It can be very difficult to recognize the differences between gemstones and crystals. After all, does a distinguished line between the two really matter? As it turns out, they are both not so similar. While gemstones are primarily used in jewelry and decoration pieces, crystals can be used in various applications such as healing, jewelry, vases, scientific purposes, etc. A gem can be a crystal, while a crystal cannot be called as a gem.
Gemstones are rare pieces of minerals that are found in the ground, which are then cut and polished to be used in jewelry and other decorative pieces. Not all gems are minerals, such as a rock and amber, which are organic materials. They can also be known as precious or semi-precious stones. Precious stones include diamonds and emeralds, while the rest are qualified as semi-precious stones. Gemstones are classified by their color, translucency and hardness. Today, geologists use the chemical composition of a gemstone to classify it into groups, species and varieties.
Crystals are pure substances whose atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern. The process of crystal formation is called crystallization or solidification. Not all crystals need to be in solid formation, where water freezing also begins with small ice crystals that grow. Crystal symmetry requires that the unit cells stack perfectly with no gaps. Crystals are light in color and are mostly translucent. The color of crystal is determined by the light passing through it. Salt and snowflakes are the most common types of crystals that are encountered.
In a nutshell, gemstones are collectively more rare and more expensive than crystals, which can be anything as mundane as salt or as beautiful as a diamond.