Gemstones are just some of Mother Nature’s prettier gifts naturally composed of minerals and unique chemical properties. These stones are classified as precious or semi-precious stones, a tradition that dates back to the ancient Greek era. When in cut and polished form, these stones look so attractive on accessories, embellishments, and jewelry. The rarity of the gemstone is the characteristic that takes its value up a higher notch. But worry not because we have dug the world deep in search for 10 of the more affordable semi-precious gemstones just for you and your semi-tight budget!
Pearls are semi-precious gemstones produced in the mantle of a shelled mollusk. The perfect pearl is ideally round and smooth, but lately, there have been a few modifications in terms of shapes and designs. Wild pearls are the most valuable types of pearls for they are produced spontaneously in the wild and are very rare and very expensive, sometimes even priceless. Cultured pearls are made from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels; these are the ones that sell the most in the market.
Pearls are graded on a scale; those that are classified at a slightly lower rate are quite cheap. Mid-grade pearls will save you a lot of money as they can be similarly compared to high-grade pearls. A necklace made out of freshwater pearls will only cost you around $100. That’s not too bad for a good looking chain on your neck.
This gemstone is Iron (III) Oxide in mineral form and usually comes in black, silver-grey or steel, brown or reddish brown with a rust-red streak and shiny metallic finish when properly polished. It is considered to be harder than pure iron but more brittle. You wouldn’t usually see Hematite gemstones as a centerpiece on, but preferably they are popularly used for fashioning beads used on beautiful jewelry pieces.
Jasper is usually green, yellow, red, or brown; rarely in the shade of blue. It is the birthstone of those born in March and is a form of chalcedony, an impure and opaque variety of silica. This gemstone is widely used as an ornament on vases, seals, and as pendants. Jasper prices at just a few dollars per carat.
Turquoise is a bluish-green opaque gemstone which is rare and valuable in its most excellent grade, albeit recently, its value has significantly decreased due to modern treatment done to enhance its color and synthetics. In the Mohs scale, its maximum hardness goes up to 6. It is composed of copper and aluminum.
Like the Jasper gemstone, this, too, is a variety of chalcedony. It is popular, very affordable, and believed to be a mystically empowered gemstone. Even the pure black onyx costs just a few bucks in the market. Its colors range from white to every other color except purple or blue.
6. ROSE QUARTZ
Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on earth; many of its types make affordable gemstones. The Rose Quartz comes in a pale pink to rose red color and is widely used for stone healing. Its feminine hue makes it more appealing to women and men who wish to gift their partners a beautiful looking gemstone on a classy jewelry piece.
7. TIGER’S EYE
Countless people own a piece or two of this gemstone across the globe because of their affordability and commonality. It is either in different shades of brown or colored yellow and black. Tiger’s Eye gemstones with rare color combinations are high-quality pieces and therefore are marginally more expensive. In the market, the more popular Tiger’s Eye gemstone sells for just a few dollars per carat, sometimes even less.
Similar to the Rose Quartz, this gemstone is categorized under Quartz, too, and is the most popular in that family. This is the birthstone of those born in February. Its hues can range from lavender to the deepest shade of violet. The Amethyst used to be one of the more expensive gemstones, but these days, its value has decreased due to its abundance. Even high-quality Amethyst gemstones sell only for less than $10 per carat.
9. RED GARNET
Remember Noah’s Ark? The Garnet family was mentioned in that biblical story. Garnet is a band of gemstones that are found in a vast spectrum of colors. Deep red being the most popular color, it is too, the most affordable. Garnets earn a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Garnets are mostly mined in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the United States of America, East Africa and Russia.
10. BLUE TOPAZ
Topaz is also one of the most popular gemstones. The more valuable ones that come in pink, red, and orange are mined mainly in Pakistan, Brazil, and Russia. On the Mohs scale, its hardness is 8. The Topaz becomes blue after irradiation enhancement. When exposed to heat and intense UV rays for some time, it may lose its color. The Blue Topaz and some other gemstones in the Topaz family are believed to contain mystical, strengthening and magical powers.
Of course there are more than just these 10 affordable semi-precious gemstones. But these are 10 of the top gemstones most budget friendly.