Each gemstone has its own name and certain characteristics. A master jeweler is able to emphasize the properties of any nugget or precise cut, which creates a certain play of light, which is complicated by the setting.
In order to achieve a wonderful effect in the manufacture of jewelry, you need: experience, a deep knowledge of the properties of various types of precious stones, and a sense of the aesthetics of the composition. We will talk in detail about the features of all types of precious stones in this article.
What stones are precious?
On our planet there are more than 4000 natural stones with different characteristics, composition of chemical elements and structure. Only some of them after processing and polishing find a bright shine. Thanks to these unique properties, they began to be called «precious», an official list of types of natural stones with photos was compiled. But due to the slowness of the processes taking place in the earth’s crust, these resources are considered non-renewable — their quantity in nature is strictly limited.
List of gem characteristics
- Glitterwhich is enhanced by polishing and cutting.
- How often it occurs in nature.
- Purity of color.
- Degree of stability to mechanical damage and high temperatures.
- Individual properties (color, shape).
How is the value of precious stones determined by a photo?
Factors that determine the value of any stone:
- color and its shade,
- surface shape (shale or shell),
The unit of measurement of the weight of drag. stone — carat (1 carat = 200 mg).
The cost of selling stones for jewelry with different names is determined not only by the natural qualities of the mineral, but also by the craftsmanship of the cut. True craftsmen are able to achieve greater brilliance from a less precious stone, which a less experienced specialist cannot do when working with a high-end diamond.
The main differences between precious minerals and semi-precious stones
The main criteria are gloss and frequency of extraction in nature. As the name suggests, gems are a classification of rare minerals from a relatively small family. This does not mean that they are all created by nature.
The list of semi-precious stones is a list of artificial minerals that are much more common in nature than precious stones, while losing their unique exclusivity.
The signs by which different types of jewelry stones are distinguished are:
- hardness. Here the limit is clearly established: precious stones (see photo) have a hardness higher than 7 on the Mohs scale and are therefore harder than quartz. Since there are few such minerals in nature, this makes them very valuable;
- durability. Some expensive precious stones with well-known names are resistant to atmospheric influences, others easily decompose under the influence of various chemical factors.
Names of precious stones by color and meaning
Nature gave us stones of all the colors of the rainbow and many shades that can make you dizzy. The shimmering light reflected in the stone structure reveals colors we never dreamed of. It makes us realize that there are unusual color tones beyond our imagination.
It is enough to look at the glow of diamonds to understand that transparent light is the greatest artist of all time. White stones such as diamond, white sapphire, pearls represent purity, fidelity and innocence. They are a symbol of happiness, harmony of soul and body.
Looking at a sapphire, you will find that the blue color comes in countless shades — starting from dark blue and ending with a rich shade of sea waves.
Blue natural precious stones, called topaz, aquamarine, blue diamond, turquoise, lapis lazuli, are associated with the endless sky, the depth of the seas and oceans. They symbolize peace, truth and youth.
The names of beautiful red gems (ruby, garnet, rhodolite, coral, tourmaline) symbolize love, courage and self-confidence, as well as a lively temperament.
The meaning of all green gemstones (emerald, peridot, green sapphire) is a description of eternal hope, bliss, goodness, vitality and fertility.
Yellow types of gems — yellow sapphire, yellow topaz — give wisdom, self-confidence, the ability to make the right decisions, promote happiness
and good luck.
What are precious stones?
