Gemstones are stones that are usually found buried deep beneath the surface of the earth, although, there are some – such as pearls – are made from the activities of organic organisms (mollusks, such as oysters, in this case). Gemstones come in various forms and shapes as well as sizes. And each one differs from all others on the basis of properties which may be physical or chemical in nature. Examples of gemstones – or gems – include rubies, citrine, jade, lapis lazuli and many others. All of these gemstones can be divided into two major groups, which are precious stones and semi-precious stones.


Precious stones are the most highly desirable forms of gemstones in the world. They are usually stones which are very expensive, not just because of their quality, but because of their perceived commercial worth and the general sentimental ideas attached to them. This type of gemstones are usually very rare, compared to others, and are generally pretty when obtained in very high quality.

The quality of a gemstone is usually dependent on results of analysis, when factors – such as its cut, clarity, weight (usually in form of carat) and color – are assessed. Therefore, a gemstone (particularly a precious stone) of very high quality is one whose color is just right, along with its cut. Also, it must be of suitable weight and if it has been cut, its facets and sides must be precisely and accurately proportioned. Examples of precious stones include; rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. And they are usually some of the most sought after gems in the global jewlry industry.



Semi-precious stones are gemstones that are not as widely desirable or sought after in the world. They usually cost less amount of money per unit, compared to other stones such as emeralds, rubies, diamonds and other precious stones. While this is the case, it does not mean that semi-precious stones are not desirable at all or that there is no use for them. On the contrary, they are also widely used in jewelry making and in the making of ornaments. Some of them even have many applications in industries such as construction and mining; where they are used to make building materials and drilling devices respectively.

Another factor that sets semi-precious gemstones apart from other types of gems is the fact that they are usually a lot more accessible or available in larger quantities comparably. Basically, they are not usually thought of as rare. Rarity is a very important feature of precious stones, because it directly affects the demand for them, thereby making them even more valuable (especially in terms of commercial worth). The importance of a gemstone’s perceived rarity can especially be seen in the case of amethyst, which used to be regarded as a precious stone until large deposits of it were found in Brazil years ago.


One peculiar thing about gemstones is that all of them cannot be found in the same place at the same time (or at least, no record of such occurrence has been uncovered yet). They generally tend to be scattered in very specific areas around the world, where it may not be possible to find some other gemstones with different compositions.

Here are some examples of gemstones and where they are usually found:

  • Ruby

Rubies are red precious stones that have been mined for thousands of years now. Their red color has often been used to represent passion, which is what makes them suitable presents between lovers. Apart from this, this particular gemstone has been used in the making of many ancient crowns. This illustrious gemstone is every jeweler’s dream, particularly when it is found in very high quality (i.e. the right cut, clarity, color and weight, which is measured in carats). However, rubies cannot be found everywhere in the world.

Places where rubies can be mined naturally include; Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Australia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, India, Tanzania, Thailand, Sri Lanka and a number of other known areas.

  • Sapphire

Sapphire is a blue precious stone that has often been associated with wisdom and royalty, due to its brilliant blue color and the elegance the gem is said to exude to its wearer. As a matter of fact, some people believe that this stone actually has the power to attract wisdom into the life of its wearer (and this belief cuts through some cultures and traditions around the world).

Places where this stone can be obtained naturally include; Australia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, China, Ethiopia, Columbia, India, Laos, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Thailand, Sri Lanka and so on.

  • Quartz

Quartz is a well known semi-precious stone, which is mostly used in industrial applications such as construction (i.e. in making buildings and roads). Due to this application, quartz is actually fairly in demand, in large quantities, although the gem itself does not cost a lot per unit (relative to other gemstones, such as precious stones).

Places where quartz can be found in high quantities include Russia, China, Brazil, Japan, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, South Africa and France.

  • Diamond

Touted to be chief among all gemstones, and the surest physical representation of long lasting and enduring love (at least, as far as gemstones are concerned), diamonds are literally always in high demand. Not only are they the most popular gemstones in the world, they are also the hardest (generally, they are regarded as the hardest natural substance in the world).

Places where diamonds can be found naturally include Australia, Brazil, Botswana, Congo, China, South Africa and Russia.


The first known place where diamonds were found was India. There are records that show that diamonds have been found in this country, as well as its general region, for millennial (even from the 4th century BC, when the process of gemstone mining was far more primitive than it is today). What is even more astounding is the fact that, till today, diamonds are still being mined in India and its surrounding regions, even though researchers say that many of these gemstones (diamonds) were first formed over 900 million years ago.

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