A gemstone or gem (also called a fine gem, jewel, or a precious or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral crystal, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks (such as lapis lazuli) or organic materials that are not minerals (such as amber or jet), are also used for jewelry, and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well.
Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone. Apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity engraved gems and Hardstone carvings, such as cups, were major luxury art forms. A gemstone maker is called a lapidary or gem cutter; a diamond worker is a diamantaire.
Gemstones are so fascinating! Their colors, properties, myths, and legends are diverse and fascinating. Folklore about stones has been revered and honored for centuries in all cultures.