Q:

How many gemstones are there?

A:

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some different kinds of gemstones?

    A:

    There are the precious gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. There are also the semi-precious gemstones like turquoise, amethyst, garnet and quartz. There are also the gemstones that are considered birthstones (like aquamarine for the month of March and peridot for the month of August) and anniversary stones (like blue topaz for the fourth year and onyx for the eleventh year).

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  • Q:

    Where can I sell loose gemstones?

    A:

    Although it can be difficult to sell loose gemstones if they are not set in jewelry, they are often easy to sell to local jewelers and on online auction houses such as eBay. Local jewelers frequently accept legitimate, non-commercial sources of loose gemstones at discounted prices.

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  • Q:

    What are some uses for gold?

    A:

    Gold is used as jewelry, as currency, as dental fillings, and for eye and ear implants. In addition, gold is used for painting, gilding and lettering. Gold is also used in electronics and in soldering and electroplating. It can also be made into very thin foil and wire and is used to coat space satellites and telescope lenses.

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  • Q:

    What is a silver mark 925?

    A:

    A silver mark 925 is the identification marking used to indicate an item is at least 92.5 percent silver. It is the most common silver marking and also identifies the piece as sterling, since all sterling silver must be at least 92.5 per percent silver.

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