There are roughly 4,000 minerals and almost two hundred known varieties of gemstones on our earth. Alongside the world’s precious gems (sapphire, emerald, diamond and ruby) are several semi-precious stones that you’ve never heard of because of their rarity. Some of which are so unbelievably rare that their worth surpasses many of the world’s most valuable precious gems. These rare gemstones take millions of years to be formed. In this collection, we come with the some of the rarest gemstones in the world. They are world’s most expensive, unique and most valuable gemstones.
Without further ado let’s check out the Top 13 rarest gemstones in the world
13 BLACK OPAL
Opals are typically a creamy-white color and are made by the rainbow-coloured inclusions that reflect the light as the gem is moved. Black opals are very rare because approx all of them are spotted in mines in the Lightning Ridge region of New South Wales in Australia. The brighter the inclusions and the darker their background color, the more valuable the stone. In 1938 in Lightning Ridge “Aurora Australis” one of the most valuable black opals of all time is was discovered. The 180-carat black opal is especially appreciated due to its intense harlequin coloration and large size. In 2005 it was valued at about $763,000 U.S.
Larimar is found in only one small part of the Dominican Republic and is a very rare blue class of the mineral pectolite. This turquoise stone’s name was given by the person who brought Larimar to notability in 1974, Miguel Méndez—he took the initials of his daughter’s name, Larissa, and merged it with the “mar” Spanish word for the sea to create the word larimar.
11 PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Tourmalines are commonly found in many colors across Brazil, except the Paraiba tourmalines, the only gemstones with a bright turquoise hue, thanks to the copper content present. A determined miner Heitor Dimas Barbosa, who had a belief that something special is hidden beneath the hills of the Brazilian state of Paraiba discovered this very rare stone in 1987. After years of fruitless digging, Barbosa finally uncovered a tourmaline of unmatched neon blue that set the gem market aflame. For every 10,000 diamonds, only one stone is mined and is extremely rare stone. In 2003 at mines in the mountains of Nigeria and Mozambique very similar turquoise-colored tourmalines were found, although some people say they are not as striking as the Paraiba tourmaline.
Poudretteite was first discovered in 1960’s in Mont St. Hilaire in Quebec, Canada and is extremely rare. It was named in tribute and honor of the Poudrette family who is the operators of the quarry where the stone was discovered. Poudretteite has a very pale pink color and a hexagonal shape. Making it one of the most expensive gemstones on earth, Poudretteite’s price is a whopping $3,000 per karat.
Benitoite is relatively new in the list of the rarest gemstones. Fluoresces under UV light, Benitoite is a blue barium titanium silicate mineral. First identified by geologist George Louderback in 1907, benitoite is only mined in a small area near the San Benito River, California. Although in 2006, the mine closed for commercial mining, making this gemstone yet more scarce. Due to its rarity, it can be extremely expensive and is one of the most valuable gems. Furthermore, Benitoite rarely exceeds 2 karats. Diablo Range, in San Benito County, California is the biggest source of Benitoite. Hence Benitoite was named as the official state gem of California in 1985.
Alexandrite is an extremely rare gemstone of chrysoberyl. Due to its color changing ability, it’s often described as ‘emerald by day, ruby by night’. Under incandescent light it becomes red-purple and in sunlight, the stone looks blue-green. In the 1830’s in the Ural Mountains of Russia, Count Lev Alekseevich Perovskii was the first to discover Alexandrite and he gave a name to this gemstone. Alexandrite has replaced the conventional pearl as the modern June birthstone. It is also the gemstone for the 55th wedding anniversary. Alexandrite needs beryllium to form which is considered to be one of the rarest elements on earth.
Jeremejevite is a very rare aluminum borate mineral with variable hydroxide and fluoride ions. Its chemical formula is Al6B5O15(F,OH)3. Named after Russian mineralogist Pavel Vladimirovich Eremeev (Jeremejev, German), Jeremejevite was first described for an occurrence on Mt. Soktui, Nerschinsk district, Adun-Chilon Mountains, Siberia in 1883. It has also been reported from the Eifel district, Germany, the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan and Namibia.
Of the two types of pure Jade, Jadeite is the rarest one. It was very precious in ancient societies and is a pyroxene mineral. It was believed that if it was rubbed on the side of the body it could cure kidney stones. Jadeite can not only be found in a rich emerald green, but also different colors. However, out of all colors, the green colored Jadeite is the most valuable. Jadeite has been used to make jewelry and pendants since the prehistoric times. Furthermore, it’s the hour birthstone for those who born between 9 and 10 PM.
In 1902, Grandidierite was first discovered in Southern Madagascar. Grandidierite was named in honor of Alfred Grandidier, a French explorer who is also an expert on Madagascan natural history. It’s one of the rarest gemstones on earth and it is almost impossible to find. Samples of Grandidierite have been found in locations such as Namibia and Sri Lanka.
Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe an Austrian-Irish gemologist in the 1940s bought a box of cut stones from a jeweler in Dublin, thinking he had bought a collection of spinels. But on closer examination, he observed that one of the pale mauve gemstones was not reacting to the light rays in the same manner as the other spinels, so Richard sent it off to be analyzed. The results unveiled that he had uncovered an unknown gemstone taaffeite. The source of taaffeite was to Sri Lanka and it is also been found in China and Tanzania. It is expected that rarely 50 examples of taaffeite exist, many of which are held in private and geological collections. This makes the gemstone so rare that ordinary people are unlikely to ever encounter it.
03 Red Beryl
Red Beryl, also known as scarlet emerald, Bixbite or red emerald is a rare variety of beryl. It gets its red color from the small traces of manganese. Discovered in Utah, USA the Bixbite or Red Beryl was named after Maynard Bixby. Due to its beautiful color and rarity, it is one of the most desirable gemstones. For every 150,000 gem-quality diamonds only one such gem is discovered. The most valuable Red Beryl or Bixbite would have a raspberry pink to purplish red color.
Found only in one location on earth near the hills of Merelani in Northern Tanzania, Tanzanite is an exotic gemstone. Found in 1967 by Manuel d’Souza it is a recent discovery. It is a member of the Zoisite mineral family. Furthermore, it’s the gem for the 24th anniversary and birthstone for December. Also, these rare gemstones look similar to the Kashmir sapphire in color.
Painite is a very rare borate gemstone. Guinness Book of World Records described it as the rarest gemstones in the past. English gem collector Arthur Charles Davy Pain firstly discovered it in the 1950s and it was named after him. Once, Painite was recognized as the rarest mineral in the world. However, many Painite has been found later. It contains boron, calcium, zirconium, aluminum, and traces of vanadium and chromium which is the reason for its orange red color. The gemstone was found in a village near Mogok, Burma. Many of the Painite are presently in California Institute of Technology, the British Museum of Natural History, and the GRS gem research laboratory in Switzerland.