But my question is, who exactly decides what makes a semi-precious
The best way to deal with these terminologies is to stop using one
of them! The term "semi-precious" is obsolete in today's world, IMO;
call them ALL gemstones (from jasper to garnet to diamond), some of
which happen to be more valuable than others.
The big four AD diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire AD still have a
certain cachet and recognition in the mass market, but even there I
think you'll find things changing. Tanzanite, for one, has joined
that elite company in the last several years.
If we all stop making a distinction between precious and
semi-precious, so eventually will the marketplace. They are all
gemstones and their relative values are determined by beauty, rarity,
durability, desirability, the eye of the beholder (I'll take a fiery
black opal over a sapphire any day!) and , like it or not, fashion
Bury the term "semi-precious." It no longer has a place in today's