What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of precious gemstones? Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphire and Rubies? — these are clearly some of the world’s most valuable gems. But do you know that there’s still more? You might not know this, but we have up to 200 varieties of natural gemstones in the world today. And surprisingly, most of these gemstones are rarer and of course, even more, precious than the ones you’ve seen all these years.
Still in doubt? Well here are our top ten gemstones that we think every collector should own.
Ever heard of Opals? If yes, there’s a good chance of knowing that they’re typically creamy white in color. But did you know that there are also Black Opals? These gemstones happen to be much rarer than the latter and most of them come from the Lightning Ridge area of New South Wales, Australia. In the world of Black Opals, the most valuable ones are known to have a darker background color and bright play of color. In 1983, the precious “Aurora Australis” was discovered in Lightning Ridge; this 180-carat gemstone was considered the most valuable Opal ever. What’s more, in 2005, the Black Opal was valued at a whopping AUD$1,000,000!
Next up is the Tanzanite — a gemstone that can only be found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It’s good to point out that this beautiful blue gemstone was left in the dark until it eventually went mainstream in the 1960’s. And of course, its initial popularity was as a result of the efforts of Tiffany & Co. It was discovered in 1967 and christened by the jewelry company in 1968. For the most part, a good number of these gems are heat treated to improve the blue coloration. But of course, Tanzanite that hasn’t been heated still comes with an authentic blue color and they also tend to be of much higher value. To sum it up, there’s a good chance that the value of this gemstone will increase with time. Why? Well, it’s because Tanzanite can only be found in a particular location— a small area near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro; it’s a no-brainer.
Also known as Stefilia’s stone, Larimer is an incredibly rare blue variety of the mineral Pectolite. This gemstone is found only in the Dominican Republic and its colors varies from white, green-blue, light blue to deep blue. It’s important to note that the name of this stone was created by Miguel Méndez; the man who shot it into limelight. Larimar is actually the combination of the first four letters of his daughter’s name and the Spanish word for sea — Larissa and mar. This stone has been in existence for generations and the locals were very much aware of its presence (sediments were usually washed up the seashore). However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that significant amounts of the mineral were discovered in the ground to start mining and extraction.
This gemstone was initially discovered in southern Madagascar but has since been found in other places around the world. For the most part, Grandiderite was found in 1902 by French mineralogist Alfred Lacroix but was named after the French explorer Alfred Grandidier. A good number of these stones are known to be translucent the rarest or most valuable ones are transparent. It’s good to point out that the gemstone was initially mistaken for yet another rare stone, Serendibite, but was eventually identified as Grandiderite after expert analysis. Afterwards, the precious stone was sold for an undisclosed amount of money. It’s truly one of the world’s rarest gems that deserves to be on the top ten list.
So far so good, we’ve explored some of the world’s rarest gemstones, but you won’t be wrong to see Musgravite as “exceptionally rare.”
This gemstone was discovered in 1967 in South Australia’s Musgrave thus its name.During this time there were just eight popular Musgravite stones in the world. However, as time went on, small quantities of the gem has been found in Madagascar as well as other places like Antarctica, Greenland, Tanzania and Sri Lanka. All in all, Musgravite is still incredibly scarce and of course, comes with a high price tag — up to $35,000 per carat.
This incredibly color-shifting gem was found in 1830 in the Ural Mountains of Russia and was named in honor of the Russian Tsar Alexander II. Perhaps the biggest highlight of Alexandrite is its remarkable color-changing capability; it looks blue-green in sunlight but turns red-purple under incandescent light. In fact, the gem’s nickname “Emerald by day, Ruby by night” came as a result of how it shines in different light sources. To sum it up, new deposits of this stone have since been discovered in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil. But of course, these new mines didn’t even make a dent on its rarity and value.
Initially discovered in 1951 by British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain, Painite is indisputably one of the world’s rarest gemstones. It’s important to note that the gemstone was recognized as a new mineral in 1957 and just one specimen of the dark red crystal was known to humankind. However, as years passed by, newer specimens were found and right now, over 1000 stones has been produced by mines in Myanmar (but still remains scarce). All in all, this gemstone still holds its place as one of the world’s most valuable as just a carat can be priced at $60,000!
While small deposits in places like Japan, Australia and Arkansas has been discovered of this rare gemstone, the only commercially known Benitoite mine is located in San Benito, California. It’s however important to note that the deposit no longer produces this beautiful gem, thus increasing its scarcity. As for the history of this gem, it was initially discovered in 1907 by geologist George Louderback and was named the official state gemstone of California in 1985.
Next on the list is this gemstone, Taaffeite. It was found by mere coincidence. In essence, it was identified by Austrian geologist Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe while sifting through a box of similarly colored Sri Lankan Spinel gemstones. Ever since its discovery in 1945, just a handful of the stones have been found and it’s mostly in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
Last but not least is Red Beryl — a gem-quality crystal which can be found only in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. Although this gem has popped up in other locations in Utah, Mexico and New Mexico, the ones in the Wah Wah Mountains remain the most authentic. In fact Red Beryl is so rare up to the point where the Utah Geological Survey estimated that there’s just one gem-quality Red Beryl for every 150,000 gem-quality Diamonds. What’s more, the market price of Red Beryl stones can be as high as $10,000 per carat.
So there you have it. These are our top ten gemstones that we think all collectors should consider. Remember the list is arranged in no particular order — in essence, they’re all awesome and highly collectible!
Was this article helpful?4 people found this article helpful