The main types of natural minerals:
- diamond — the king of precious stones, whose legendary fame, dazzling beauty and symbolism have been coveted for centuries. Its name comes from the Greek word adamus, which translates as «unbreakable» and alludes to its strength and hardness. A round-cut diamond is called a diamond and is most often decorated with wedding rings as a symbol of true, pure and eternal love. High-quality diamonds impress with their cut — they fascinate with the play of light, transparency and unusual shine. The value of a diamond is determined by the 4C parameters — cut, weight (carat), color, i.e. color and transparency, i.e. purity. the length of diamonds is confirmed by metrics and certificates of the most respected gemological laboratories and institutes in the world: IGI (International Gemological Institute) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
- ruby, called «the colored extract of drops of blood of mother earth», is considered one of the most unique gemstones. It has long symbolized the greatest wealth and love. Its name comes from the Latin word ruber, which means red. But it comes in different shades — from pale pink to dark purple, reminiscent of wine, shimmering in the sun. Ruby owes its wonderful color to impurities of chromium oxide. It is this compound that gives the pigment, which is found in small quantities in the earth’s crust, making the ruby one of the rarest gems on Earth;
- emerald. This is a precious stone, the green shade of which is difficult to describe in words — a color full of elements and depth. It has the dynamism and mystery, thanks to which these original stones have captivated with their beauty for centuries. «Smaragdos» is a Greek term that literally translates to «simple green stone»;
- sapphire perfectly combines dignified coolness and piercing depth. This is one of the types of corundum, which is the hardest natural mineral after diamond. Blue sapphire contains impurities of iron or titanium. It reflects all the shades of the sky seen at sunset: from the beautiful warm colors seen in the west to the dark blue seen in the east.
The ancient civilizations of Egypt and Rome considered sapphires sacred stones of truth and justice. To this day, for Buddhists, sapphire means peace, friendship and stability, it is considered a talisman of marital happiness;
- tanzanite — a stone of the correct cut and setting. It captivates with its unique color, transparency and beautiful shine. Although not as hard as diamond, it is considered scratch resistant. Its strength and charm is evidenced by the fact that in just a few decades it has become the embodiment of luxury and sophistication. He won the love of women of all ages. Its versatility is also appreciated — it is perfectly combined with many outfits — black, ashen, as well as with corresponding deep blue shades. It has become a tradition to frame tanzanite with tiny diamonds, which add shine and allow you to fully express your fabulous charm.
What are gemstones from natural ores?
- Pearls — marine and freshwater. Most pearls are shaped like small spheres. There are also specimens of different colors with a drop-, egg-shaped or slightly flattened shape. Natural freshwater pearls are grown in reservoirs that meet the strictest requirements and are adapted to the existence of various types of mussels. Most often, these pearls are extracted from the rivers of China, Mongolia, Russia and Canada, as well as from lakes located in North and South America.
- Weapon — precious beads of various sizes and shapes, which are often used by designers to make exclusive jewelry. It is a natural organic material obtained from the skeletons of limestone corals, which make up the famous coral reefs and shoals with dense, unevenly branched trunks. Corals live in warm and hot seas. The largest colonies are on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Algerian corals are the most valuable. In their natural state, their pieces are matte, and after polishing, they acquire an impressive glass luster. After extraction, they are sorted by thickness and size of twigs, color. Polished pieces of coral most often have a spherical or oval shape, when using a smooth cabochon facet. Fashionable necklaces and spectacular bracelets are made from coral beads. Bright red coral jewelry is most valued. Pink and black beads are also used in jewelry, unique white beads from Japan and blue beads mined in Cameroon;
- Aventurine. It has a shimmering surface effect. A very similar stone was artificially made in a glass factory located in Murano, Venice. The imitation was named aventurine because by chance (per aventura) particles of copper got into the glass mass during melting and gave an extremely shimmering product. When a similar mineral was discovered, it was named the same. To this day, most of the stones called aventurine are artificially produced, but they are not inferior in beauty to the mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. Its unusual decorativeness is appreciated by the creators of jewelry and other jewelry, it is used in sculpture and interior decoration.
- Garnet. A stone whose beauty was appreciated in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and other modern cultures. At the time of the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder, red pomegranates were called carbuncles, which translates as «heat.» Due to its dark red color, it is associated with love, passion and vital energy. When worn, it increases a person’s vitality, protects him from enemies. It has a positive effect on the work of the heart and circulatory system.
