For those who are not in the jewelry or gemstones trade, these terms are often confusing. It would take you less than 3 minutes to read this post to understand the definitions of Colored Stones, Precious Gemstones and Semi-Precious Gemstones. This may serve you well in future if you are a buyer or seller as you are on the same wavelength with your supplier or customers.
In the United States of America, Colored Stones refer to any species of gemstones, other than diamond. Diamond is a class by itself. The only exception is Colored Diamond, which is considered a Colored Stone. Colored Stones also include organic products like pearl, ivory and amber.
However, in Western countries especially the United Kingdom, gems are classified into Precious Gemstones and Semi-precious Gemstones. Precious gemstones include diamonds, corundum (ruby & sapphire), beryl and opals. All other gemstones are classified as semi-precious.
For a colored stone or precious stone to have value it must have 3 characteristics, namely, Beauty, Rarity & Durability. Feather or seeds trinkets used by tribal people as jewelry are not classified as colored stones.
Nowadays, Colored Stones are more commonly used for gems.
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