Meet our 2020 Blogging Finalist Wendy Warren who shares her expert knowledge on semi precious gemstones.

All You Need to Know About Semi-Precious Gemstones

And things to consider when choosing them

For many of us the key to a perfect outfit is accessorising with the perfect jewellery. Jewellery not only adds a point of interest but glamour and colour too. It also echoes your unique style and personality.

Gemstones have been used for thousands of years.

Gemstones and jewellery have been a part of mankind for as long as we can remember. As far back as the Egyptians coloured gemstones have been used to make pieces of jewellery. They loved stones like Amethyst, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli and Carnelian.

Cleopatra dressed in emeralds from head to toe. She believed they contained the secret to eternal youth!

They strongly believed that colour reflects aspects of our personalities. Because of this, colour symbolism was very important to them.


By the Roman era most gemstones that we use today had already been discovered.


A gem is a precious stone that possesses qualities of durability, beauty and rarity. Some of them are left in their natural state and others are cut and polished to be used in jewellery.


The difference between a precious and semi-precious stone

Historically, Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires are the gems that are most commonly referred to as precious. Every other gemstone that isn’t one of those four is considered to be semi-precious.






These terms were based on old traditions, where “precious” meant that they were of higher value. But, in today’s world, these terms are considered to be arbitrary and meaningless because they don’t take into account the grading or rarity of the stone. As an example, many natural pearls would be worth far more than a low quality graded “precious” diamond or sapphire and Tanzanite is a 1000 times rarer than a diamond yet classified as semi-precious!


Calling a gemstone semi-precious does not mean it is less valuable than a precious one. When choosing, try and not to get too caught up on if the stone is precious versus semi precious. All gemstones are precious, in the sense that if they give meaning and value to YOU in a piece of jewellery, then they are special!


In today’s market there are literally hundreds of gemstones to choose from. They come in all colours of the rainbow and choosing just one for your jewellery could be a difficult decision to make.


Which gemstone should you choose?

People choose gemstones for a variety of reasons. For some, birthstones would be a popular reason for deciding on a semi-precious stone while for others it may be more about the meaning and energy of the stone.

Regardless of the reason, choosing the right gemstone is a personal choice. What appeals to you? When will you wear it? What are you willing to pay?

Things to consider when choosing a gemstone

Colour -To start with, you must like the colour. The colour is the most important part of choosing a gemstone because this is the quality that is noticed the most. Colour is broken down into hue, saturation and tone. Hue is the literal colour of the stone, while saturation is the intensity of the colour and the tone is the reflection of light.

The colour should compliment your skin tone. You may have already figured out that some colours look better against your skin than others and many of us gravitate to those ideal hues. Your own skin tone plays with or against different hues and this is why certain colours may be more flattering on you than others. Choosing your ideal gem hue is all about distinguishing cool tones from warm. Yellow undertones of the skin suggest a warmer complexion and blue undertones a cooler complexion. So for example, a Citrine or Carnelian would be the ideal choice if you had a warm complexion and Amethyst or Blue Topaz if you had a cooler tone to your skin.


If you’re not sure and want to play it safe, opt for a neutral hued gemstone like Opals or Pearls because you can never go wrong with a classic neutral!



Your Personal Style and Lifestyle -When choosing a piece of jewellery for yourself first try and determine what kind of personal style you have and then choose something that fits in with that style. Some questions to ask yourself might be:

What’s your work wardrobe like? Is it classic and conservative with suits and heels, or more casual, like “dress-down” Friday, every day of the week? Do you go for cocktails after work and go to dinner and the theatre on the weekends? Or is your idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon a picnic in the park or watching a game of football? Do you tend to wear pretty, feminine things or does your wardrobe lean more towards minimalist and sporty?






It’s important to get a handle on these things because when you choose your jewellery you’ll want it to look great with what you wear. You’ll be happier with your jewellery and wear it for longer if it’s chosen with your own unique personal style and lifestyle in mind.

Versatility -Few of us enjoy the luxury of having a piece of jewellery for every outfit in our wardrobe so choosing a piece that is versatile and will go with several things is key.

Are you looking for a jewellery box staple that’s clean, minimal and will go with every outfit Monday through to Sunday? Does your jewellery box already have the basics? If not, that may be where you want to start. Either choose something neutral as a basic starter or if you are confident with what colours work best for you choose one that will work with more than one outfit.

Or are you looking for that wow, statement piece just to wear on special occasions?

Consider the purpose or occasion and this will make your decision easier.


Budget -Finally, what is your budget?

If it’s going to be a piece you plan on wearing everyday then are you willing to spend more as the cost per wear will be considerably lower than if you only bring it out occasionally.

Is that special occasion worth blowing the budget for?

Whatever the reason, there is no wrong choice!

Jewellery is a personal decision.

Enjoy choosing that beautiful coloured gemstone and most of all, feel great wearing it!

This blog was written by Wendy Warren of Wendy Warren Jewellery.