Each jewelry stone has its own name and certain characteristics. A master jeweler is able to emphasize the properties of any nugget either with an accurate cut that creates a certain play of light, or with a complex setting.

To achieve a delightful effect in the manufacture of jewelry, experience, a deep knowledge of the properties that different types of gems have, and a sense of the aesthetics of the composition are necessary. About the features that all varieties of gems have, we will describe in detail in this article.

What stones are precious?

There are over 4,000 natural stones on our planet with different characteristics, composition of chemical elements and structure. Only some of them, after processing and polishing, acquire a bright shine. Thanks to these unique properties, they began to be called «precious», an official list of types of natural stones with a photo was compiled. But due to the slowness of the processes occurring in the earth’s crust, these resources are considered non-renewable — their number in nature is strictly limited.

List of gem characteristics

  1. Brilliant brilliance enhanced by polishing and cutting.

  2. How common is it in nature?

  3. Color purity.

  4. The degree of resistance to mechanical damage and high temperatures.

  5. Individual properties (color, shape).

How is the value of gemstones determined from a photo?

Factors that determine the value of any stone:

  • rarity,
  • cleanliness,
  • color and its shade,
  • structure,
  • surface shape (slate or shell),
  • size,
  • the weight.

Unit of measurement weight 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 skill of the cut. True craftsmen are able to achieve greater brilliance from a lesser gemstone than a less experienced specialist will do when working with a high-grade 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, gemstones 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 ornamental 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 differ are:

  • hardness. Here the limit is clearly set: gems (see photo) have a hardness above 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 gems with well-known names are resistant to weathering, others easily decompose under the influence of various chemical factors.

Names of gemstones by color and value

Nature has given us stones of all colors of the rainbow and many shades that can make our heads spin. The shimmering light reflected in the stone structure reveals colors we never dreamed of. It makes us aware that there are unusual color tones beyond our imagination.

One need only look at the brilliance of diamonds to understand that transparent light is the greatest artist of all time. White stones such as diamond, white sapphire, pearl represent purity, fidelity and innocence. They are a symbol of happiness, harmony of soul and body.

When you look at sapphire, you’ll find that blue comes in countless shades, from deep blue to deep sea green.

Blue natural gems, which are called topaz, aquamarine, blue diamond, turquoise, lapis lazuli, are associated with the endless sky, the depths 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, contribute to happiness and a cheerful disposition.

What are gems?

The main types of natural minerals:

  • diamond — the king of gems, whose legendary glory, dazzling beauty and symbolism have been coveted for centuries. Its name comes from the Greek word Adam, which translates as «indestructible» and alludes to its strength and hardness. A round cut diamond is called a diamond and most often adorn engagement rings as a symbol of true, pure and eternal love. High-quality diamonds amaze with their cut — a bewitching play of light, transparency and unusual brilliance. The cost of a diamond is determined by the Parameters 4C — cut, weight (carat), color, i.e. color and transparency, i.e. clarity. The authenticity of diamonds is confirmed by the metrics and certificates of the most respected gemological laboratories and institutions in the world: IGI (International Gemological Institute) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
  • ruby, called «Colored Extract of Mother Earth’s Blood Drops», 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 soft pink to dark purple, reminiscent of wine shimmering in the sun. The ruby ​​owes its magnificent color to the impurities of chromium oxide. It is this compound that gives the pigment, which is found in small amounts in the earth’s crust, making the ruby ​​one of the rarest gems on Earth;
  • emerald. It is a gem with a green hue that is difficult to describe in words — a color full of elements and depth. It has the dynamism and mystery that have made these original stones admired for their beauty for centuries. «Smaragdos» is a Greek term that literally translates to «simple green stone»;
  • sapphire perfectly combines decent coolness and piercing depth. This is one of the types of corundum, which is the hardest natural mineral immediately after diamond. Blue sapphire contains impurities of iron or titanium. It shimmers with all the shades of the sky observed during sunset: from beautiful warm colors seen in the west to deep blue seen in the east. The ancient civilizations of Egypt and Rome regarded sapphires as 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 delights with its unique color, transparency and wonderful brilliance. While not as hard as diamond, it is considered to be scratch resistant. Its strength and charm is evidenced by the fact that in just a few decades it has become the epitome of luxury and sophistication. He won the love of women of all ages. Its versatility is also appreciated — it blends perfectly with many outfits — black, ashy, as well as blue shades that match in depth. It has become a tradition to frame tanzanite with tiny diamonds, which add sparkle and allow you to fully express your fabulous charm.

What are gemstones from natural ores?

  • Pearl — marine and freshwater. Most pearls are similar in shape to small spheres. There are also specimens of different colors drop-shaped, ovoid or slightly flattened. Natural freshwater pearls are grown in reservoirs that meet strict requirements and are adapted to the existence of various types of mussels. Most often, these pearls are mined from the rivers of China, Mongolia, Russia and Canada, as well as from lakes located in North and South America.

