How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?

By | May 7, 2024

Here’s a thought – imagine holding the allure and mystery of the world captured within the palm of your hand. In an instance, you’re holding a precious stone, one that is nature’s immaculate nugget of immense beauty. Through this article, “How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?”, you embark upon an enigmatic journey to learn about the countless, unique precious stones steeped in the fabric of our planet. Breathe in the timeless allure of these natural beauties and come, explore their diverse presence in our world with us.

YouTube video

Get your own How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World? today.

1. Understanding Precious Stones

Let’s embark on a fascinating voyage into the world of precious stones. But, first things first!

Definition of precious stones

Precious stones, also known as gemstones, are minerals, rocks, or organic materials that are valued for their beauty, toughness, and rarity. When cut and polished, these stones provide an indescribable aesthetics to jewellery and other accessories.

Historical background on precious stones

The allure of precious stones is as old as civilisation itself. These sparkling beauties have been revered throughout history, from the ancient Egyptians who buried their pharaohs with emeralds and rubies, to the royal courts of Europe, where diamonds were a symbol of wealth and power. The Middle Ages saw gemstones used for medicinal and magical purposes, while the Renaissance brought the emergence of gemstone cutting and shaping techniques that are still used today.

Mining and acquisition of precious stones

Mining for precious stones can be challenging and often involves a blend of artisanal effort and technological finesse. Depending on the type of stone, mining can be open cast, underground, or even under the sea. From the extraction, they undergo cutting, polishing, and grading before they make it to the jewellery store.

2. Categorization of Precious Stones

The precious stone realm is diverse and extensive but let’s focus on some categories.

Traditional precious stones: Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire

Traditionally, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are considered the “big four” of precious stones. These stones are highly admired and sought after for their captivating beauty, incredible durability, and enduring value.

Semi-precious stones and their varieties

Apart from the “big four,” there are a plethora of semi-precious stones including amethyst, topaz, garnet, and jade, to name just a few! Through the eons, these stones have been valued for their beautiful range of colours and their distinct physical properties.

Rare and exotic precious stones

Contrary to common belief, some semi-precious stones are valued far more than the traditionally precious ones due to their rarity and exoticness. These include Painite, Pink Star Diamond, Jadeite, and Blue Garnet.

How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?

Get your own How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World? today.

3. Diamonds

Let’s start with the king of gems – diamond.

Characteristics of Diamonds

Diamonds are renowned for their dazzling brilliance and unequaled hardness. But did you know they are pure carbon, the same element that gives us coal? The difference lies in the crystalline structure that imparts them with exceptional strength and the ability to refract light in a spellbinding manner.

Locations of diamond deposits

Diamonds are found worldwide but are most concentrated in a handful of locations, including Russia, Botswana, Canada, and Australia.

4. Emeralds

The go-to gemstone for green lovers – emerald.

The distinctive features of Emeralds

Belonging to the beryl family of gemstones, emerald is prized for its rich green colour, which can range from light to a deep, intense green. It’s worth noting that emeralds usually have inclusions, lovingly termed as the “gardens” within them.

Where Emeralds are typically found

Emeralds are typically found in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia. The finest emeralds, with their distinctive deep green hue, come from Colombia.

How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?

5. Rubies

Next up is the radiant ruby!

Understanding Ruby’s unique traits

Rubies are the red variety of the mineral corundum, the same mineral that sapphires come from. What sets rubies apart is their exceptional hardness and their vibrant red colour, which can range from pinkish-red to a deep, rich crimson.

Ruby sourcing locations

Rubies are found in several locales, but Myanmar is famed for its ‘pigeon’s blood’ rubies, widely considered the finest rubies globally.

6. Sapphires

Just as red corundum is called ruby, blue corundum is known as sapphire.

Sapphires’ unique characteristics

Sapphires are praised for their exquisite blue hue, yet they come in every colour of the rainbow, except red (which would make them rubies). They are also incredibly durable, only second to diamonds on the Mohs hardness scale.

Mining areas for Sapphires

Sapphires are primarily found in Australia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the United States, with each location yielding stones of unique hues and qualities.

How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?

7. Semi-Precious Stones

Now let’s glance over semi-precious stones.

Definition and types of semi-precious stones

By definition, all gemstones that are not termed “precious” fall into the semi-precious category. This covers over 200 types of gemstones, including the vibrant amethyst, the radiant citrine, the mesmerising moonstone, and the captivating turquoise.

Popular semi-precious stones and their traits

Each semi-precious stone is unique. For instance, garnet is known for its rich reds, while citrine offers a pleasing yellow-to-orange shade. Lapis Lazuli is admired for its intense blues and malachite for its striking greens with beautiful natural patterns.

8. Rare and Exotic Stones

Let’s explore some of the rarest and most exotic stones in the world.

Painite – The world’s rarest mineral

Once declared the world’s rarest mineral, Painite is a borate mineral found only in Myanmar. For many years, only two cut specimens were officially recognized.

Pink Star Diamond – The world’s most expensive gemstone

The Pink Star Diamond, considered to be the world’s most expensive gemstone, is a pink diamond with the highest colour and clarity grade. It was auctioned for a whopping $71.2 million in Hong Kong in 2017.

Jadeite – The most valuable stone type in the world

Better known as Jade, Jadeite is a highly valued gemstone, especially in China, where it is considered a symbol of status, purity, health, and spirituality.

Blue Garnet – A stone that changes color

Perhaps the most astounding gem on our list is the Blue Garnet. It is known for its colour change phenomenon. It appears greenish-blue in daylight and purplish-red under incandescent light.

How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World?

9. Controversies and conflicts associated with Precious Stones

We can’t shy away from the darker aspects of the precious stone industry.

Conflict diamonds and their impact

Also known as blood diamonds, these are mined in war zones and sold to finance armed conflict against governments. Despite international efforts like the Kimberley Process to prevent trade in conflict diamonds, the problem persists.

Environmental concerns with precious stone mining

Mining precious stones can have significant environmental impacts, including deforestation, erosion, and pollution of water sources. These concerns have boosted demands for ethical sourcing and mining practices.

Issues related to the fair trade of precious stones

The precious stone industry has been criticised for unfair trade practices, like low pay and poor working conditions for miners. This has led to calls for increased transparency and fair trade practices in the gemstone market.

10. Future of the Precious Stone Industry

What’s next for these glittering gems?

Advancements in artificial and lab-grown precious stones

The rise of technology has allowed the creation of lab-grown gemstones that possess the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as their natural counterparts. These lab-created gems are seen as a sustainable and ethical alternative to naturally mined stones.

Sustainability in the precious stone industry

Sustainability is becoming a watchword in the gem industry, with initiatives to reduce environmental damage, foster ethical mining, and provide better working conditions for miners.

Market outlook for precious stones

Despite challenges, the precious stone market remains robust, driven by the enduring allure of these stunning gems. As technologies advance and ethical considerations increasingly influence buying habits, the industry is poised to embrace change and growth.

In conclusion, from sparkling diamonds to mesmerising emeralds, precious stones captivate us with their beauty and mystique. While they may appear like shiny objects, understanding their rich history, the efforts taken to mine them, the controversies surrounding them, and their impact on the future make them even more precious indeed. So the next time you look at a piece of gemstone jewellery, remember there’s a world of the wonder behind that sparkle!

Find your new How Many Precious Stones Are There In The World? on this page.

Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *