Q:

How many gemstones are there?

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Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are diamonds rare?

    A:

    Diamonds aren't rare compared to other gemstones such as Tanzanite and black opal. The perception of rarity is created by the diamond suppliers, who release just enough diamonds into the market to meet current demand.

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  • Q:

    Is diamond a mineral?

    A:

    Diamonds are classified as minerals. Diamonds are a form of native carbons and are formed in the Earth's mantle, which is the layer below the crust.

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  • Q:

    What are gemstones?

    A:

    Gemstones are rocks or minerals that can be used for ornamental purposes. To make the gemstones beautiful, the minerals are often cut and polished to produce different shapes and make the stones sparkle.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of nonmetallic minerals?

    A:

    Examples of nonmetallic minerals include sulfur, phosphorus, iodine, carbon, selenium, limestone, dolomite, gemstones, clay and mica. Nonmetallic minerals are minerals that do not contain metal. Physically, they are very volatile and have low elasticity. Chemically, they have high ionization energy.

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