Call for expert help (888) 724-8222

Semi-precious Stones – Are They More Valuable than Precious Stones?


Because of the name, you might assume that semi-precious stones are of less value than precious stones. But that’s not always the case. Some kinds of semiprecious stones such as opal and jade can sell for higher prices than certain precious stones. Take the Aurora Australis Opal which sold for $1 million dollars in 2004, a price which equated to over $5500 per carat (!).

Gemstones were first placed into categories of “precious stones” and “semiprecious stones” in the mid-1800s. These terms quickly picked up speed and to this day, are commonly used among jewelers and jewelry lovers alike.

Though many people in the jewelry industry feel these terms are limiting, creating an unfair “class” system. Most would naturally assume a precious stone is more valuable than a mere “semi” precious stone. Wouldn’t you?

But these categories will continue to exist so we must adapt.

There are four types of precious stones: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Some consider opal, jade or pearls to be in this category as well, but there’s not worldwide acceptance.

Semiprecious stones include gemstones created from: agate, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, aventurine, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, onyx, peridot, rhodonite, sunstone, tiger’s eye, tanzanite, topaz, turquoise, tourmaline and even more.

Each semiprecious stone holds its own beauty and desirability.

In short: all stones are precious!

If you’re interested in a custom design piece using a semi-precious or precious stone, contact us and we’ll create a piece that goes beyond your dreams.