10 Most Rare Gemstones in the World

Gemstones are a reflection of a person’s status in life. The more rare that it gets, the more desirable it becomes. That is why those seemingly innocuous stones and minerals can actually command millions of dollars. On the dark side, it can also be a cause for exploitation and even war.

So what gemstones are most desired by humans? These are the top ten most rare gemstones in the world.

1. Fancies

Fancies are diamonds with strong colors. While diamonds in general are not that rare, fancies are. As a matter of fact, out of 10,000 carat of diamonds sold, only one carat is a fancy. This gemstone can take a lot of colors, including black, blue, brown, gray, green, milky white, orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. The brown fancies are also called champagnes, while the black diamonds are also called carbonado. The latter has been proven to be meteoric.  Out of these super rare fancies, the most rare is the red variety.  There are only around 35 red diamonds known to man, and most of it weighs less than half a carat. The largest was the rough red diamond found by a Brazilian farmer that weighed 14 carats. After cutting and polishing, the largest left of it is the Moussaieff Red that weighs 5.11 carats. Red diamonds are so priceless that none is currently available at any price.

2. Benitoite

This gemstone is named after San Benito County in California, the only place where it can be found. It has a strong blue color and emits dispersion similar to that of a diamond. Under ultraviolet light, it radiates an intense blue-white color. Benitoites usually come less than a carat, though the largest ever found weighed 15.42 carats. A flawless gem that was shaped like a pear and weighed 6.52 carats once existed, but it got stolen at the Zurich International Airport in Switzerland.

3. Musgravite

This rare mineral was discovered in 1967 in South Australia’s Musgrave Range, hence, the name. The gemstone has since been found in Madagascar, Antarctica and Greenland. Only eight specimens of this gem have been identified. Musgravite, however, is very similar to another gem called taaffeite, so it is possible that some taaffeites have just been misidentified.  Green laser spectroscopy can be used to differentiate the two.

4. Taaffeite

The Irish gemologist Richard Taaffe discovered this rare stone in 1945. The color may vary from purple or mauve to red. The red is the most rare, and less than ten of this variety has been discovered. Even the relatively more common purple and mauve are so rare that you cannot even fill half a cup using all the taaffeite found in the planet. Experts say that taaffeite is actually a million times harder to find compared to diamonds.

5. Bixbite

It is now more commonly known as red beryl so as to avoid confusion with bixbyite. This mineral was named after the mineralogist Maynard Bixby in Beaver in Utah in 2004. Beryl is actually a compound made up of oxygen, aluminum, beryllium and silicon. Colors may be aquamarine, gold, green, emerald, or red, depending on the trace metal that is derived from the stone. As an example, iron metal is derived from the aquamarine and golden variety of beryl. Chromium or vanadium may be derived from green and emerald beryls. Cesium and lithium can be found in pezzotaite beryls. For morganites, trace metals of manganese can be seen.

The red color is also derived from the trace manganese in the stone. Supply of the red beryl is limited because it can only be found in small areas in Utah. Gem experts and analysts estimate that rubies are actually 8,000 times more plentiful than red beryls, making the red beryls sold in the market extremely under priced.

6. Jeremejevite

The Russian mineralogist Pavel Jeremejev discovered this mineral in 1883. It can be found in small crystals shaped like obelisks, and it has often been mistaken for aquamarine. The best quality jeremejevite can be found in Namibia. Colors may range from sky blue or pale yellow, or it can be colorless as well.

7. Grandidierite

The French natural historian Alfred Grandidier discovered this rare gemstone. Grandidierite is a bluish green mineral found mainly in Madagascar. It is trichroic, meaning it transmits three colors, namely blue, green and white light. This mineral is sometimes mistaken for serendibite.

8. Poudretteite

Poudretteite was discovered in 1987 in a quarry located in Mont Saint Hilaire in Quebec in Canada. The Poudrette family operated the quarry. It was initially thought to be extremely rare, but several of this gemstone was discovered in Myanmar in 2000. The heaviest was a pale pink stone weighing 9.41 carats. Pourdetteite, however, is a ver soft stone, making it unsuitable for rings. It may be used for earrings, pins or pendants however, provided that a lot of care is taken when using it.

9. Serendibite

Sri Lanka was called Serendib in the past. This rare stone was discovered in that country, thus the name. Serendibite has a cyan color, and it has a very complex formula made up of aluminum, boron, calcium, magnesium, oxygen and silicon. Only three faceted specimens are known to exist, with each weighing less than a carat. One measured 0.35 carats, another weighed 0.55 carats and the last one came in at 0.56 carats. D. P. Gunasekera, a specialist in rare stones, discovered the first two stones.

10. Painite

This rare stone once held the distinction of being the most rare gemstone in the world. The British gemologist named Arthur Charles Davy Pain discovered it in Mogok and Kachin state in Myanmar. Colors may vary from brown to red and pink. It is also pleochroic, meaning it can emit different hues depending on the angle you are coming from. When placed under short wave ultraviolet light, this rare stone will emit and fluoresce a strong green color. Eighteen specimens of this gemstone have been found.

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10 Most Rare Gemstones in the World