Rarity, size, and uniqueness are just a few of the factors that drive the value of gemstones. Check out our list of the five most expensive types of gemstones in the world to see which rank highest!
Colored diamonds are some of the rarest colored gemstones in the world. Two stunning examples include the Oppenheimer Blue and the Pink Star. The Oppenheimer Blue, a vivid blue diamond weighing 14.6-carats sold at auction for $57.5 million. (that’s over $4 million per carat). The Pink Star, a 59.6-carat vivid pink diamond, recently became the most expensive gemstone ever sold at $71.2 million!
High quality rubies demand a high price per carat, but it wasn’t until 2015 that a ruby joined the exclusive club of gemstones that are worth over $1 million per carat. The Sunrise Ruby, a Burmese red gemstone weighing 25.6 carats, sold for $30.42 million ($1.2 million per carat). The intense color, balanced cut, and incredible purity are rare in a ruby of this size, which helped drive the price of this beautiful stone.
Sapphires have long been one of the most desired colored gemstones. When natural color and perfect clarity combine in a large sized sapphire, these fantastic gemstones can command a high price per carat. The Jewel of Kashmir Sapphire, which is described as cornflower blue with a cut that shows off its incredible clarity, sold at auction for $6.7 million. The sapphire weighed 27.7-carats, meaning it sold for just under $250,000 per carat!
This stone most definitely takes the award for least well-known gem on our list of the most expensive gemstones! Taaffeite wasn’t identified until 1945 when a stone that was already cut and labeled as spinel underwent further testing. This newly identified mineral is very rare and only found in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Specimens of Taafeite are valued at $35,000 per carat.
Spinel may be less well-known than other gemstones but that definitely doesn’t make it any less desirable. This gemstone is available in a range of colors including blue, yellow, orange, pink, purple and red. Historically the red specimens were often mistaken for rubies, as was the record breaking Hope Spinel that was recently sold at auction for a staggering $1.4 million. The Hope Spinel weighs over 50 carats but still commanded almost $30,000 per carat
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