Semi-precious stone beads are made of gemstones that are not considered precious, but are still naturally occurring and beautiful. Some of the most popular semi-precious stone beads are agate, amethyst, onyx, quartz and tiger's eye.

Semi-precious stone beads are often used because of their brilliant colors and natural interesting features, but their popularity is also due to the mystical properties that people say each contains.

Necklaces strung with semi-precious stone beads are sometimes worn to harness the particular power associated with that gemstone, and empower the wearer.

Mohs' Scale of Hardness

Semi-precious stone beads are rated using Mohs' Scale of Hardness. This scale ranks minerals in order of hardness, with stones of a higher rating being able to scratch anything below it on the scale.

Each number on the scale is represented by a type of mineral. Semi-precious stone beads do not have to be the hardest mineral for use in jewelry, but they must be hard enough to withstand wear and stringing.

The more popular semi-precious stone beads normally rate higher than 5 on the scale.

Examples of semi-precious stone beads


Agate semi-precious stone beads come from nodular masses found in rocks, most common being ones formed by volcanic lava.

They have bands that distinguish them from similar stones, and are thought to speed the metabolism, relieve insomnia and many other reported healing qualities.

Mohs' Scale: 6.5 to 7


The color of amethyst makes it highly popular as a semi-precious stone bead. They are transparent, with a strong violet hue. This color is thought to be due to the iron content within the gemstone.

Semi-precious stone beads made from amethyst are thought to enable forgiveness, calm, protect, cleanse and energize.

Mohs' Scale: 7

Lapis Lazuli

The name lapis lazuli means blue stone from translations using Latin and Arabic. Semi-precious stone beads made from lapis lazuli are deep blue, and are commonly mined in Chile and Afghanistan.

It was used to pigment the paint in Renaissance artwork, and was hugely adored by many ancient civilizations.

When worn, lapis lazuli semi-precious stone beads are thought to protect from evil and attract good fortune, while encouraging success in love, disposition and attitude.

Mohs' Scale: 5-6


Blue topaz semi-precious stone beads are an intense dark blue, and encourage leadership, growth and insight.

Honor and truth are associated with semi-precious stone beads of pink topaz, while clear topaz helps communication, gold topaz builds abundance and green topaz guides forgiveness and understanding.

Mohs' Scale: 8

Tiger's Eye

Named for the appearance of a glowing, striped eye-like optical illusion, semi-precious stone beads of tiger's eye are thought to build confidence, abundance, settle disputes and provide a calming aura.

It attracts good luck, and for this reason and its interesting appearance is quite a popular semi-precious stone bead.

Mohs' Scale: 7

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