Precious vs. Semi Precious Gemstones

    What is a Precious Stone?

    what are the precious gemstones

    Have you ever wondered why some gemstones are precious, while others are considered semi-precious? The answer is pretty simple - it has to do with their rarity, quality, and color. There are only four types of precious stone in the world; diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald. All other gemstones are classified as semi-precious. 

    Rockford Collection is proud to work exclusively with the world’s finest class of precious stones. We do not compromise on quality, and never settle for less than the best. This article will discuss the basics of each precious stone and what you should look for when choosing your own precious stones.


    matching diamond ring sets for men and women

    The most widely used stone in jewelry, diamonds earned their reputation as the ultimate status symbol thanks to their respect amongst prominent individuals throughout history. Diamond jewelry dates back as far as 1074 AD, and has been a worldwide token of success ever since.

    when did gold chains originate?

    Diamond grade is determined based on the Four C’s, cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. Depending on the quality of these for characteristics, diamonds can be classified anywhere from I-VS. While the white diamond is most iconic, diamonds come in many different cuts, colors, and price points. 


    Diamonds can be found in many parts of the world, with the finest diamonds coming from Russia, Botswana, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read here to learn more about Rockford Collection’s standard when using diamonds.


    unique sapphire rings for men and women

    Commonly known for its vibrant, blue color, it may surprise you that sapphires come in nearly every color of the rainbow. The most desireable variety of sapphire is a shade of velvety, violet  blue, almost exclusively found in the mines of Kashmir. Other colors of sapphire include green, red, pink, and yellow. 

    colors of natural sapphires

    Ranking at a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Sapphires are only slightly softer than diamonds. Thanks to their hardness, sapphires are available in almost any cut, and look best when set in platinum or white gold. 

    unique diamond and sapphire rings for men and women

    Rockford Collection most commonly works with blue sapphires, but we are more than happy to source any color and quality of sapphire upon request.


    unique ruby rings for men and women

    Ruby is one of the most expensive precious gemstones in the world, second only to diamonds. Ruby is almost exclusively found in various shades from blood orange to purple-red. The highest valued rubies originate from Myanmar and sport intensely saturated colors.

    what is a ruby?

    Ruby and Sapphire share the same ranking of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Because of this, jewelers are able to shape rubies into nearly any cut desirable. All Rockford Collection designs can be customized to include rubies.


    unique emerald rings for men and women

    Emeralds are one of the most easily recognizable stones due to their vibrant, almost radiant, shades of green. These valuable gems date all the way back to 50 BC when they seized the attention of Egyptian queen Cleopatra, who wore and gifted the stones as a display of her wealth and power.

    greenEmeralds are the softest of all precious stones with a Mohs hardness of 7.5-8. Due to their fragile nature, emeralds are one of the only stones with their own designated cut. The emerald cut features long, rectangular facets and exceptional clarity. This special design helps protect the stone from obtaining major damage during normal wear and tear.

    unique diamond and emerald rings

    Rockford Collection is very experienced in crafting with emerald stones. We are more than happy to customize any design to incorporate emeralds upon request.


    matching gemstone rings for him and her

    Congratulations, you’re officially a gemstone expert! Now let’s review what you’ve learned:

    There are only four types of precious stones: 

    • Diamond
    • Sapphire
    • Emerald
    • Ruby

    Precious stones are considered precious due to their:

    • Color
    • Quality
    • Rarity

    All other stones are characterized as semi-precious

    To view Rockford Collection’s previous work with precious gemstones, click here. If you’d like to speak with a customer service representative regarding design customizations, you may make an appointment either virtually, or in our Miami or New York showrooms, by clicking here.