Microlite
  • Milarite
  • Millerite
  • Mimetite
  • Moldavite
  • Monazite
  • Mordenite
  • Moonstone
  • Black Onyx
  • Opal
  • Pearl, Freshwater
  • Pearl, Saltwater
  • Peridot
  • Quartz
  • Rubelite (Tourmaline)
  • Ruby (Corundum)
  • Sapphire (Corundum)
  • Scapolite
  • Sphalerite
  • Sphene (Titanite)
  • Spinel
  • Sugilite
  • Oregon Sunstone (Feldspar)
  • Tanzanite (Zoisite)
  • Tiger’s Eye
  • Topaz
  • Tourmaline
  • Turquoise
  • Zircon

What is Amethyst? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Amethyst Rock Candy earrings
Picture of amethyst by Julie

Amethyst is the birthstone for February and is a vibrant violet purple color. Amethyst belongs to the quartz group of minerals and is very valuable and precious. Amethyst receives its purple color from aluminum and iron impurities.

Amethyst has many powers but especially to soothe and stimulate emotions and the mind. It allows the logic of sobriety and restraint but conveys the energy of passion and fire, spirituality and resourcefulness.

See our photo gallery of amethyst jewelry.


What is Citrine? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Rhodium-plated silver and citrine ring
Picture of citrine by Mauro Cateb

Citrine is a very popular gemstone that comes from a large family of quartz gemstones. "Citrine" derives from the French word, "Citron," which means "lemon," even though citrine is more golden than a lemon color.

Citrine carries the power of the sun. It is heartening and warm, life giving and invigorating. The crystal itself has many key energies. It brings the influence of citrine to your exertions. Citrine is a premier stone of resourcefulness, personal will and manifestation.

See our photo gallery of citrine jewelry.

What is Turquoise? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Navajo Traditions
Picture of turquoise by Woody Hibbard

Turquoise is an opaque, bluish-green mineral that derives its name from "Turkish," which is the country that first brought the mineral to Europe from Iran. Turquoise was mined over 4,000 years ago in the Sinai Peninsula by the Egyptians and has been mined for at least 2,000 years in Iran. The Southwest United States is also a major source of turquoise and its use is very popular in Native Indian jewelry.

As one of the earliest stones mined, turquoise was used an an amulet for protection and symbolized wealth in ancient cultures. As an amulet, it was believed to protect from harm and negative energy. It is a symbol of friendship.

What is Blue Topaz? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Topaz ring
Picture of blue topaz by Mauro Cateb

Blue topaz was discovered over two thousand years ago. The Egyptians were the first to use the gemstone. It contains hydroxyl and fluorine which make it an aluminum silicate. It is colorless in its purest form.

Blue topaz is used when you want to seek forgiveness, develop perseverance, or reconcile differences. It is also used excellently for healing efforts from destructive behavior and addictions. It also helps to bring cheerfulness and trust.


What is Peridot? Meaning, Color, Pictures

peridot & quartz bracelet
Picture of peridot by Heather

Peridot is only found in one color which is a vibrant green color and that is rare for most gemstones. It is a part of the olivine group, which is part of the forsterite-fayalite mineral series. Peridot derives from the Arabic word, “faridat” which means gem. Today it can found in the United States, Asia, and the Middle East as well.

Peridot is known to help in efforts to learn new skills or to concentrate. It is a healing stone as well and also known as the, “Study Stone.”

What is Jade? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Leather and Jade Bracelet
Picture of jade by Irenka Kudlicki

The term Jade encapsulates many things and covers a wide array of gemstones. The only pure forms of jade are nephrite and jadeite. Jade’s history dates back to several thousand years ago when it was used to make tools and weapons because of its strength. The name Jade originates from the Spanish term, “piedra de ijada.” The translation means, “stone for the pain in the side.”

Jade is known to convey affluence and money, captivate affection and helps with self-healing. It also offers security from adversity and calamities.

What is Garnet? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Garnet beads
Picture of garnets by Mauro Cateb

There are six common types of garnets in the gemstones family. They are spessartie, grossularite, almandine, pyrope, andradite and uvarovite. There are also some mixture of the garnets such as pyrope and almandite. All Mali Garnets derive from Africa. It received its name in 1994 when andradite and grossular garnet was found in the Mali, a West African country. It was then named the mali garnet. Garnet is the birthstone for January but that is a deep red color, and the most traditional for the gemstone. The most valuable are the andradite and the grossular garnets.

Garnet is said to be useful in attracting thoughtfulness and commitment. It is a giver of happiness and an energy enhancer. It is the birthstone for January.

See our photo gallery of garnet jewelry.

What is Tourmaline? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Tumbled tourmalines
Picture of tourmaline by Jarno

Tourmaline originates from the term, “turamali” in Singhalese which means, “stone of mixed colors.” It has a very exclusive spectrum of colors and stands alone by that fact in the world of gemstones. Tourmaline is a very adaptable gemstone and is available from the color black to being entirely colorless.

Tourmaline is used in exertions to secure a sound monetary future. It also is used to develop physical strength.

See our photo gallery of tourmaline jewelry.

What is Moonstone? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Rainbow Moonstone Earrings
Picture of moonstone by Amelia

Moonstone is an opaque and transparent obligoclase which is a mixture of sheet mica and plagioclase albite. It has an effervescent like glow that makes it unique and desirable to many. Moonstone’s name alone derives from its incredible white and bluish shimmer that almost looks like its own magical moonshine.

