More than 130 different types of minerals are used for gemstones. The most popular gemstones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Other gemstones are classified as precious or semi-precious.
When gemstones are found in their natural state, they are quite ordinary looking. A good polish is required to bring out the shine, brilliance or sparkle. Amethyst at one time was considered a precious gemstone. However, that changed when large reserves were found in Brazil, reducing its value. Two gemstones much rarer than diamonds, the alexandrite and tanzanite, can change color, depending on lighting conditions and the orientation at which the gemstones are viewed.Learn More
Silver has been in use dating back to prehistoric times. The precise date of discovery is not known; however, silver objects have been found dating back to 3000 B.C.Full Answer >
There are several ways someone can tell real crystal from glass, including determining the weight. Crystal weighs more than glass, so if the object is heavier, it is likely crystal.Full Answer >
According the Professional Guide to Gemstone Values, as of March 2014, amethysts are worth between $7.00 and $70.00, depending on color and carat weight. In general, the darker the color, the higher the value.Full Answer >
All silver, plate, fill, sterling and fine tarnishes when its alloy metal, copper, is exposed to chlorides and sulfurs in the air. Argentium sterling silver is the most tarnish resistant because it contains more pure silver and the metalloid germanium replaces some of the copper used as an alloy in it.Full Answer >