Types of Gemstones for Jewelry

There are many different types of gemstones for jewelry. As a result, the cost of gemstones vary considerably, and are based on the following factors:

Let’s jump into each category to learn more.

Gem Type

The gem type has the most impact as to the cost of the stone. The chart below summarizes which types of gems fall into each category. (Note- prices were determined by comparing 4mm round genuine stones or an equivalent.)


Gemstones typically range from 1mm to 12mm. Smaller stones are used for accents, while large stones are show pieces. The lower end of the scale could be in the $10 range, and the higher end of the scale could be in the $500 range holding all other variables (shape, quality, etc) the same.


The following are the most common types of shapes. The shape itself doesn’t have as much of an impact on cost as some other factors. Round and oval gems tend to be the most common and as a result, the least expensive.

Round / Square / Rectangle Shapes
Pear / Triangle / Other Shapes

Graded Quality

The following is to provide a generic high-level idea of quality for gemstones. Each type of stone has its own individual criteria and rating. The higher the grade, the more expensive the stone will be. Not all stones will be capable of all grades.


There are three ways that gems are produced – see chart below. Genuine/ Natural gems could range anywhere from $10 – $10,000+ depending on the gem type. For estimation purposes, lab grown gems might be about half the cost of a genuine one, and imitation gems could be significantly cheaper ($10-$50) depending on the material. One typically only finds lab or imitation gem options if the genuine option is very expensive. For example, turquoise isn’t an expensive gem, and as such, it would be harder to find a lab or imitation version of it.

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