Whether you're a seasoned crystal collector or you're just starting your crystal journey, you may have wondered what the difference between stones is. You may have heard of certain ones referred to as crystals, or gemstones. Why are they called by different names when they are all forms of minerals? These names help gemologists, and other gemstone professionals keep track of the types and quality of the gemstones they're working with so that they can price them accurately and give them descriptions for buyers and collectors.
Even though there are a lot of similarities between them, there are things that set them apart. For example, to the naked eye or an unsuspecting person, very clear and high-quality Quartz could even look like a Diamond to some. But these two stones are very different in the quality and how they are produced by the earth.
A gem is usually about a rare mineral, gorgeous stones that are cut with care and precision to ensure that they are shown in their best light. They are usually smaller stones since they are so rare to find and only because the clearest and best parts of the stone are used. A good example of a well-known and loved gemstone is the Diamond, which is one of the most expensive gems in the world. Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, and Topaz are other rare and expensive gemstones that are highly valued for their appearance and rarity. These are some of the most valued and sought after jewels in the world and can be found for various prices and at varying levels of quality. There are precious gems as well as semiprecious gems.
Crystals, on the other hand, while beautiful in their own right, are pure minerals and substances which have molecules that take on a regular geometric pattern. You can have a gem that is a crystal since it will have been a very clear and bright crystal cut into a gemstone, but a crystal will not always be a gem. Crystals are solids that have ions, atoms and molecules fixed together, which creates a 3-dimensional shape. But when comparing gemstones and crystals, gemstones are always likely to be higher in price. To study the value of a crystal or gemstone, you have to look at the hardness, specific gravity, refractive index, durability, and fluorescence.