This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

The Difference Between Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones

The terms “precious” and “semi-precious” were attributed to gemstones hundreds of years ago (in the 1800’s).

Technically, there are only four natural precious stones in the world:

  • Diamond
  • Sapphire
  • Ruby
  • Emerald

In the past, there were a few other gemstones that were considered “precious”, such as Amethyst, before a large deposit was found in Brazil.

These are labelled as “precious” because they are rarer than other jewels (and as a result come with a considerable price).

There is however an equally gorgeous, naturally occurring alternative: Semi-precious gemstones. Although less rare, they are highly valued for their beauty.

Semi-precious stones include (but are not limited to) gems such as:

  • Agate
  • Amethyst
  • Citrine
  • Garnet
  • Peridot
  • Topaz
  • Tourmaline
  • Quartz (and more)



There’s also another category that doesn’t fit into either of the above:

Crystals such as Cubic Zirconia/CZ can form naturally from minerals, but most often are “lab” created stones known as “simulants”.

To the “naked eye” they usually appear as flawless replicas of perfect precious gemstones like diamonds.

High quality Cubic Zirconia offers such an incredible sparkle and similarity to precious gemstones (like diamond, for example), that it can be difficult for even jewellers to distinguish the difference (without testing or using specialty tools).

Apart from the clear white diamond finish, they can also come in coloured varieties, such as pink and yellow.


Semi-precious gems are “softer” than precious gems, although both have long lasting potential.


Most precious jewels cost more than semi-precious gems, but not always. The average range for precious jewels is hundreds or more often thousands (but extremely rare precious gems can cost millions per carat)!

By contrast, most semi-precious gemstones and simulant jewels are a much more accessible, affordable option so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of these stones.


The four precious gemstones are available several colours, but this does not compare to the myriad of rainbow hues semi-precious gems can be found in.

Although they have some clear differences, both kinds of gemstones share several similarities:

  • Just like precious gemstones, semi-precious gems can be expertly set inside metals (such as 14K gold, sterling silver, rose gold and more)


  • Most often they are used to create stunning, long-lasting jewellery pieces, including gorgeous semi-precious gemstone rings, necklaces and earrings


  • These gems can be cut to shape, for instance; oval, heart, triangular, teardrop, round and cushion/square or rectangular. Whatever your style: modern, classic or a little of both, there’s a gemstone design to suit every taste


  • They can be kept as special occasional pieces, but are durable enough to be worn daily (as long as you take reasonable care and remove before exposing to oils, skin products and avoid prolonged heat/sun exposure and household chemicals)


  • Although all gemstones can be fragile, our D’Alma & Grace stones have a high hardness and scratch resistance, along with an alluring long lasting sparkle and shine. With proper care they are set to last! You can discover how to care for your semi-precious gemstone jewellery here.

Use coupon code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order.


No more products available for purchase

Your cart is currently empty.