Moonstone is known as the traveler’s stone. It is particularly protective of those who travel when the moon is out at night time. Moonstone aids with the recognition of love and belonging. It is often used for new love.

What is Malachite? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Silver and malachite rings
Picture of malachite by Mauro Cateb

Malachite has distinguishing green veining and it is a copper carbonate. It’s a not a particularly hard stone and is typically found near copper ore deposits. Most famously, malachite is found in mines in Russia in the mountains. However, today production takes place in the Congo (formerly Zaire). Today, also it is far scarcer than it has ever been in decades previously.

Malachite is an authoritative stone of protection from physical damage and is a great way to join with Mother Earth through meditation. It is known for acts of assistance and service to others.

What is Jasper? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Rainforest Jasper and Copper Earrings
Picture of jasper by Heather

The term jasper derives from the Greek word for, “spotted stone.” Scientist put jasper in a group all by itself due to its grainy structure but it is usually considered to be chalcedony. It contains foreign materials that make up its streak, color and appearance and account for 20% of the stone itself. The rarest type of jasper is uniform.

Jasper is essentially the gemstone of vivacity, security, and physical energy. It is good to keep in your home, work, or car for extra protection.

What is Rose Quartz? Meaning, Color, Pictures

rose quartz organic sterling silver pendant (1)
Picture of rose quartz by Kirsten Skiles

Rose quartz is thought to have derivatives from small traces of titanium impurities. It is a unique soft pink color and they tend to have the color deepened by cloudiness. The unique soft pink color of rose quartz gems is thought to derive from tiny traces of titanium impurities. Rose quartz has a glowing milky quality that makes it good for carving or cutting en cabochon.

Rose Quartz is mainly a crystal of dedication and love. It is a stone to bring new romance, love and relationships to your life.

What is Tanzanite? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Deep blue Tanzanite...
Picture of tanzanite by gemteck1

Tanzanite is well known for its worldwide success and has continued to be in demand since its discovery in 1967 in Tanzania. There are technically three different colors on the spectrum and they range from green to purple to blue. Deep blue is the most coveted color which typically has a purple hue shimmer to it. It is trichroic and displays distinct pleochroism.

Tanzanite is a significant communication stone, giving a person the capability to express the truth. It also increases awareness in meditation, endorses consideration, enlightening a person so they understand their own heart, and also soothes an overcharged mind.

See our photo gallery of tanzanite jewelry.

What is Opal? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Opals-On-Black Solid Gem Crystal & Gold Opal Pendant.
Picture of opal by Peter & Barbara

Opal derives from places such as Mexico, Brazil, Australia and the United States. The cost of opal depends on the nature and occurrence of color flashes. Each opal is markedly separable more than any other gemstone. The most elusive gems universally worn are opals. Opals require distinct care to keep them healthy and wearable.

Opal is a gemstone of legend and wisdom. It is known as a healing stone and is associated specifically with the eyes. It is the birthstone for October. Opal has a calming energy and vivid colors.

See our photo gallery of opal jewelry.


What is Pearl? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Picture of pearls by GlitzUK

Pearls are created by the coinciding of the platelets of film and aragonite of conchiolin flanking to the pearl surface. They are the products of bivalve mollusks (which is mostly mussels and oysters). Pearls are not specifically hard, but they are spectacularly difficult to crush and compact. Pearls are products of bivalve mollusks (mainly oysters and mussels). The pearl’s color varies greatly by the water and type of mollusk.

Pearl is the representation of virtuousness and pureness. It is more often than not worn by brides and sown into their gowns for their special day. It is the birthstone for June and there are a great deal of traditions and customs associated with the gemstone.

See our photo gallery of pearl jewelry.

What is Black Onyx? Meaning, Color, Pictures

A Black Onyx Pendant by Pure Passion Jewelry
Picture of black onyx by Shehal Joseph

Onyx occurs naturally in groups of white and black, but also is usually dyed to get the accustomed jet black color that people expect. It is a cryptocrystalline type of quartz and is chalcedony, the black form.

Black onyx is a stone for improving self-control, expelling heartache and intelligent decision making. It is meant to quiet apprehension and encapsulates too much energy as well.


What is Aquamarine? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Aquamarine Ring
Picture of aquamarine by Susan Marie Phipps

Aquamarine is in the same family as beryl or emerald and is most well-known for its incredible range of beautiful blue colors. The name means seawater in Latin and that’s where it derives from. Dark blue is the most desirable color for aquamarine. It is a very hard gemstone as well. Aquamarine seems to be only growing in popularity and is a more moderately priced stone. It is also the birthstone for March.

Aquamarine was used traditionally to purify water by the Romans. It is a conventionally soothing stone. It helps to keep your breathing tranquil and secure during stressful times.

See our photo gallery of aquamarine jewelry.

What is Topaz? Meaning, Color, Pictures

Tulip (1)
Picture of mystic topaz by Mark Somma

There are wide arrays of colors that topaz comes in. They are orange, red, yellow, brown, clear, pink, and blue. Blue topaz with a medium hue is the most shared version of the gemstone and it can be found in huge sizes at inexpensive prices. It has a high refractive index and a very high hardness. The rarest form of it is moderately scarce and is called Imperial Topaz.

Topaz surges your mindfulness of actions and judgments and their karmic properties. It cleanses engagements as well as feelings. It starts cosmic consciousness and eliminates motionless energy as well. It is a sympathetic and comforting stone.