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Any stone which has the 3 basic qualities of beauty, rarity and durability can be regarded as a gemstone.
In gemology (study of gemstones) gemstones are not separated on the basis of precious and semi-precious but are divided on the basis of organic and inorganic group. The concept of "precious" and "semi-precious" came out decades back from the trade to help separate expensive (precious) gemstones from inexpensive (semi-precious) ones.
Gemstones that generally falls under precious category are: Diamond (all colors), Emerald, Ruby, Sapphires (all colors), Alexandrite (color changing), Natural Pearl, Coral (Hawaiian), Amber, Garnet (some varieties), Lapis Lazuli (Afghanistan) and all other rare stones.