Precious Vs Semi Precious Stones

The world of gemstones is a breathtaking and fascinating one, filled with an array of sparkling colors and enchanting allure. 

However, within this world of gemstones lies a division that many may not be aware of - the difference between precious and semi precious stones. But what exactly do these terms mean? Is there a clear distinction between the two categories? 

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of gemstones and explore the precious vs semi precious stones. So buckle up your seatbelts as we embark on a journey through the world of precious versus semi precious stones!

What Are Precious Stones?

Precious stones are a select group of gemstones that have been historically regarded for their exceptional rarity, vivid beauty, and considerable value. The term "precious stone" has a long and storied history that dates back to ancient times.

Throughout history, certain gemstones have always been distinguished based on their rarity, beauty, and value. This classification was primarily influenced by their perceived rarity and the immense effort required to obtain these stones.

The traditional list of precious stones includes diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. These gemstones are often sought after for their stunning visual appeal, durability, and their significant place in various cultural and historical contexts.

The allure of precious stones is not only visual but also symbolic, often representing wealth, power, and status. These stones were not only valued for their beauty but believed to possess mystical and healing properties, often being incorporated into various religious and cultural rituals.

Over the centuries, the term "precious stone" has stood the test of time, continuing to symbolize exceptional gemstones that carry profound cultural, historical, and monetary value.

Each precious stone has unique characteristics, from the fiery brilliance of diamonds to the deep, captivating blue of sapphires, making them highly prized in both the jewelry industry and among collectors worldwide.

What Are Semi Precious Stones?

In contrast to precious stones, semi-precious stones are a larger and more diverse group of gemstones that have been traditionally deemed less valuable than their precious counterparts.

The term "semi precious" was first popularized by the ancient Greeks and has since been used to describe gemstones that do not fall under the category of precious stones.

However, this does not mean that these gems are any less beautiful or desirable than precious stones. Some semi precious stones are amethyst, citrine, garnet, peridot, and topaz.

Semi precious stones have unique characteristics and captivating colors that make them highly sought after in jewelry-making. They also carry symbolic meanings and are believed to have healing properties in various cultures worldwide.

These stones are often used as alternatives to precious gems, providing a more affordable option for those looking to add some sparkle and color to their jewelry collection.

Precious Vs Semi Precious Stones

When comparing precious and semi-precious stones, it's essential to understand that both categories have their unique allure and characteristics. Here are their differences and similarities:

  • Cultural Significance

Precious stones have traditionally been associated with wealth, power, and status. They hold deep symbolism in various cultures worldwide and are often used in religious ceremonies and rituals.

On the other hand, semi precious stones have a more diverse cultural significance. While some may also hold symbolic meanings, they are not as highly valued or revered for their rarity as precious stones.

  • Rarity

Precious stones are known for their exceptional rarity. They are found in limited quantities and require significant effort to mine, cut, and polish. This adds to their value and desirability.

Semi precious stones, on the other hand, can be found in larger quantities and do not require as much effort to obtain. However, this does not mean that they are any less beautiful or valuable.

  • Usage In Jewelry

Precious stones, with their exceptional beauty and durability, are often the top choice for fine jewelry pieces such as engagement rings and high-end statement pieces. They are also popular among collectors.

Semi precious stones, on the other hand, offer a more affordable option for those looking to add some color and sparkle to their everyday jewelry collection. They can be found in a wide range of styles and designs, making them versatile and accessible.

  • Value

The value of precious stones is significantly higher than that of semi-precious stones, largely due to their rarity and the extensive labor involved in mining and refining them.

Semi-precious stones, while beautiful and sometimes rare, generally do not reach the same monetary value as precious stones, making them more accessible to a broader audience.

  • Durability

Durability is another key factor that differentiates precious vs semi precious stones.

Precious stones are often more durable and harder, making them ideal for everyday wear, particularly in engagement rings and other fine jewelry pieces that are meant to last a lifetime.

Semi-precious stones vary widely in hardness and durability, with some being quite soft and prone to scratching or breaking. This variability means that semi-precious stones are often better suited for occasional wear rather than daily use.

