Romancing the stone:
Gemstone focus

One of the key changes jewelers should be aware of is that gemstone think definitions Gemstone Beads are shifting. While the likes of emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds and pearls have traditionally been accorded the lofty accolade “precious” and other gemstones - sometimes regardless of their beauty or rarity - labeled ‘semi-precious’, it has more recently been accepted by most people in the trade that “semi-precious” is an undeserved title, which unfairly positions stones thus labeled as poor relations.

Numerous new discoveries of gemstones and peaks and troughs in their supply and demand have, over the years, pointed up the shortcomings of the term “semi-precious”. Jason Holt, managing director of Holts Lapidary stone cutters and the founder of Holts Academy, points out that, whereas 10 years ago stones such as tourmaline were Gemstone Beads more plentiful, therefore cheaper and considered “semi-precious”, most tourmalines are now in limited supply and highly sought-after, so the label no longer applies.

“These are precious stones, because there is a desirability about them and there is a limited supply,” he says. GIA London director Edward Johnson explains that GIA follows World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) and US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and advises against the terms “precious” and “semi-precious”. “‘Semi’ is immediately a negative term,” he says. “If people are trying to sell a Gemstone Beads valuable item it is not helpful think to describe it as half the value of something else, describing it in negative terms.”

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