Places to find semi precious stones

precious stones image by Vladislav Gajic from

A semi-precious stone is a mineral, which, when cut and polished, is used to create jewellery and other adornments. Semi-precious stones include the amethyst, opal, pearl and topaz.

Stone rarity is a determining factor in deciding which gems are precious or semi-precious and the latter happens to be more common than its precious counterpart. Below is a list of some of the more popular gemstone distributors as well as local suggestions to guide your search.

Online Distributors

Sites such as Vitabeads, Gem Select and Alpha Imports offer you access to a large collection of precious and semi-precious stones from the comforts of your home. You can easily guide your search based on categories such as stone type, price range, alphabetical order and colour. Vitabeads provides colourful illustrations of each gemstone simplifying the process. Alpha Imports, in addition to selling gemstones, offers to appraise and purchase your gemstones, while Gem Select sells loose precious and semi precious stones at wholesale value.

Garage Sales

One person's trash is another person's treasure. Garage sales enable you to sift through and purchase items that may otherwise be expensive. Don't be shy about negotiating the price. Owners want to work with you to sell their old products.

Local Jewelry Stores

Develop a relationship with your local jewellery store. Oftentimes, if they get a new shipment of gemstones in, they will pay you a courtesy phone call allowing you to be the first to know about the arrival and quite possibly handpick your favourite stones.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops often sell old discarded jewellery items and gemstones at a huge discount. Many bargain buys are made at such shops. To find a pawn shop in your town, visit the websites for Pawnshops, Pawn Shop Listings or Local Pawn Shops.

Tunnels, Railroads or Construction Sites

If shopping is not your thing and you prefer to perform a little manual labour in finding these semi precious gems, tunnels, railroads or construction sites can prove to be a very rewarding experience. Minerals formed in the Earth's mantle push their way to the surface over a span of millions of years due to geology and natural elements such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wind and water erosion. All these factors combined work together to further bring these minerals to the surface thus making them more accessible. The type of gem you are searching for will determine the search location.