semi·​pre·​cious ˌse-mē-ˈpre-shəs How to pronounce semiprecious (audio)
of a gemstone
: of less commercial value than a precious stone

Examples of semiprecious in a Sentence

semiprecious stones such as aquamarines and garnets
Recent Examples on the Web Fisher also recently launched a collection of jewelry, cheekily named Chic AF, woven with a mélange of metal and fibers, hand-gilded in 24k gold, and embellished with semiprecious stones. Rima Suqi, Condé Nast Traveler, 29 Aug. 2023 The Telegraph reported that one semiprecious stone, estimated to be worth up to £50,000 ($63,000), was offered on eBay for a minimum price of £40 ($50), but no one appeared to bid on it. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 She’s been making jewelry, including elaborate woven chain-mail-like headpieces of metal and semiprecious stones, and more recently has begun flipping the script as a photographer—she’s shot for a handful of magazines, including German Vogue. Vogue, 11 Mar. 2021 The small, semiprecious engraved gems are known as intaglios, which were first produced some 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Molly Enking, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Feb. 2023 Naturally rich in color and pattern, the semiprecious stones, including turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, agate, and jasper, deliver an organic feeling. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 15 Mar. 2021 Recently, archaeologists in Britain discovered dozens of engraved semiprecious stones from the third century at the site of an ancient bathhouse beneath the Carlisle Cricket Club, The New York Times reported. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 4 May 2023 Archaeologists have discovered a stunning 1,300-year-old necklace, made of gold, garnets and other semiprecious stones, at an excavation site in central England earmarked for a housing development. Katie Hunt, CNN, 6 Dec. 2022 Made from lapis lazuli — a semiprecious stone sourced from a remote river valley in Afghanistan — ultramarine was outrageously expensive, so most artists reserved the color for special occasions, such as painting the ceiling of the Scrovegni and Sistine Chapels. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'semiprecious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of semiprecious was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near semiprecious

Cite this Entry

“Semiprecious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


semi·​pre·​cious ˌsem-i-ˈpresh-əs How to pronounce semiprecious (audio)
: of less value than a precious stone
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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