- Turquoise is one of the oldest precious stones with magical properties. It has an intense color that changes color from blue to green. Contains copper and iron. The more of the second element in it, the greener the shade of turquoise. The most valued is turquoise of a characteristic blue color, which received the specific name «turquoise». This group also includes amber, jasper, tourmaline, obsidian, and alexandrite.
Semi-precious gemstones: photos and basic names
Various semi-precious stones are obtained by properly grinding minerals and then performing such treatments as:
The most common names of semi-precious jewelry stones:
- Agate is a chalcedony mineral, a semi-precious stone consisting of a mixture of iron and manganese. It is characterized by a large number of colors — from white, red, blue, gray, brown to black. It is transparent and matte. There are many types of agates: landscape, dendritic, ribbon, serf, fire, lace, iridescent, star, ruins, cyclops. They are found all over the world;
- amazonite is similar to jade or turquoise and is often confused with them. It owes its name to the Amazon Valley in Brazil. Legend has it that the Amazon Indians gave people blue-green stones. They owe their green color to the presence of lead compounds. Amazonite is mostly opaque, although transparent minerals exist;
- Amethyst is a type of quartz. Its color is not constant, it can lose its saturation due to exposure to the sun;
- bronzite — silicate. Its brown color is due to its 50% iron content. It has inclusions of hematite, goethite and magnesium. It occurs with iron, biotin, quartz, feldspar, olivine and almenidine. Jewelry from this mineral is few and little known;
- chrysocolla occurs in copper-bearing soils and precipitates from silicate-rich waters. It is often mixed with copper compounds and related minerals — quartz, lapis lazuli, turquoise, citrine, cuprite, tenorite, hematite and malachite. The mixture of brown and black colors is caused by copper, iron and manganese. Chrysocolla harmonizes energy and brings balance;
- chrysoprase is a beautiful apple-green or herbaceous variety from the list of semi-transparent semi-precious stones of the chalcedony group. Its color depends on silicon or nickel compounds. When worn constantly, chrysoprase adds vitality;
- Citrine is the rarest variety of yellow quartz. It is found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks, in granites and gneisses, where it is present in abundance. Cleanses with water and takes effect in the sun. It is considered a magical stone and is used in esotericism;
- fluorite is a compound of fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. The variety of colors (colorless, yellow, green, violet, purple, pink, black, red) makes it an ideal material for making jewelry, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Fluorite can change its color under the influence of sunlight;
- hematite is derived from the Greek word heme, meaning blood. In jewelry, it is used not only as an element of jewelry, beads or a pendant, but in powdered form it serves as a polishing powder and also as a source of red dye. The natural colors of hematite are black-brown, gray-black or black, but nowadays it improves or changes its color;
- howlite consists of hydrated calcium borate. Opaque, sometimes white cream color with small gray or black streaks. Howlite can be cut into cabochons, spheres, ovals, shapes of animals, plants and even skulls. It can also be drilled to create beautiful beads;
- labradorite is called the «temple of the stars», it brings clarity of thought, revealing the wisdom of the universe. It is considered a stone that brings relief from states of anxiety, hopelessness and depression, replacing them with enthusiasm, self-confidence and inspiration;
- malachite is found on the surface of the Earth. This is usually seen on snow peaks on mountain tops and in certain places where the rain has cooled very much and formed puddles of water. This mineral is very close to lapis lazuli, a green or purple colored mineral seen in Kenya. When this mineral is formed by heat, the shades of green are many shades of green;
- onyx — a black or dark blue mineral that brings spiritual inspiration and clarity of mind, helps calm emotions and facilitates their control;
- opal (translated from Sanskrit means “change”) is the most common natural photonic crystal related to silicates. There are ordinary and noble opals of different shades, demonstrating characteristic optical phenomena: iridescence, opalescence, the effect of a cat’s eye.
Thanks to the use of specialized equipment and modern technologies, the prices of semi-precious jewelry and bijouterie stones are affordable for everyone.