The world of natural stones is very vast! We often hear about precious stones, gemstones and fine stones, but what are they really?
What is a precious stone?
In my articles and descriptions I regularly use the term natural stone so that it speaks to most people, especially the novice. But to go further, they are gemstones (from the Latin word "gemma" meaning "bud"), because today, the word gem is a generic name for all natural, mineral or organic materials used in jewelry. It is used to qualify three categories of ornamental stones:
precious stones ;
To qualify as a gem, the stone must attract the eye, have a beautiful general appearance and especially a pretty color. It must be resistant and strong enough to withstand constant use and handling without being scratched or damaged. This is why some stones are more or less suitable for rings and bracelets ... which will suffer shocks. Several criteria are studied to see if the stone corresponds to the expectations, in particular by its hardness, its resistance, its brightness or its color.
What are precious stone?
The term precious stones is applied to 4 gems: diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald. Gemstones are distinguished by their brilliance, rarity and the beauty of their colors. In the past they were the most valuable on the market. They captivated us, we have all at least "drooled" in front of a magnificent jewelry showcase where they were exposed. They were used for transactions and exchanges because their value is inestimable even today. They were therefore qualified as "precious" stones as opposed to "semi-precious" stones whose appellation no longer exists legally. because there was confusion.
The term precious does not reflect the value of the stone, because some stones qualified as fine, can be rarer and much more expensive.
What are fine stones?
Since January 14, 2002, we speak of fine stones. They refer to all other stones used in jewelry to create jewelry. There are several families of gemstones used daily to set jewelry. I am not going to detail the different groups of minerals that are grouped under this name because you will not remember. You should know that for my part I work with aquamarine, moonstone, labradorite, garnets, quartz (Tiger's eye, Amethyst, Rose quartz, Rock crystal, Agates, Aventurine, Jasper). But there are also Tourmalines, sunstone, amazonite ...
How can they be graded?
Precious and fine stones, unlike diamonds, do not have a proper grading system. But there are grades because they do not have the same value, and purity.
Jewelry and gemology specialists have created a simple grading system. Thus, gems can be classified as follows:
A for a good quality stone;
AA for a stone of superior quality;
AAA for an exceptional stone.
The criteria taken into account to evaluate the stones are the beauty and intensity of the color, the transparency of the stone as well as its quality of cut. This system, although very useful, has some limitations, since gemstones and fine stones have extremely variable qualities and their evaluation can sometimes be subjective. Since we are all different in front of beauty or art and beauty, but this system helps. I use stones graded from A to AA, if they are not graded I do not buy them to offer you quality stones.