A mineral or petrified material that when cut and polished can be used in jewelry.  Gemstones can be cut in many shapes.   Some examples include jet ( a form of coal), ivory ( tusks of elephants as well as teeth of other large animals), moldavite ( glassy after product of the striking of a meteorite), and gold nugget (more or less large goldlumps).  Even fossila are sometime used as ornamental material. Some gemstones source of specialness and beauty is the color, an unusual optical phenomenon or the shine.  Other stones it is hardness or an inclusion that makes them special.

Value characteristics usually come into effect through cutting and polishing, gemstones are considered to be the cut stone.  Several hundred distinct types of gems and gem materials.  The number of varieties is double with new gemstones discovered or varieties with gemstone quality already known.


Colored stone is a trade term for all gemstones except diamonds.


Semi-precious has fallen out of grace because of its derogatory meaning.  Formerly, one meant with this term the less valuable. 


Indiviual ornamental piece of jewelry.  A jewel refers to a piece of jewelry containing one or more gems set in precious metal.  It can also refer to cut, unset gemstones.


For jewelers and gem collectors, the word stone means only gemstones.


                                                   I have listed several of the shapes. 

 Triangle    -   Bud   -  Round Cut   -   Trapezoid   -   Magna Cur   -   Square   -   Briolette   -  Sheild

 Hexagon   -  Net Cut   -   Barrel-shaped   -   Antique   -    Ceylon Cut   -   Square   -   Petal Cut 

Star Brillant   -   Needle Brillant   -   King Cut   -   Heart   -   Recoup'e-rose   -   Double Brillant  

Pear-shaper   -   Swiss Cut   -   Whirl Cut    -    Drop   -   Navette   -   Ball    -   Half-Brillant   

Olive    -    Rhomb   -   American Cut    -   Octagon   -   Jubilee Cut   -  Free Form   -   Simple

 Rose   -   Coat-of-Arms   -   Highlight Brillant    -  Oval   -   Double Rose    -  Pentagon


Gems have intrigued humans for thousands of years.  First used for making jewelry, amethyst, rock crystal, amber, garnet, jade, coral, lapis, pearl, serpentine, emerald and turquoise.  Gems served as status symbols.  Up to present day, gemstones have been used as remedies against illness. Gems also have an assured place in modern religion as well.   All major religions use prescious stones to adorn high priests and decoration for tools or buildings.  Diamonds are truely a capital investment, in fact, diamonds hold their value, despite the travails of war or depressions in the economy.