What Is a Gemstone? What Is a Gem?
Have you ever seen a diamond in a ring? An opal in a necklace? A pearl earring? Diamonds, opals, and pearls are types of gemstones. A gemstone is a mineral, rock, or organic material that is used for jewelry, ornamentation, or art. A gem, such as a diamond, is a type of gemstone that must be cut and polished for its beauty to be visible. Opals and pearls may be styled into jewelry or art without any cuts or polishing. They are gemstones, but not gems.
Where are Gemstones Found?
Gemstones occur in locations all over the world. Diamonds are found deep within the earth in a rock called kimberlite. Tourmaline and beryl are found in stream beds after they erode from surrounding rocks. And garnet is often found in a rock called gneiss, which has been heated to high temperatures.