Usually referred to as second quality – cheap stones – these Cinderellas of gem’s world are far from being just some simple pieces of rock, good only for adding a bit of color to different projects. Traditionally, the western culture and several other cultures, make a clear distinction between precious and semiprecious gems. The most popular precious stones are diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, while lower quality ones are referred as being semiprecious stones.
This distinction has its origins in ancient times and is actually based on the rarity of the gems in that period, as well as their quality. The fine translucent form, with pure divine colors of the precious gems has always fascinated people. The only exception in the list is the colorless diamond, whose lack of color was compensated by its extreme hardness and clarity.
Attributes such as color, translucency and hardness tend to define a gem, even though, nowadays as we can examine the chemical compounds that form gems, we can bring a plus of accuracy. Still, the general classification leads to misunderstandings, as sometimes, a semiprecious stone can be more expensive than the precious ones, depending on the rarity and the beauty of a gem.
In art, history and archaeology specialists call these gems hardstones, just to keep them safe from the whole idea of ‘value of a gem’. By no means, we can define the price of a piece just because it is or it isn’t in the list of precious gems. This simplistic classification implies a range of deceptions and may affect the general perception of a gem and further on, of a jewel.
Beauty is the key factor that determines the price of a gem, be that precious or semiprecious. Other factors such as size, cut and popularity are kept in mind while establishing the right price of a piece.
From the 13 most popular cuts generally used for gems (Antique, Cushion Heart, Round, Brilliant, Oval, Baguette, Otagon, Square, Princess, Emerald, Pear, Trilliant, Round, Cabochon, Briolette), only half are generally applied to semiprecious stones. Sometimes, semiprecious stones are not even cut, but just roughly shaped in a tumbler.
Despite their reputation of not so precious, stones such as malachite and lapis lazuli remain beautiful, popular, and rare, so their price can go sky high depending on the trends and on the famous people wearing them. On the other hand, gemstones such as agates and jaspers, despite their incredible beauty, tend not to be in the center of attention, as there are considerably more common and thus, not as popular.
Still, even if it’s one of the most common stones, we all remember the green agate spiritual bracelet worn by Johnny Depp, which became the must-have of the season. Trends come and go, stones remain.
Sometimes, these semiprecious stones can be more stable than the so-called precious ones. For example, before the discovery of some gigantesque diamonds deposits in South Africa, rubies, sapphires and emeralds were more valuable than diamonds. A true commercial hit was needed to re-boost the prices of these gems. Since then, diamonds became the official stone for wedding rings, in Europe and all over the world. Thanks to one of the best publicity campaigns in history, diamonds have the prices that we all know too well.
Advantages of Semiprecious Stones
Wearing semiprecious stones is associated to rather esoteric or creative people. Far from being just a show-off element for wannabe creative people, or an element of distinction between artists and more conventional individuals, semiprecious stones can accompany even the fanciest outfits.
Yes, but this only applies for women. Let me tell you how wrong you can be. A small bead bracelet, usually makes the difference between the listener type of employee and the doer. This doesn’t mean that now, all corporatists should purchase a chain of beads, wear them ostensibly and then pray for a promotion. Studies have shown that creative people tend to have better results in a engaging environments. If you’re low on inspiration, you should consider wearing some semiprecious stones, as most of them are associated with creativeness and mental fortitude.
Every culture on Earth has developed a special tradition, associated with different theories regarding semiprecious stones. Developed over more than 75.000 years, these beliefs regarding gems in general, have a no scientific basis.
Healing powers have always been associated to crystals and stones, and today’s society makes no exception. Color therapy or placebo, gems seem to help and to protect people who believe in their powers. Using different types of gems and stones such as amethyst, citrine or quartz for spiritual alignment, is the new trend in the holistic world.
A pseudo-scientific alternative to conventional medicine, the healing power of stones should not be over-looked.
Recommended Read: Semi Precious Stones Jewelry – A Journey Through Time
Stones you may want to wear
Semiprecious, stones have a certain vibration, so don’t be surprised if suddenly you are craving for spiritual guidance. Here are a few gems you might want to try out if you are feeling depressed, stressed or fatigued:
You can find it in yellow, brown yellow, light grey nuances. The citrine is believed to bring success and abundance. It is a symbol of intellectual prowess and logic and you may use it to boost your third chakra.
This gem is believed to bestow self-respect on the bearer. It also has the power to repel negative energy and turn it into positive one. Also, it is associated with the need of creativity. The best part about this stone is that it will never accumulate negative energies. It also looks incredibly beautiful!
Yellow, orange, red-brown…just like the sun. We all have at least one overly-optimisstic person, around us, so we recommend gifting them a sunstone, as it has the power to restore spiritual balance. This is a gift to make to all people having difficulties saying NO, as it promotes independence, vitality, and renews lost energy. Because it turns negative energy into positive, this gem will help you get out of the blues.
Blue as the night sky, this gem relieves stress, and helps you obtain inner peace. Also, it brings harmony, cures depression, restores inner power, and allows you to express yourself freely.
Also referred to as the ‘power stone’, this gem helps its wearers when faced with conflicts or conflicting situations. Whenever you have to take an important decision or to solve a crucial problem, Jasper is the gem of the day. Good also for imagination blocks, or writer’s blocks, this rock is a must have for all artists and artisans.
The Amethyst is one of the most powerful gems in the semiprecious stones realm. It is known for its capacity to bring positive transformations, inner peace, and spiritual awareness. People use it during crystal meditation, for its power to heal, and purify the mind. The term comes from Greek amethustos, which means not drunk or intoxicating, remedy for intoxication.
More precious than people may think, the semiprecious stones are a treasure for everyone wanting to get in touch with his or her spiritual side. Extremely fashionable, comfortable and sometimes not as expensive as their precious counterparts, semiprecious stones should be worn by all people who are facing spiritual blocks.
Recommended Read: Healing Properties of Stones