The two main reasons why gemstones vary in price are their relative rarity and quality. We pay more if the gemstones are much less common like alexandrite.  Or if their color is particularly desirable - watermelon tourmaline comes to mind. Whether or not there are a lot of impurities or inclusions is another factor.

Then there is their preparation from rough rock to finished gemstone. We begin to appreciate the cost when we see how much work goes into making round gemstone beads.  No faceting. Just plain round beads.

Shown here is a video from Cherry Tree Beads taken during a trip to China earlier this year.

This work was accomplished with power equipment.  Can you imagine how painstaking it must have been centuries ago when everything was done by hand?

H/T Iguana Beads on Facebook

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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