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Precious Gemstones

the popular concesus seems to be that diamonds are the most highly valued and expensive among the types of precious gemstones. This is not necessarily the case. And setting one type of precious gemstone as the most valuable is a complicated and possibly impossible endeavor.

Determining the most valuable among the precious gemstones is complicated by the fact that different criteria apply to the diamond and each of the other precious gemstones and so placing a value is more of a case by case or more appropriately, a stone by stone decision.

Diamonds for example are valued on color, clarity or the lack of flaws and inclusions, and carat weight.



Unlike diamonds, the color of emeralds is probably the most important factor. Emeralds are cut to best show the color of the gem. In fact, the emerald cut is the result of seeking the best way, and was devised to show off the coloration of an emerald. Maintaining carat weight is secondary to this goal.

The intensity of color in an emerald can often allow flaws to be overlooked. Color and intensity of color are that important to this precious gemstone. Some fine emeralds can actually be priced more highly than a diamond of the same size.


Rubies are another example of a precious gemstone that can have great value. rubies are the oldest known gemstones. Like Emeralds, the color is the most important feature. Inclusions don't affect the value of the stone unless they interfere with the transparency. For many, the inclusions are welcomed as a unique feature of rubies and further marking it's authenticity.

Smaller rubies are less rare. When comparing perfect larger rubies to diamonds of equal weight and quality, the ruby will have greater value than a diamond many times over.

Paraiba tourmaline

The paraiba tourmaline is another gemstone that is very valuable. This precious gemstone was found in Brazil in 1987 and since it was a small mine and demand became high it only lasted about five years.

Similar finds have turned up in Nigeria and Mozambique and are being tagged 'pariaba', but many claim the quality is not the same as the original from Brazil. The gemstones from the original source in Paraiba have become collector items and are priced quite high, often much higher than diamonds.

Birthstones and Astrological Gemstones

Many of the precious gemstones have been assigned as birthstones for specific months. Lists many vary, as there are lists that were specific to different cultures. There is also a modern list which has become officially recognized.

Many precious gemstones, including diamonds, are also attributed to different signs of the Zodiac. This can become a complicated process for believers, as calendars have been changed over the centuries. Gemstones have always been thought to have mystical properties, from the time they were first discovered up to and including the time in which we live.

Over many centuries precious gemstones have been worn for many reasons. In very early history precious gemstones were worn as a part of battle attire to provide protection, extra strength and invincibility. Diamonds, in particular, were assigned the mystical power of invincibility.

Priests in early times used diamonds to determine guilt or innocence. If the diamond, when held, showed dull it was a sign of guilt. If however, the diamond displayed brilliance, it was taken as the sign of innocence.

Powerful significance has been allotted precious gemstones in many religions throughout time and around the world. From the glory days of Egypt, Greece, and Rome gemstones factored prominently in different spiritual belief systems. The Christian religion also includes the mention of many gemstones prominently In Exodus the breastplate of Aaron, which was to contain an emerald, a diamond, an amethyst and topaz among other gemstones. In revelations gemstones are mentioned again in reference to the Holy City, as well as many other references throughout the bible.

During the middle ages gemstones were worn more as amulets than as jewelry. It wasn't decoration that was so important, it was the special power or protection the gemstone could bestow upon the wearer that was important.

And, of course, throughout history, and into modern times, precious gemstones are also a show of power and wealth. In many countries throughout early history it was unlawful for anyone but royalty to adorn themselves with jewels.

And, even today if we are honest, the wearing of a fine piece of precious gemstone jewelry does make us feel very grand.

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