Different types of gemstones have been used for centuries as symbols and icons for just about everything. Ancient Romans wore jewelry with stones believed to carry supernatural healing powers, and the pharaoh-era Egyptians would sometimes bury their dead with turquoise and rubies. Today, gemstones speak more to things like personality, taste, or status. Whether you just want to find a piece to match an outfit or make a personal statement, read this gemstone buying guide to learn about the key things to consider when looking at different types of gemstones.
None, really; the distinction between these terms has more historical significance than anything. The ancient Greeks are generally credited with defining stones as precious or semi-precious. Precious stones were labeled as such because of their rarity—diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were hard to come by back then. All other gemstones were considered semi-precious.
Since modern jewelry markets see such a wide breadth of gemstone quality and availability, the terms carry less meaning. While stones like diamond are certainly still seen as valuable, they don’t always necessarily carry more value than a semi-precious stone. Unique features or a particularly flaw-free makeup can make a semi-precious stone more valuable than its precious brethren.
While they’re both manmade, the key difference between lab-created and simulated gemstones is their chemical and material makeup. Here are some fast facts on both:
The weight of a gemstone, like diamonds, is measured in carats. As with diamonds, 1 carat is equal to 0.2 grams. However, since different gemstones have different densities, two stones of the same physical size can vary in their carat count.
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