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Difference between Gems and Crystals

Difference between Gems and Crystals

Gems Vs. Crystals

What is the Difference between Gems and Crystals? Nowadays, gems and crystals are used in various ways around the world; since they have a great variety of applications.

They are used in jewelry, decoration but there are differences between Gems and Crystals and you should not be confused.

Difference between Gems and Crystals


Gems or precious stones are usually minerals found in the soil cut and polished for use in jewelry and other decorative pieces.

What are the 7 gems?

To be precise the precious stones are only 7 in number

  • Diamond
  • Pearl
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Oriental Catseye
  • Alexandrite

Not all gems are minerals: for example;

lapis lazuli is a rock (although it is composed of minerals), and amber, which is a fossilized plant resin.

Gems can be known as precious or semi-precious stones.

Among the precious rhinestones diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are included; while the rest are classified as semiprecious stones.

Gemstones are classified by their color, transparency, and hardness.

Today, geologists use the chemical composition of the gems to classify them into groups and varieties.

The price of these depends on the rarity, color, composition, hardness, and cut.

For Further Reading


Crystals are pure substances whose atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern.

The process of crystal formation through mechanisms of crystalline growth is called crystallization or solidification.

The crystals are classified by their forms into hexagonal, cubic, orthorhombic, tetragonal, rhombohedral, and monoclinic.

They are mostly translucent and their colors are determined by the light that passes through them.

Note: gems may be crystals, but crystals cannot be gems.

Key differences between Gems and Crystals

  • Gems are minerals or fossilized organic substances that are cut and polished for use,
  • Crystals are solid materials whose atoms, molecules and ions are arranged in an ordered pattern.
  • The gems are classified by their crystalline structure and chemical composition, whereas the crystals are classified by their form: hexagonal, cubic, orthorhombic, tetragonaesl, rhombohedral and monoclinic.
  • Crystals have greater variety of use compared to gems, which are used especially in jewelry.
  • Crystals are cheaper than gemstones.

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