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What are types of precious stones?

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Quick Answer

There are four stones commonly identified as precious stones, which are diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire. In addition to the four precious stones, there are many types of semi-precious gemstones, which share some features and characteristics of precious stones. Precious stones are generally harder and rarer than semi-precious stones, and therefore they are typically more expensive and valuable than more common semi-precious stones.

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Full Answer

Among the precious stones, there is a considerable amount of variation in color and location. While diamonds are typically clear or light white in appearance, emeralds exist in dark, rich shades of green, while rubies occur in various shades of red. Diamonds are the hardest of the precious gems and are followed closely by emeralds, which have a hardness rating of 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale. Emeralds are sourced from several places around the world, including Columbia and Brazil in South America, South Africa and Zimbabwe in Africa, and the United States. Emeralds vary in color, and some appear to be a combination of blue and green, while others have a deep, rich green velvet color. Generally, the darkest emeralds are also the rarest and most valuable.

All precious stones are used primarily for aesthetic purposes. They are used to make high-end jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings, and as decorative pieces for special dining wear.

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