In the West, precious stones are diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. All other stones are considered semi-precious stones. However, this is a commercial based classification and was a distinction that marketers created years ago which gives the false impression that precious stones are more valuable than semi-precious stones.
The Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is an American magazine dedicated to lapidary interests such as gemology, jewelry design, metalworking, mineralogy, rocks, and gemstones. The magazine was established in 1947 as the Lapidary Journal, and was renamed to its current title in 2005. Wikipedia