Comparing Semi-precious Gemstones
Semi-precious gemstones can be just as beautiful as precious stones. Let’s take a look at comparing semi-precious gemstone values.
Keyword(s): Semi-precious gemstones
Gemstones are some of the earth’s most beautiful natural treasures. When incorporated into jewelry, they make for luxurious and timeless pieces that add elegance and class to your wardrobe.
The wide world of gems can be broken into two groups, precious and semi-precious gemstones. Any astute buyer would wonder: what is the difference between the two?
In this article, we'll answer that question and several others. We'll also talk about the most popular semi-precious gemstones and compare their values. Read on to learn everything you need to know about these beautiful and rare gems.
What Are Semi-Precious Gemstones?
So what qualifies as a semi-precious gemstone? The answer is actually pretty simple.
Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are the four precious stones. All other gemstones are classified as semi-precious. This includes aquamarine, alexandrite, rose quartz, pearl, amethyst, and hundreds of others.
It's a common misconception that semi-precious gemstones are worth less than precious gemstones.
In truth, many semi-precious stones are significantly more valuable than precious ones. Alexandrite for example generally sells for higher prices than sapphire does.
The value of a gemstone is actually determined by many different factors. These factors are grouped together under the four C's: carats, clarity, color, and cut.
Now, let's compare the values of some of the most popular semi-precious gemstones.
Amethyst is an incredibly popular semi-precious stone. It is known widely for its vibrant shades of purple and violet. Shades of amethyst range from a light pinkish violet color to a deep purple.
Deep, rich purples are rarer than the lighter hues, and thus highly prized among amethyst collectors. However, these darker stones don't sparkle as brightly as lighter ones do. For the most lively, vibrant pieces, look for stones in the medium to medium-dark range.
Amethyst is also the February birthstone. This makes amethyst jewelry a very popular gift for people born during this month.
Amethyst is a durable and affordable stone. High-quality cut stones cost between $20 and $30 per carat. Extremely fine pieces can retail for as much as $40 per carat.
Peridot is a brightly colored yellow-green gemstone. It naturally forms from lava flows and has been highly valued since the time of Ancient Egypt. Peridot is popular among jewelry connoisseurs who want to enjoy brighter and more vibrant green stones than those cut from emeralds.
There are three different types of peridot, all distinguished by the locations from which they were mined. Changbai peridots are mined in the Changbai Mountains in Northeast China. These stones are known for their organic deep green hues and vibrant pops of lime.
Pakistani peridots are mined in Kashmir. These stones are usually lime or apple green with subtle golden undertones.
The Hunan peridot originates from the Hunan mining area in southeastern China. These stones are known for their clarity and non-bearing yellow tones.
Peridot is also the August birthstone.
The price of these stones ranges from $50 to $80 per carat. Peridots larger than one carat that boast the finest quality and colors can cost as much as $400 to $450.
Rose quartz is a rare, colored variety of crystalline quartz. These gems have lovely light to medium pink colorations. Amethyst, another quartz stone, can sometimes influence rose quartzes and give them a more purplish hue.
Most rose quartz has a milky opacity. But a transparent variety was discovered in Madagascar in the 1980s. Many of these transparent stones were cut with fascets and incorporated into fine jewelry such as wedding rings.
Transparent and translucent rose quartz stones sell for higher prices than lighter opaque ones. These stones start at around $100 per carat. But high-grade specimens can easily exceed $1,000 per carat.
Amber forms from the crystalized resin of ancient pine trees. This stone is well known for the incredible fossilized inclusions that are sometimes found within. Humans have been making jewelry with amber for over 10,000 years, making it the first gem material ever used.
Amber jewelry comes in many different colors including black, red, yellow, and white. Which color is most valuable changes from year to year as trends and tastes do.
White and red amber are the rarest varieties. White amber costs about $11 per carat in the current market, and red costs about $12 per carat. Currently, yellow or gold amber is the most valuable variety, retailing for $14 per carat without inclusions.
The region that the amber is extracted from also plays a big role in determining price. Baltic and Ukrainian amber typically cost more than Russian, Dominican, and Mexican amber.
Aquamarine is another incredibly popular semi-precious stone. Coloration ranges from pale blue to a strong dark blue. Some aquamarines have a greenish-blue, almost turquoise hue.
Recently, Prince Harry gifted his soon-to-be wife Meghan Markle a stunning aquamarine ring estimated to be worth $87,000. She also wore Princess Diana’s famous aquamarine and diamond-encrusted cocktail ring during their wedding reception. This has caused another surge in the stone's popularity and value.
Aquamarine is also the March birthstone and a popular gift for people born during this month.
Aquamarine prices are determined by the depth and quality of the stones' color, as well as their clarity. These gems also increase in price as their carats increase.
For example, a one-carat aquamarine costs about $675 per carat. A two to three carat stone costs between $1,000 and $1,500 per carat.
Wearing Semi-Precious Gemstones
More and more people are incorporating semi-precious gemstones into their wardrobes. Elegant, timeless jewelry pieces that include these stones are one of the best ways to elevate your outfits.
Now that you know the different qualities and values of the most popular semi-precious stones, you can make astute decisions about which ones are right for your sense of style.
If you enjoyed this piece, take a look at our other articles on buying and styling fine jewelry today.