Old and new classifications of gemstones

Do you know that years ago the classification of gemstones was completely different from the way how we classify precious stones nowadays?

Two thousand years ago all gemstones were classified only based on color alone. Some very different stones with completely various characteristics were classified as one and the same thing.  However, nowadays everything has changed and we do take into consideration some other qualities.

There were also other rankings of stones where some stones were viewed as superior and some as inferior.  The traditional precious stones were diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.  All other stones were considered as semi precious. However, this approach is nowadays viewed as outdated. It is not fair to judge stones just solely on the minerals characteristics therefore modern classifications are based on a number of factors that gives us a more balanced and objective picture.

Contemporary classifications view beauty, rarity and durability as key factors. Having said that, it is clear that at least the first quality is a must for everyone.  Visual appearance plays a critical factor when we judge precious stones. Color, symmetry and surface appearance is exactly what pleases the eye. Well balanced shapes and proportions in combinations with a matching color can enhance the beauty of any owner. It also should be noted that possession of a rare gemstone can be a manifestation of dedication for some aesthetic lovers. Durability is also often considered when one chooses a precious stone. This trait embraces a couple of characteristics that are of crucial importance.   Among them are hardness and toughness, the former helps to resist scratching and abrasion, the latter helps to withstand breaking, chipping and possible cracking.

All in all, modern classifications, in contrast to older ones, significantly value characteristics of gemstones and are based on the belief that beauty, rarity and durability play a significant role in aesthetic appreciation of any precious stone.







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