  • Symbolism

Precious and semi-precious stones carry a wealth of symbolism and meaning, though often in different contexts. Symbolism in gemstones extends far beyond their financial value or visual appeal, precious stones have long been associated with power, wealth, and romantic love.

Diamonds are universally recognized as symbols of eternal love and commitment, which is why they are predominantly used in engagement rings. Rubies, with their vibrant red hue, symbolize passion, vitality, and courage, often associated with the life force or heart's energy.

Sapphires, particularly blue ones, are linked to wisdom, royalty, and divine favor. They are believed to bring mental clarity and protection from harm. Emeralds, with their lush green color, represent growth, renewal, and rebirth, often associated with prosperity and healing.

On the other hand, semi-precious stones carry their unique symbolic meanings. Semi-precious stones have rich symbolic meanings but tend to be linked more to healing, spirituality, and personal expression.

Amethyst is commonly associated with peace, emotional balance, and spiritual growth. Citrine, with its sunny yellow tone, symbolizes joy, prosperity, and energy.

Garnet, known for its rich red tones, represents strength, safety, and passion, often used as a talisman for protection. Peridot embodies values of positivity, renewal, and openness, frequently linked to mental and emotional clarity.

Topaz, especially in its golden form, symbolizes abundance, health, and wealth, believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Both categories of stones, through their enchanting symbolism, offer an avenue for personal expression and emotional connection, making them timeless treasures cherished not just for their beauty but for the profound meanings they hold.

  • Perception

The perception of precious versus semi-precious stones has evolved, influenced by cultural, economic, and social factors.

Precious stones are often perceived as more prestigious and valuable, not just in monetary terms but also in their cultural and historical significance. They are frequently featured in high-end designer collections and are worn by celebrities and royalty, reinforcing their status as luxury items.

Semi-precious stones, on the other hand, are perceived as more versatile and accessible. While they may not carry the same level of prestige as precious stones, their unique colors, and properties make them beloved by those who appreciate their beauty and the personal meanings they convey.

Both precious and semi precious stones possess unique characteristics and qualities that make them desirable in their own right. Regardless of their classification, both types of gemstones continue to captivate and inspire with their natural splendor and timeless appeal.

4 C - When Choose Precious Or Semi Precious Stones?

Whether you are in the market for a precious or semi precious stone, there are four key factors to consider when making your purchase. These are known as the "4 C's":

  1. Cut: The cut of a gemstone refers to its shape and proportions, which greatly impact its overall appearance and brilliance. A well-cut gemstone will reflect light beautifully and exude maximum sparkle and color.
  2. Color: Color is one of the most important characteristics to consider when buying a precious or semi-precious stone. The more vibrant and intense the color, the rarer and more valuable the gemstone.
  3. Clarity: Clarity refers to the number and visibility of any inclusions or flaws within a gemstone. The fewer inclusions, the clearer and more precious the stone is considered.
  4. Carat: The larger the carat size, the more valuable and rare the gemstone.

When purchasing a precious or semi-precious stone, it's essential to consider all four C's to ensure you are getting the best quality and value for your money.

How To Store Precious And Semi Precious Stones

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the beauty and value of your precious or semi-precious stones. Here are some tips for storing your gemstones:

  • Keep them separated: To prevent scratches and damage, store each gemstone separately in a soft cloth pouch or individual compartment.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause damage to certain types of gemstones. It's best to store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Protect from sunlight: Some gemstones, such as amethyst and topaz, can fade in direct sunlight. Store them away from windows or other sources of UV light.
  • Be cautious with chemicals: Harsh chemicals found in household cleaners or perfumes can tarnish or damage gemstones. Avoid contact with these substances.
  • Consider professional storage: If you have valuable or delicate gemstones, it may be wise to invest in a safe or specialized storage solution from a jeweler or bank.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your precious and semi-precious stones stay beautiful and protected for years to come.


In conclusion, both precious vs semi precious stones hold a special place in the world of jewelry. While they may differ in value, durability, symbolism, and perception, both types of gemstones possess unique qualities that make them sought-after and cherished by many.

Whether you choose to invest in a precious stone or opt for the more affordable option of semi-precious stones, both can add beauty and meaning to your jewelry collection. 

So don't hesitate to explore both precious and semi-precious stones and discover their endless beauty and significance. Happy gemstone shopping!