Gems, Gemstones, Precious Stones, Semi-Precious Stones -

Learn about gems, gemstones, precious stones and semi-precious stones. Find and list offers related to gem, gemstone, precious stone and semi-precious stone on Classify24.

gems, gemstones, precious stones, semi-precious stones

Gems, Gemstones, Precious stones, Semi-precious stones: image from wikipedia

Wondering what are gems, gemstones, precious stones or semi-precious stones as well as their types, characteristics, why they are important and what they are used for? If these are your questions, then read on!

Having known the meaning of minerals, types of minerals and uses of minerals, it is therefore imperative  to know the meaning of  gemstones or gems, meaning of precious stones or meaning of semi-precious stones as well as their types and what they are used for. Gems or  gemstones are minerals or rocks. Gemstones put in another way are precious stones and semi-precious stones that have monetary and ornamental values. The study of Gems is called gemology, which is more or less an aspect of mineralogy as obtained in earth sciences with  particular reference to Geology.

Types of Gemstones or Classification of Gemstones

Apart from gemstones being minerals, gemstones can be classified into two(2). These are:

1. Precious stones: These are very attractive and valuable pieces of minerals used in making  jewelry. Precious stones are also called cardinal gems. Types or examples of precious stones are diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald.

2. Semi-precious Stones: These are all other gemstones that do not fit into the category of pure precious stones. In other words, apart from the aforementioned examples  of precious stones all other gemstones are  semi-precious stones. Typical examples of semi precious stones includes but not limited to chrysoprase, jade, garnet, agate, azurite, malachite, bloodstone, coral, carnelian, amethyst, lapis-lazuli, turquoise, aquamarine, topaz, moonstone, peridot, opal, tourmaline, zircon, chrysoberyl, alexandrite.

Values of Gemstones

Gemstones are termed precious stones and semi-precious stones because of their economic importance. Although some precious stones are more expensive in monetary terms than some semi-precious stones but this does not make semi-precious stones of lesser value as some semi-precious stones are more expensive than some precious stones.  It should therefore be noted that the value of  gemstones are determined by a number of factors such as their beauty, size, abundance, cut and popularity. While some gemstones are beautiful, popular and rare other gemstones  seems to be more beautiful and yet not have more attention because they seem to be less popular and considerably more common.

Uses of Gemstones: Uses of Precious Stones and Uses of Semi-precious Stones
Gemstones being  valuable and some of them being rare, they are of economic importance as well as having various uses either by consumers or industries that uses them as their raw materials for production of products and by-products that manufactured from gemstones. Gemstones as ornaments  are used for making ornamental objects, adornments and jewelry of different types, quantities and qualities which are  marketed locally and internationally under different brand and trade marks. Gems  come in different varieties and  are useful in different ways. Apart from the economic importance of gemstones some of them are aesthetics, thus they form important part of modern clothing or fashion lifestyles as jewelry which makes gemstones to be called fine gems or jewels. So much importance are placed  on gems because they are used in making products that humans make use of everyday either for show of affluence or a number of other reasons based on individual’s perceptions. Some people use gemstones to cure disease or to have good effects on health. Gemstones are of different qualities and their quantities and geographical distribution varies from countries to countries worldwide. Gemstones have different characteristics.

Characteristics of Gemstones

As important as gemstones they have characteristics that are worth mentioning. Research or findings have shown that gemstones have the typical characteristics of minerals however some of the characteristics of gemstones also includes rarity,  refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, hardness, cleavage, fracture and luster. They may exhibit pleochroism or double refraction, luminescence and a distinctive absorption spectrum. These characteristics form part of the criteria often used in identification, classification and grading of gemstones.

Grading of Gemstones

Gemstones (taking diamond as an example) are graded  by their colour, cut, clarity and carats (a unit of weight for precious stones and pearls and it is presently equivalent to 200 milligrams) . The grading using these four (4) Cs was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Treatment of Gemstones: Reasons for  gemstones treatment and how are gemstones treatment done?  

Over the years, there are various reasons and ways for treating gemstones. Some of the reasons for treating gemstones is either to improve their colours or to improve their clarities. Apart from these reasons of treating gemstones the different ways of treating gemstones includes the following:

1. heat

2. fracture filling,

3. radiation

4. oiling or waxing.

Recent Advancement in Gemstones and Gemstones Production.

Although gemstones being minerals are known to be naturally occurring and naturally obtained by miners and studied by gemologists however over the years technological advancement has made it possible for some of  gemstones to be manufactured in laboratories either by simply manufacturing some of them artificially or manufacturing some of them to imitate the natural ones thus giving rise to what is now called synthetic gemstones or artificial gemstones. Those that serve as imitations of  the original gemstones  copy the look and colour of the real gemstones but the artificial gemstones and  synthetic gemstones usually lack the chemical characteristics and physical characteristics of the natural gemstones.

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