According to National Geographic, the main difference between rocks and stones, or gemstones, are their rarity and crystal formation. Most gemstones have a crystal formation, which makes them rare and valuable after they are cut. Rocks usually do not have a crystal formation, which means they are not considered to be of value. Unlike rocks, gemstones are classified on their rarity and value into two categories: semiprecious and precious.Know More
Both rocks and gemstones are made of the same substances, minerals. However, rocks contribute to the formation of landforms and natural resources such as tin, iron, gold, granite and marble. Gemstones, on the other hand, are mostly prized for their beauty even though when uncut they appear to be ordinary rocks. However, another reason why gemstones are considered precious is because there are fewer gemstones available; also, the process used to find gemstones is very challenging and often requires a workforce. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are all considered to be precious gemstones.
Generally, rocks and gemstones are formed under similar conditions. However, the formation of some stones is due to the location of its formation in the Earth’s crust. For the most part, gemstones are formed below the Earth’s surface and are brought to the surface by mining; this is not often the case for rocks. A diamond, the most precious gemstone, is made from carbon and formed under extreme pressure at least 100 miles under the Earth’s crust. It is the hardest natural substance found on the Earth. Graphite, a rock, which also is made from carbon, is formed on the Earth’s surface. Because it is formed closer to the Earth’s surface without extreme pressure, it forms into a soft rock instead of a diamond. It is the one of the softest rocks on the planet, which is one of the reasons why it is used effectively as pencil lead.Learn more about Geology
Rocks are important because geologists use evidence from them to learn about what the Earth was like in the past. They allow scientists to build a historical record of the planet to learn what events occurred before people lived.Full Answer >
A mineral is made up of one or more elements, such as iron or gold, that are fused together. A rock is classified as igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic based on how it was formed.Full Answer >
Rocks and minerals are inorganic compounds and occur throughout the world but have distinct physical characteristics, distinguishing features and societal uses that set them apart. Minerals are generally lighter in weight and color than rocks and hold value for their aesthetic properties. Rocks, in contrast, are denser, darker and hardier and find use in the industrial and construction industries.Full Answer >
Metamorphic rocks are formed when the properties of existing igneous or sedimentary rocks are altered by contact with heat or pressure. They are typically found deep underground where the conditions necessary for their formation exist.Full Answer >