Global List of precious and semiprecious stones > Type names and description

List of precious and semiprecious stones > Type names and description


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.


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