Beyond The Big Three: Semi-Precious Gemstone Options

Emeralds, sapphires, and rubies are the gemstone trio known as The Big Three, but what other options are out there?

A Quick Refresher

Prized for their rarity as well as their striking colors, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are considered "The Big Three" of precious gemstones. These stones tend to fetch high prices, making them a more expensive option when it comes to jewelry. While these classics will always remain standard, there is a rainbow of color (and value) options to be discovered beyond The Big Three in the world of semi-precious gemstones.

Color Wonderful

The main reason to think outside the traditional box when it comes to gemstones, is the potential for colors and hues beyond emerald green, sapphire blue, and ruby red. Explore options by color:

  • Garnet - A deep pomegranate red.
  • Rhodolite - A rich purple red.
  • Spinel - Called ‘the great imitator" as spinel can mimic ruby and other gemstones.
Yellow/ orange:
  • Citrine - Ranges in shade from pale yellow to deep orange.
  • Topaz - The deepest, richest yellow is favorted.
  • Sapphire - Available in many colors beside blue.
  • Peridot - Ranges from rich deep olive to pale green.
  • Prasolite - A form of green quartz, also called green amethyst.
  • Jade: An opaque gemstone, commonly found in soft green.
  • Malachite – Bold, deep green. Often found in men's jewelry.
  • Topaz - Can range from a similar sapphire blue to a very light blue.
  • Turquoise - Exhibits varying shades of blue-green.
  • Tanzanite - Boasts a color range from pale blue to rich violet-blue.
  • Amethyst – Ranges in color from lavender-pink to deep violet.
  • Iolite – Ranges in color from pale blue-violet to deep ocean blue.
Multicolored (also called dichroic):
  • Alexandrite - Depending on the light, this gem will range from red to blue.
  • Tourmaline - Depending on the light, this gem will range from red to green.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • Semi-precious gemstones vary in durability, so you may need to consider a setting or treatment that protects your stone.
  • In general, semi-precious stones will be less costly than The Big Three.
  • Go big: Less cost may mean you can choose a larger gem. Make this a consideration when shopping.
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