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From this discussion, http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=12834, it looks like "preciosa" is for the lovely/gorgeous meanings of "beautiful", and "hermosa" is for the handsome/fine/excellent meanings of "beautiful".
It's confusing when there's words that have a zillion synonyms in both languages, and there isn't an exact 1-1 match in meaning.
Google Translate is useful here. If you ask it to translate "beautiful" into Spanish, it will list all the possible Spanish translations, and for each Spanish translation it will list all the possible English translations. http://translate.google.com/#en/es/beautiful