Precious and SemiIt’s often incorrectly assumed that gemstones are less valuable or beautiful than diamonds, but this is the result of aggressive marketing campaigns that position diamonds as the only legacy or heirloom stones. Tens of thousands of types of gemstones span the rainbow in dazzling hues, with many being even rarer and more valuable than diamonds. Precious and semi-precious labels on stones stem from ancient Greece, when rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were the rarest stones and were coveted by aristocrats. Today, the term has little bearing on a stone’s rarity, beauty, or price. Naturalgemstones You may want to find a stone that has been exquisitely created by nature, without being influenced by man. Many naturally-occurring gemstones are available on the market today, ranging from lemon-yellow citrine to gleaming black onyx. The color of natural stones is sometimes enhanced by methods like heating, which improves a stone’s clarity and color – even with these enhancements, the stone is considered to be “natural,” so ask your jeweler if your stone has been treated. Lab-createdgemstones Just as many high-end jewelers produce a range of platinum or whitegold jewelry set with cubic zirconia instead of diamonds; many jewelry designers also use synthetic gemstones that look almost identical to the real thing. Man-made emeralds, for example, are produced flawlessly in a lab and if judged on perfection alone, would supersede all natural emeralds in beauty. However, many jewelry lovers value natural stones because of the rareness of finding an exceptional stone that is made by the earth alone.