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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gem \Gem\, n. [OE. gemme precious stone, F. gemme, fr. L. gemma a precious stone, bud.] 1. (Bot.) A bud. [1913 Webster] From the joints of thy prolific stem A swelling knot is raised called a gem. --Denham. [1913 Webster] 2. A precious stone of any kind, as the ruby, emerald, topaz, sapphire, beryl, spinel, etc., especially when cut and polished for ornament; a jewel. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. Anything of small size, or expressed within brief limits, which is regarded as a gem on account of its beauty or value, as a small picture, a verse of poetry, a witty or wise saying. [1913 Webster] Artificial gem, an imitation of a gem, made of glass colored with metallic oxide. Cf. Paste, and Strass. [1913 Webster]