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Gemstones, precious and semiprecious stones.
|Precious and semiprecious stones, in addition to gold, silver, and platinum, are the most commonly used components of jewelry. |
Precious stones: Diamonds have traditionally been the most highly prized of such stones, varying in color from yellow to bluish white and sometimes reaching enormous size. Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are other precious stones used for jewelry, as are the less costly chrysoberyl, topaz, and zircon.
Semiprecious stones: Amethyst, garnet, opal, aquamarine, jade , turquoise, agate, onyx, lapis lazuli, and malachite.
Stones of organic origin: Amber, a fossil tree resin, is a highly valued stone. Pearls and corals, though animal in origin rather than mineral, are also usually considered gemstones.
Gemstone is any of various minerals highly prized for beauty, durability, and rarity. Of the more than 2,000 identified natural minerals, fewer than 100 are used as gemstones and only 16 have achieved importance. These are beryl, chrysoberyl, corundum, diamond, feldspar, garnet,