What are Gemstones?

The term “Gem” is synonymous with “Precious”. The precious or semi-precious rocks that are used for embellishment and ornamental purpose are known as gemstones. Stones are the pieces of minerals, which are intricately cut and polished in order to make precious jewels out of them.


amethyst-1433246_640Classification of gemstones dates back to Ancient Greek Era. Greeks were the people who first initiated differentiation among different stones and distributed them widely into two broad categories namely:

1-  Precious Stones – Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby, and Emeralds fall into precious gemstones category.

2–   Semi-precious Stones – Except the gemstones mentioned above, all other stones are semi-precious.

Gemstones are also classified based on their color, hardness, and translucency.

In the purest form, all gemstones are translucent with very fine color except for Diamond, which is colorless in its purest form. The translucency and color of stones determine how pure the gemstone is.


Gemstones are first identified and then later evaluated based on properties given below:

1–    Physical – It includes the shape and hardness of the gem.

2–   Optical – It is the behavior of light which determines the color (hue, tone, and saturation) and transparency of any given stone. The color of the stone depends on the kind of wavelength it absorbs.

Both these properties are determined by the chemical composition and 3-D structure of gems. Arrangement of atoms in a particular gemstones’ element is all that determines how we see and feel a gemstone

Internal structure of a gemstone is further classified into two categories given below:

1–  Amorphous – Just as the name indicates, gemstones which do not follow any regular pattern in their internal structure and appear shapeless are known as “amorphous’. They have an irregular and unpredictable structure.

2– Crystalline – They have a crystal lattice that follows the regular pattern and fixed arrangement of atoms. Because of that, they have a predictable regular structure and are symmetrical apparently.

Women who wear them for enhancing their physical beauty and charm adorn gemstones. The gemstone is a must-have for engagements and wedding.

Use of gemstones is not only limited to beautify the outer appearance but they are also believed to have some special internal energy and power associated with them. They emit particular energy, which is believed to have life-changing effects on individuals. This energy can alter your life for better or worse as believed by some people who have a staunch belief in spirituality.

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