What are gemstones?


Quick Answer

Gemstones are rocks or minerals that can be used for ornamental purposes. To make the gemstones beautiful, the minerals are often cut and polished to produce different shapes and make the stones sparkle.

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Full Answer

Gemstones have over 40 popular varieties. Gemstones are desired for their beauty and are made valuable by their lasting durability and rarity. The three most popular gemstones are ruby, emerald and sapphire. The jewelry industry no longer uses the term "semi-precious," as this can mislead buyers. The value of gemstones greatly varies.

The Pink Star Diamond topped Discovery’s list of the top 10 rarest and most valuable gems in the world. The value of this diamond is approximately $1,395,761 per carat.

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