Natural gemstones have been alluring the mankind for ages. Stunning and loaded with several mystical properties, these gemstones have changed the lives of millions of people across the world.

However, there are still many of us who wish to know more about the intriguing world of gems. If you are curious about the difference that lies between precious and semi-precious gemstones, then you are in the right place. Read on to know the difference between two commonly used gemstones type.


As the name suggests, precious gemstones demand higher value in the market owing to several reasons. The term “precious gemstone” was first introduced during the mid-19th century to label all those gemstones that were exquisite, valuable, renowned, gorgeous and rare.

It was at that time when gemstones like a pearl, opal, and amethyst were also classified as precious gemstones. However, with the passage of time, as huge deposits of these stones were found across the world, they lost their rarity, and so do they lost their precious tag.

At present, only four types of gemstones are considered precious gemstones. These include the varieties of diamonds, ruby gemstones, emeralds, and sapphires.

Now, just like its name, a semi-precious gemstone is a bit affordable than a precious gemstone and includes a huge assortment of stones.

Alexandrite, amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, peridot, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise, and zircon are some of the examples of semi-precious gemstones.


As already mentioned, one of the key differentiating factors amongst precious and semi-precious gemstones is their price. More often than not, precious gemstones are priced unbelievably high, and there are a number of factors contributing to this price.

Likewise, semi-precious gemstones are not as high priced as precious gems. However, an interesting fact here is that there are still a few semi-precious gemstones like Paraiba Tourmaline that can demand a price much higher than the precious gemstones.


Let’s say you wish to buy one of the finest qualities of yellow sapphires that exists today, will it be easily available? Not at all!

This is what makes precious gemstones different from the rest. Precious gems are scarce and finding a truly high quality, a flawless precious gem is even more difficult.

On the other hand, semi-precious gemstones are also quite rare. But, they can be found easily than their precious counterparts.

Due to the ease of accessibility of these gems, they don’t command a very high value in the market. One thing that’s important to note here is that these gemstones are still expensive than other types of gemstones that are not rare and which do not belong to the precious gemstones’ category.


Another reason behind the categorization of gemstones into precious and semi-precious groups is the impact that taxes have on them.

You might not have read about this difference a lot of times, but there are various sources of precious gemstones that impose more taxes on these gemstones as they are high priced possessions that are purchased by a few.

In the same way, when semi-precious gemstones are imported, they are taxed a bit lower than the precious gemstones. This makes them a bit affordable, all thanks to their ease of accessibility at present.

While this article would have helped you in understanding the subtle differences that lie between precious and semi-precious gemstones, it is important to remember that we have now reached at a time where this distinction is becoming more and more hollow.

As long as you are investing your money in a natural, genuine gemstone that is beautiful and serves your purpose, you are going to cherish your gemstone, irrespective of it being a precious or a semi-precious one. So, make your choice wisely and love your gemstones.

Author's Bio: 

Jasmeen Kaur is a web designer and digital marketing consultant working with from last 5 years. Visit to buy astrological gemstones.