Gemstones, Semi precious Gemstones and Crystals

September 11 2017 – Kate Sutton

Gemstones, Semi precious Gemstones and Crystals
Gemstones, Semi precious Gemstones and Crystals

Living Stones Bangle and Ring

Over my years of jewellery making and design, I have had the pleasure of working with precious and semi precious gem stones and a multitude of crystals.

I have designed incredible engagement rings with big beautiful diamonds, stunning one off rings with Pave diamonds and Aquamarines, and I’ve played with turning naturally purple Amethyst into the greenest of emeralds.

My experience and love of gemstones culminated in this ring I designed for a very special birthday a few years ago.

It pretty much sums up my attitude to gemstones both precious and semi precious… MORE IS MORE!!

I love to share the information I collect and with a new range in the pipeline using both precious, semi precious stones as well as some crystals, I thought now would be the perfect time to educate everyone on the difference in value, cost and longevity of these three types of stones.


Gemstones are rare pieces of mineral that are found or dug from the ground. They are then cut and polished before being used to make jewellery. Examples of gemstones include diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Gemstones are priced according to the rarity, colour and composition of the stone. The hardness of the stone and cut of the stone also influences the price.


Any gemstones that is not a diamond, ruby, emerald or sapphire is a semi-precious gemstone. Calling a gemstone semi-precious does not mean it is less valuable than precious gemstones. Semi-precious gemstones are just usually more abundant (but there are a few exceptions). Examples of semi precious gemstones include, peridot, amethyst, garnet, citrine, topaz and turquoise.


Ok this is where it gets a bit sciencey and complicated but I will try and explain as simply as possible.. A crystal is a pure substance whose atoms, molecules or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern. .. where they extend all three spatial dimensions. The important bit or the bit that affects price of gemstones vs crystals is that a Gem CAN be a crystal, BUT a crystal CANNOT be called a gem… so to break that down and make it really simple to understand.. A stunning big lump of Rose Quartz or Amethyst is NOT a gemstone. A gemstone or semi precious gemstone is one that has been cut and polished before being used to make jewellery. So in the case of our new Living Stone Range we have used Semi Precious Gemstones as each stone has been loving cut and polished to show the best of the stone before we set it into our jewellery.

A gorgeous hunk of Smoky Quartz or Rose Quartz can be celebrated for its natural beauty, but it’s not necessarily the right hardness or the right crystal to be cut into a semi precious Gemstone. Gemstones are the top quality of the tree and they are chosen and cut (and therefore way more expensive than natural crystals) to become semi precious Gemstone beauties.

I hope you enjoyed my Gemstone explanation!

K x

Shop the stunning array of gemstones in our Everyday Cocktail Collection of rings, earrings and necklaces as well as our brand new Living Stones Bangle and Ring.