Gems, Jewelry and Gemstone Buying Guides

Amethyst RingGems are a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion!

Most people think of diamonds when considering a gemstone gift, but diamonds aren't the only gems available when you are looking for that perfect piece of jewelry.

When and where were the first pieces of jewelry created?

Jewelry has been around since the beginning of time and was valued even before written language. The first jewelry was made of natural items such as animal bones and shells. These were carved and used for functionality perhaps holding pieces of cloth together.

As time went by, jewelry made from gems and precious metals began to be seen as a symbol of power and status. Some of the earliest examples we have of jewelry making is in ancient Egypt for the first Pharaohs. The unusual physical properties and rarity of gems was soon joined by a metaphysical component. Beliefs such as gems can strengthen the wearer, heal disease or ward off evil spirits soon began to grow in popularity.

What is considered a precious gem?

The term "precious gem" is usually used to describe the scarcity or monetary value of a gem. What is considered a precious gem differs depending on the part of the world in which you live. For instance, in China Jade is much more popular than in the US.

There are four categories that most gems fall into:

  • Precious - Examples are: Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire
  • Semi-Precious - Examples are: Onyx, Amethyst, Moonstone
  • Imitations - Examples are:  Glass, synthetics, assembled stones
  • Organic and Zoogenic - Examples are: Amber, Coral, Ivory, Pearls

Before you buy gems, you should contact a reputable online or retail dealer, weigh your choices and do a lot of research.  All things considered, if you choose a gem you love, you can enjoy wearing and admiring it every day, long after the memories of the research and price have faded.