Difference Between Gems and Crystals

Today 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 the two and they should not be confused.  Difference Between Gems and Crystals

Here we explain the difference between them.

GEMS  Difference Between Gems and Crystals

Gems or gemstones are generally minerals found in the ground. They are cut and polished to be used in jewelry and other decorative pieces.

Not all gems are minerals , for example; lapis lazuli is a rock (although it is made up of minerals) and amber, which is a fossilized plant resin.

 Gems can be known as precious or semi-precious stones. Among the p precious hinestones diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires are included; while the rest are classified as semi-precious stones.

Gemstones are classified by their color, transparency, and hardness. Today, geologists use the chemical composition of gems to classify them into groups and varieties. The price of these depends on the rarity, color, composition, hardness and cut.


Crystals are pure substances whose atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly pattern. The process of crystal formation through crystal growth mechanisms is called crystallization or solidification.

 The cristales are classified by their shapes: hexagonal, cubic, orthorhombic, tetragonal, rhombohedral and monoclinic. E n most they are translucent and their colors are determined by the light passing through them.

They are less expensive than gems. Salt , snowflakes, and quartz are some of the most common types of crystals.

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

Key differences 

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

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