A GEMSTONE is a mineral formed without any human intervention which possesses
» beauty or colour
» durability or hardness
» clarity, lustre or fire
all of which govern its value.
Minerals and materials that are equally important to the gemcutter but cannot be classified as gemstones are classified as ORNAMENTAL STONES.
In the past only about 70 minerals of all the defined minerals have been used as gemstones.
Synthetic gemstones or minerals, other synthetic products and imitations of gemstones are the largest source of gemstones, but remain of little interest to the gem collector and gemcutter.