What is the difference between rocks, minerals and gems? A mineral is made of inorganic material – substances that were never alive – and whose atoms are arranged in a regular pattern (or crystal). Rocks are composed of one or more minerals – and include Lapis, clay, sand and limestone. Gems are a special subgroup of minerals, usually rarer, clearer and more visually appealing than other minerals. There is no set rule as to which minerals are definitively gems; it is more a matter of custom.
Precious vs. Semi-Precious
The majority of gems can be divided into precious and semi-precious categories. The term “precious” is reserved for the most rare and expensive of gems – including diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls and sapphires. Most remaining gems – including varieties of quartz like Amethyst, Citrine and Bloodstone – are semi-precious.
Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings
One of the hottest trends in engagement rings involves the use of colored gemstones, although actually this trend is hardly new. Colored gemstones were chosen almost exclusively for engagement rings for most of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe. More recently, Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring was passed down by her son to Kate Middleton.
Aside from being entirely appropriate, colored gemstones can be chosen for their meaning. For instance, a red gemstone (ruby or red diamond) symbolizes energy, passion, strength, love, and power, while green (emerald, jade, or green sapphire) represents balance, money, fertility, luck, harmony, and long life. For marrying couples wishing to give as much meaning as possible to their impending unions, colored gemstones ring true.
Gems are a special subgroup of minerals, usually rarer, clearer and more visually appealing than other minerals. There is no set rule as to which minerals are definitively gems; it is more a matter of custom. You will find a lovely selection of gemstones, diamond engagement rings, pendants, watches, cameos, and earrings at our store.