  • Coral — 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 that make up the famous coral reefs and shallows with dense, irregularly branched trunks. Corals live in warm and hot seas. The largest colonies are on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The most valuable are Algerian corals. In their natural state, their pieces are matte, and after polishing they acquire an impressive glassy luster. After extraction, they are sorted according to the thickness and size of the branches, color. Polished pieces of coral are most often spherical or oval in shape, using a smooth cabochon cut. Coral beads are used to make fashionable necklaces and spectacular bracelets. The most prized coral jewelry is bright red. Pink and black beads are also used in jewelry, unique white beads from Japan and blue beads from Cameroon;

  • Aventurine. Has a surface shimmer effect. A very similar stone was artificially produced in a glassworks located in Murano, Venice. The imitation was called aventurine because by chance (per aventura) copper particles got into the glass mass during melting and gave an extremely shimmering product. When a similar mineral was discovered, it was given the same name. To this day, most of the stones called aventurines are produced artificially, but in beauty they are not inferior to the mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. Its unusual decorative effect is appreciated by the creators of jewelry and other jewelry, it is used in sculpture and interior decor.

  • Pomegranate. A stone whose beauty was appreciated in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and other modern cultures. During the time of the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder, red garnets were called carbuncles, which translates as «hot coals.» Due to its dark red color, it is associated with love, passion and vitality. When worn, it increases the vitality of a person, protects him from enemies. It has a positive effect on the functioning of the heart and circulatory system.

  • Turquoise — one of the oldest precious stones with magical properties. It has an intense color changing from blue to green. Contains copper and iron. The more the second element in it, the greener the shade of turquoise. The most valued turquoise has a characteristic blue color, which has received the specific name «turquoise».

Also this group includes amber, jasper, tourmaline, obsidian, alexandrite.

Semi-precious jewelry stones: photos and main names

Various semi-precious stones are obtained by properly grinding minerals, and then carrying out such treatments as:

  • oiling,
  • coloring,
  • foiling,
  • the heating,
  • drilling,
  • filling.

The most common names for semi-precious jewelry stones:

  • flows — the mineral chalcedony, a semi-precious stone that consists of a mixture of iron and manganese. It is characterized by many colors — from white, red, blue, gray, brown to black. It is transparent and matte. There are many varieties of agate: landscape, dendritic, ribbon, fortress, fiery, lace, rainbow, star, ruin, cyclops. They are found all over the world;

  • amazonite 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 do exist;
  • amethyst — A type of quartz. Its color is not permanent, it can lose its saturation due to exposure to the sun;

  • bronzitis — silicate. It owes its brown color to 50% iron content. It contains inclusions of hematite, goethite and magnesium. It occurs with iron, biotin, quartz, feldspar, olivine, and almenidine. Jewelry from this mineral is not numerous and little known;

  • chrysocolla occurs in copper-bearing rocks and precipitates from silicate-rich waters. It is often mixed with copper compounds and associated minerals — quartz, lapis lazuli, turquoise, citrine, cuprite, tenorite, hematite and malachite. The mixture of brown and black is caused by copper, iron and manganese. Chrysocolla harmonizes energy and brings balance;

  • chrysoprase — a beautiful apple-green or grassy variety from the list of translucent semi-precious stones of the chalcedony group. Its color depends on silicon or nickel compounds. With constant wear, chrysoprase adds vitality;

  • citrine — 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. Cleansed with water and gains strength in the sun. It is considered a magical stone and is used in esotericism;

  • fluorite — a compound of fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. A variety of colors (colorless, yellow, green, purple, violet, pink, black, red) make it an ideal material for making jewelry, bracelets, rings, necklaces. Fluorite can change its color when exposed to sunlight;

  • hematite comes from the Greek word heme, which means blood. In jewelry, it is used not only as an element of jewelry, beads or pendants, but in powdered form it serves as a polishing powder, as well as a source of red dye. Hematite’s natural colors are black-brown, grey-black, or black, but it is currently improving or changing its color;

  • howlite consists of hydrated calcium borate. Opaque, white cream color with small gray or black streaks. Howlite can be cut into cabochons, balls, ovals, animal, plant and even skull shapes. It can also be drilled to create beautiful beads;
  • labradorite 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 found on the surface of the earth. This is commonly seen on snow peaks on mountain peaks 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 that can be seen in Kenya. When this mineral is formed under the influence of heat, shades of green have many shades of green;
  • onyx — a black or dark blue mineral that brings spiritual inspiration and mental clarity, helps calm emotions and facilitates their control;
  • opal (translated from Sanskrit means «change») — the most famous 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.