It is very common to use gemstones on silver jewelry to create beautiful pieces of jewelry with originality because of the patterns and color of the stone. Few stones are alike, and so these jewels with natural stones are almost unique. We invite you to discover the immensity of the variety of fine stones, and much more.

What are semi-precious stones ?

Semi-precious are all hard and colored stones used to adorn jewelry and other than precious stones (diamond, sapphire, ruby, emerald) and organic stones (pearls, coral, mother-of-pearl, jet and mellite). In this picture, a panel of narural gemstones :



In Mexico, the most common semi-precious stones are onyx, obsidian, turquoise and malachite and fire opal, although it is difficult to close this list because of imports of stones that allow find almost all varieties of natural stones to make jewelry.

Just to give you an idea, already in the time of the Aztecs, some turquoise stones had traveled from the current new mexico to finally be mounted on jewelry, traveling more than a thousand kilometers. It is therefore difficult to define a local market for these stones that have always attracted men by their color to mount on jewelry.

What about fake imitation stones ?

This is where the bottom hurts, there are no false stones, in the legislative sense of the term anyway. All colored stones, natural or synthetic reproducing the latter, are gemstones within the meaning of Decree 2002-65 voted on January 16, 2002.

Legally, a fine stone can be both synthetic and natural. However, the law requires the seller (stone or jewelry) to specify the words "high", "cultivated", "culture", "true", "precious", "end", "true", "natural" in the only case of stones that are not synthetic.

Therefore, buying a jewel with a fine stone doesn't mean that this stone is natural, ask your jeweler or the seller for more information on the stone in question.

Why imitate nature ?

Indeed, why bother to reproduce what nature does very well ? After all these gemstones are not so rare as to be worth a lot of money. No, indeed. However you should know that the cut of a natural stone, causes a lot of losses. It's not uncommon to mount a natural stone on a jewel, having to throw 50 to 80% of the original rough stone, and this at a cost. Because natural stones don't have the dimension that one wishes, the ideal form, one must therefore constantly adapt.

On the contrary, Chinese people (them again!) sell on the international market blocks of synthetic stones square which are used at 90%, with very little loss, and therefore much cheaper than natural stones.

Therefore, do not be fooled, when you buy supermarket jewelry with gemstones, these are probably synthetic.

How to differentiate synthetic gemstones from natural ones

We must clarify an important point, it is extremely difficult to differentiate between these natural stones and their imitation of synthesis, in most cases, we must break the stone, sand or heat to find out if the stone is synthetic . Indeed, these imitations are very well made, and the visual rendering will deceive you to 100%, so you have to test the mechanical properties of the material to discover its true nature, something impossible for the average buyer.

By tapping the stone on your teeth, you can get an idea if it sounds like plastic or not. Another indicator is to feel if the stone is cold. If it warms quickly between your fingers, it's a safe bet that it is summary, but again, this will not be a categorical statement.

List of gemstones 

For the complete list of gemstones, I refer you to wikipedia. You'll realize that for most of these stones there is a significant variation of colors that we are not used to seeing in jewelry.

For further :

October 03, 2019 — Hugo Maherault

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