List of the Types of Semi-Precious Stones

Written by mark bouton
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  • Introduction

    List of the Types of Semi-Precious Stones

    Most people think of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds when they think of fine jewellery. However, there are many semi-precious stones that are equally beautiful and sought-after by fine jewellery collectors. Not only are these stones brilliant and scintillating, they usually cost less than the four precious stones.

    There are many semi-precious stones that are mined for fine jewellery pieces. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Discovered roughly 2,000 years ago, topaz comes in many colours, such as brown, pink, green, red and the most popular, blue. Blue topaz is used as the birthstone of December. It is believed that the word "topaz" originates from the ancient Greek word "topazos", which means "green gemstone." In recent years, a yellow topaz stone, called citrine, has become popular in jewellery pieces.

    Blue is the most commonly used colour for topaz jewellery. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

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    Amethyst is a member of the quartz family. Due to its widespread availability, this semi-precious stone is relatively inexpensive. This stone can be mined in Mexico, Brazil, United States, Canada, Russia, Italy and Germany. In fact, most gemologists can determine where a stone originated based on minor chemical elements found in each regional crystal. It is the birthstone for the month of February.

    Amerthyst is a relatively inexpensive stone. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Designated as the birthstone for March, aquamarine is a member of the beryl crystal family. It is also a traditional gift for the 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries. The colour ranges from a pale blue to a teal shade. Currently, this semi-precious stone is mined in Brazil, Russia, Pakistan and parts of Africa. In folklore, it was said that sailors carried aquamarine to prevent seasickness.

    Aquamarine was said to be used by early sailors to fend off seasickness. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

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    Although it can range in colour from yellow, green, purple and orange, rad garnets are among the most sought-after. The word "garnet" comes from the Greek word "Garanatus," meaning "seedlike," in reference to a pomegranate. Garnets were one of the most popular stones used in Victorian jewellery. Garnets are also popular among New Age practitioners for healing properties and magical powers.

    Red is the most desirable colour of garnet. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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