Top 10 Rarest Gemstones
The extremely rare gemstone was first found in Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada as a tiny crystal during the 1960's. Poudretteite, the mineral, was named after the family running the quarry at Mount St Hilaire where poudretteite was first discovered.
Poudretteite is so rare that we rarely hear of clean gems over 1 carat. The discovery made in Burma in the year 2000 provided the first documented specimen of gem quality. Around 9.41 carat, the Burmese gem is claimed to be the largest faceted poudretteite in nature.
The gemstone is now in the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, after being donated in 2007 by Frances Miller Seay.
After her discovery in 1967, Tanzanite rapidly rose to prominence among jewelers and gem enthusiasts. Its only known source in the world is in northern Tanzania's Merelani region, and is anticipated to be mined within 20-30 years.
Benitoite is an unusual blue to purple gemstone found in the mountains of San Benito in California in 1907. It was declared a California State Gem in 1885. At least one of the rare gemstones on this list is identical in colour.
When it was found by James M. Couch, he originally believed that it was sapphire because of its color similarity. When a sample was sent to California University in 1909 it was discovered that it was not sapphire, and that the mineral was previously unknown.
Later it was called benitoite after the Benito Mountains where it was found. Benitoite is less common than diamond, and exceeds the dispersion of the diamond. When a Benitoite is deeply blue, its high dispersion may be obscured by colour. The user is left to choose between a less distributed dark blue stone or a lighter blue with high dispersion.
This is a decision that very few people have to make because due to its scarcity the public remained largely unaware of this gem. The mine was closed in 2006 which made Benitoite even more rare.
The gemstone took its name from a French explorer, Alfred Grandidier, who studied Madagascar's natural history. Grandidierite was found in Southern Madagascar in 1902, and a new source of Grandidierite was discovered in Madagascar in 2014.
Grandidierite gemstones are mostly translucent, or hard to see blue-green gemstones. Grandidierite is pleochroic and may convey light blue, green, and white.
It is very immune to scratching and is therefore suitable for use in jewelry. Faceted stones are very rare, due to their rarity.
Red Beryl, found and named after the mineralogist Maynard Bixby, is not to be confused with the mineral bixbyite later discovered and named after the same mineralogist.
In 1904, Bixby found Red Beryl in Utah's Wah Wah Mountains. Every year about 95 percent of the stones found are of lower grades. Very few crystals are of gem size, and they are stored and never met by mineral collectors.
Red Beryl may be colored in red, dark violet, or raspberry purple. Complete beryl is colorless, impurities in the material achieve color. With the quality of the gems and its success, however, any size and any colored piece would be valued and strongly requested.
A study by the Utah Geological Survey found that for every 150,000 diamonds of gem-quality, only one Red Beryl is discovered.
While imperial jade gemstone is the most known jadeite, jadeite can also be found in lavender, purple, orange-red, blue, and black color. It can be colorless as well. Jadeite is highly prized in the cultures of Chinese, Mayan, and Maori and has traditions of poetry, sacred rites, and medicine. Today China remains Jadeite's biggest market.
Historically, Jadeite has been used to make jewelry, decorative objects, weapons, as well as to make musical instruments such as chimes, xylophones, and gongs.
Assessment of items made of Jadeite is difficult, as the quality is largely based on the opinion of collectors and the worth of an object will also vary according to its nature and antiquity.
People often use the name Jade to refer to Jadeite until 1863 when it was discovered that Jadeite and Nephrite are two separate mineral types. Jadeite, the bright green content is usually what most people consider when they talk about Jade.
Most opals are typically creamy-white, with play-of-color showing culminating in colored lights blinking. The most common opals are white, brown, and black. The black opal is the rarest of all opals, found only in Australia.
Black opals often have a black body colour, but variants of dark bluish, greenish, or brown backgrounds can be seen.
A more valuable black opal is brighter in hue and has sharper inclusions. Aurora Australis is forever the most coveted black opal. Uncovered in 1938, the 180-carat opal was priced at about $763,000 in 2005 at Lightning Ridge Australia
Taaffeite is so unusual, named after the geologist Richard Taafe, that only a handful of gemstones have ever been discovered. It is known that there are less than 50 Taaffeite specimens, most of which are kept in geological and private collections.
The origin of Taaffeite was found in 1945 and is one of disappointment and misfortune. Taafe bought a box of spinels which he felt were. He sent it to be examined when he found that one of the spinels did not react to the sun, as did the rest.
It was then revealed that an elusive gemstone had been found but he had no knowledge of its origin, both a difficult situation and a fortunate place to be in. Once the news was public, other dealers checked their stock of spinel, and discovered other items. The gem's origins was eventually traced to Sri Lanka, though a few were also found in Tanzania and China.
Sometimes named "Emerald by day, ruby at night," Alexandrite has amazing ability to change color and may look green to blue in daylight but red to violet in incandescent lighting. Alexandrite was found at Ural Mountains, Russia, in 1830.
The colours of the gemstone, red and green, were the imperial colors of Russia at the time n therefore the mineral was named after Czar Alexander II. At the time of discovery, Alexander II was the next Emperor of Russia in succession.
The affiliation of the gemstone with the Emperor of Russia may have helped the gem achieve its prestige status. Alexandrite was identified with wealth and elegance and that gemstone was further mystified by its scarcity.
After several decades of mining the original source of alexandrite in Russia was almost exhausted. Even with the discovery of alexandrite in Brazil and some other areas, it remains a rare element.
The Guinness World Record Book called Painite the rarest mineral in the world. It was reported by a British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain in Burma in 1951, and only two specimens known to exist for decades.
All such beautiful gemstones. Rare to find but once found, its true beauty can be shared. Feel free to comment which of the rare gemstones is your favourite. Keep an eye out for more blogs to come from LRV!
Nevertheless, by 2004 there were still fewer than two dozen known gemstones, more painite gemstones were found.
Myanmar has started producing Painite in a few mines in recent years, but still there are only around 1000 gemstones known to exist and most of them are not facetable. The gemstone remains exceedingly rare and buying one would be a wallet pain.