The history of gemstones

Semiprecious gemstones, treasured possessions worldwide

Throughout history, civilizations have embraced semiprecious gemstones as status symbols, spiritual healing tools and the ultimate in personal decoration.

No matter what color, size or hardness, semiprecious gemstones remain treasured possessions worldwide. Semiprecious gemstones, also referred to as precious gemstones, gemstones, or just gems, are naturally occurring stones that are composed of mineral crystals, or crystalline. More than 40 varieties of common precious gemstones, including diamonds, emeralds, rubies, agate, amber, garnet, moonstone, opal, topaz, onyx and pearl exist, as well as many more uncommon and rare gemstones, including painite, serendibite, and majorite.

Gemstones come in a wide variety of colors, textures and properties. Semiprecious gemstones are those other than diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, which are the most highly valued gemstones and are commonly referred as being “precious.” While not as rare, a variety of semiprecious gemstones are appreciated for their appearance, healing and physical qualities.

Gemstones are used for creating jewelry, art, and in some cultures, for healing. Healing gemstones, such as amethyst, chrysocolla, hematite, jade and jasper, just to name a few, have been used by cultures worldwide for centuries. Gemstones are measured for hardness, or durability, by the “Mohs scale”, a scale which ranks the gemstones in order from hardest to softest. The harder the gemstone, the more likely it is to last as a jewel or decoration. Some of the gemstones ranked highest in hardness include diamonds (ranked highest on the Mohs scale), rubies, topaz, garnet, emerald, sapphire, opal, tourmaline and aquamarine. In a future blog, I will discuss how gemstones are measured for their hardness. My webstore, displays some semiprecious jewelry using healing gemstones such as amethyst and jasper, just to name a few. In my next blog, I will discuss “what exactly does define a gemstone?”

The viewpoints express here are not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease. If concerned, seek attention from your healthcare or spiritual  provider.


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