The names "semiprecious stones" and "semi-precious stones" are used for all varieties of gemstones that are not categorized as "precious." Any gemstone suitable for being used in personal adornment would be included. Semiprecious stones include gemstones fashioned from: agate, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, aventurine, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, onyx, peridot, rhodonite, sunstone, tiger's eye, tanzanite, topaz, turquoise, tourmaline and many other materials.
Some people believe that the word "semiprecious" is derogatory, irreverent, misleading, or confusing, and that its use should be discontinued. Perhaps the people who initiated this classification had the intent of casting all gems but a few under a derogatory light?
Unfortunately, eliminating the word "semiprecious" from use would be extremely difficult. Over the past 150 years, scores of popular books have been written with the word "semiprecious" in their titles. Today the terms appear repeatedly in numerous books, magazines, web pages, and other documents published by companies in the gem and jewelry industry, government agencies, and the most influential institutions in gemology. Purging these terms from professional use would be difficult, but, eliminating them from common use would be nearly impossible - especially because some people really like these names.