The Beauty of Semi-Precious Stones!

Style Dots Gemstones, Crystals, and Birthstones, Interchangeable Jewelry, Jewelry Education Leave a Comment

by Carol McCarthy

Precious? Or Semi-Precious?

What, you may ask, makes one stone precious and another semi-precious?  In days gone by the criteria was based solely on the difference their price.  Today, there are more factors that come into play when determining whether a stone is precious, semi-precious or neither of these.  These factors include the quality of the stone, its hardness, how rare it is, and its earliest known history or the place of its origin, also known as its provenance.


Multiple semi precious stone Dots and Dotlets are shown in and around two of our many Original and Dotlet bracelets.

The Red Turquoise Dotlet really pops in the black Satin Cord Dotlet Bracelet. Vibrant streaks in shades of green on the face of the Natural Malachite Dot go so nicely in the silver Beaded Original Bracelet. Both are surrounded by specimens of our other Semi Precious Dotlets and Original Dots.

Precious And Historically Valued

Only four stones are considered by experts to be in the precious category: diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.  These stones have traditionally been the most desirable and most costly, which makes their categorization as precious the most apt.  In ancient times these were most often raw or cut and polished and placed into settings for adorning ancient religious vestments, jewelry, crowns and scepters and even wedding gowns. Today they are highly sought after for jewelry for the most posh events or for everyday. They are also the birthstones for the April, July, May and September respectively.

Semi Precious And Highly Desirable

Based on expert evaluations, many other stones were deemed semi-precious.  They fell into this category by being somewhat less rare and therefore less costly, but still highly valued for their unique beauty. Because they were more abundant, they were very often used for adornment and for jewelry making and were quite desirable and sought after.  These were often used in folk or tribal ceremonial garments, jewelry, pouches and headdresses.  Included in the list of semi-precious stones are these that are offered at Style Dots; Jasper, Howlite, Malachite, Lapis, Turquoise, Red Turquoise, Flashstone and Tiger Eye.



Model show Natural Lapis Dots and Chain and Chain Bracelet

Our model wears Lapis Dotlets in her Classic Dotlet Necklace, Dotlet Beaded Bracelet and Dotlet Ring. She adds to the natural vibe with the addition of the Lapis Chain and Lapis Chain Bracelet.


Unique Identifying Characteristics

While most of us are very familiar with the four precious stones and their gorgeous appearance, many of us are not aware of the attributes of these lesser known stones.  We offer these written descriptions and photos to help familiarize you with these impressive and unique gifts from nature.

The term Jasper derives from the Greek word for, “spotted stone.” since it contains materials that make up its interesting streaks, colors and appearance.  More rare is Jasper with a uniform color.  Howlite is predominately white with fine grey or black veins in an erratic, often web-like pattern.  Lapis has a deep blue color and most of these stones will have randomly placed grains of gold pyrite or a few fractures or mottles of white calcite making each stone fascinating and unique.  Malachite has distinctive veining in shades of green and is more scarce than it has been in previous decades which has added to its value.  Tiger Eye has a lustrous sheen and bands in golds and browns, some opaque, some translucent, with flecks of sand and iron stripes.  In some places of the world it was historically more valuable than gold. Turquoise has black or gray veining.  Flashstone has patches of black and gray with occasional flashes of gray luminescence from shell-like flecks.


At Style Dots, we’ve taken semi precious stones with pure, natural style and placed them into settings that enhance their beauty and rich history.  We then offer you contemporary foundation designs to snap them in which will show off their unique traits perfectly.  We truly believe that all gemstones are special.  If they provide meaning and value to you in your jewelry, then they are precious!