First thing we should know is the question that what gemstone beads are. In the realm of gemology, gemstones beads are generally divided into two types of precious stones and semi-precious stones. Precious stones, including four, that is, diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, and the rest of the gems, like crystal, agate, carnelian, etc. are all semi-precious stones.
In general, the higher the hardness of precious stones, while the value is higher, but very many varieties of semi-precious stones, and different semi-precious stones have different characteristics, identification methods, and values are different. And gemstone beads are loved more than precious stone. These gemstones have always been the most popular and the market for these stones is different than the market for other gemstones or jewelry beads in many ways.
The second question is about the reason for the name semi-precious stones. When other gemstone varieties began to be popular in jewelry, the jewelry industry got tired of calling them “colored gemstones other than ruby, emerald and sapphire.” People needed a term to distinguish these other gems from the big three, since all of them can be called colored gemstones. Unfortunately, the term they made up was “semi-precious” since the big three were often called precious stones, probably from the French “pierres precieuse.” Unfortunately the French terminology was not followed for the other stones or they would be known as “fine gemstones,” which is much better than that semi word.
Despite the fact that everyone in the jewelry industry now agrees that the term semi-precious is not fair, they still need a name to call those gemstone varieties such as agate beads other than ruby, emerald and sapphire. Semi-precious has a way of creeping back into the vocabulary.