What is Precious and Semi Precious Gemstones
Commonly Gemstone Known as in 2 categories precious and semiprecious gems. These terms are used even today, without rigor, by the public and jewelry trade alike. Just what do these terms mean? In antiquity, the so-called precious stones were dia- mond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, pearl, and occasionally opal. The dictionary (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary; 7th ed., 1967) defines precious as “of great value or high price”; semiprecious is defined as meaning “of less commercial value than precious”. This indicates clearly that precious is a marketing term, applying to any expensive item. It is worth noting that a diamond can be purchased for as little as $200 per carat, yet certain colors of garnet are currently selling at prices over $1 ,000 per carat. Garnet has always been re- garded as semiprecious, so it is obvious that these terms, as applied to gems, have little relevance or meaning. Therefore, aside from considerations of historical usage, the terms precious and semiprecious should be completely abandoned.