Emerald is one of the old "precious gemstones," in the system of precious versus semi-precious stones that dates back to 1858. The original precious gems included Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, and Diamond, and sometimes Pearl. (As a side note, the colored stones were regarded as more valuable than diamond, because diamonds were abundant - not yet controlled by the cartel!) Semi-precious stones would have included nearly any other gem used in jewelry, including peridot, turquoise, aquamarine, amethyst, and lapis lazuli. Now, with the worldwide gem trade, greater scientific understanding, and the discovery of even more "precious" stones - such as alexandrite, tanzanite, and tsavorite - than the original group, the major gem industry groups encourage avoiding the terms precious and semiprecious.
Charlotte Webb wire wrapped this opaque precious 68-carat emerald cabochon from South America in sterling silver wire, accented with Swarovski crystals.