Berkshire Diamonds

Education Gemstone Education

Precious vs Semi-Precious



Precious gemstones are more expensive, hold their value, rare at times. Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, Emeralds


Semi-Precious come in a wide variety of colors and are often set in costume and fine jewelry. Topaz, Garnet, Citrine, Peridot to name a few.
Precious gems are usually very tough and have a high rating. While diamonds are at the top with a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, rubies and sapphires score 9. Emerald’s hardness s ranges between 7.5 and 8


On the scale of hardness, semi-precious gems generally have a Lower rating of 7.5 and below. Thus, they are susceptible to scratching.
Diamonds are one of the most valuable precious stone around, but not because diamonds are especially rare. High quality Emeralds, Rubies, and Sapphires are rarer than natural Diamonds.


Since most of these gems are relatively abundant in nature, they are labeled as semi-precious. These are often softer gemstones agate, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, aventurine, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone, onyx, peridot, rhodonite, tiger’s eye, tanzanite, topaz to name a few.
This refers to the presence (or lack) of inclusions that can affecta gemstone’s appearance and overall durability. Most gemstone dealers will assign a clarity grade based on how visible inclusions are, and whether they can be seen with an unaided eye or only under magnification.


Eye-Clean semi-precious stones are available in quantities and are commonly available.