The most expensive sapphire in the world is the size of a golf ball, weighs 563 carats, and is allegedly 2 billion years old. It is one of the world’s most well-known and valuable gemstones. Gemstones are what make our jewelry sparkle and shine with brilliant colors.
If you’re not sure what to look for when buying jewelry, this guide on the types of gemstones will help you understand what you are buying.
Precious Types of Gemstones
When people think of gemstones, they typically think of the most famous ones, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds. People assume that these are the best gemstones, making them some of the most expensive gems based purely on marketing and demand.
When it comes to buying jewelry, you can easily find pieces using one or more of these gemstones. They range in quality, which means they also range in price. Many people are willing to pay more for these gems’ rich color.
Semi-precious Types of Gemstones
Any other gemstone that is not the four listed above is a semi-precious gemstone. Many gemologists consider these two categories outdated. The recognition of the two types of stones dates back to ancient times when color was the only way people could identify stones.
There are three subcategories of semi-precious gemstones.
The majority of gemstones form over hundreds or thousands of years from a mineral. Crystals form over time, which are then mined, cut, and placed in jewelry. The minerals that are present are what dictate the colors that develop.
These are some common semi-precious gemstones:
Aggregates and Rocks
The second most common type of gemstone forms from aggregates and rocks. These are hard natural materials that get mined and cut into a shape for placement in jewelry. Unlike mineral gemstones, these gemstones are typically not translucent and sparkly.
These are some examples of aggregate gemstones:
- Tiger’s eye
- Lapis Lasuli
There is a third small category of organic gemstones that form from materials that are not minerals. These include pearls, amber, and coral. Amber comes from the resin extruded from tree bark. Coral gemstones are made from actual coral that grows in the ocean.
Pearls come from freshwater mussels or marine oysters. They result from the animal’s defense mechanism from parasites and irritants trying to enter their shells.
Diamonds are not the rarest gemstone. Several stones are more scarce and have brilliant colors. The rarest gemstone on earth is the rarest mineral.
Painite is a very dark brown-red color. As of 2001, three crystals were in known existence. While there are more specimens known today, it is rare that one is facetable.
Here are some more examples of rare gemstones.
- Burma ruby
- Paraiba tourmaline
- Natural pearls
- Red beryl
- Kashmir sapphire
You can learn more about Tourmaline and these other rare gemstones by looking online.
You’re Ready to Buy Gemstone Jewelry
As you can see, there are more gemstones than the common big four that most people know about. There are many types of gemstones that are rare, have vibrant color, and are perfect for creating a stunning piece of jewelry.
Check out our other fashion articles for more helpful guidance on buying clothes and jewelry.