The gemstone is composed of a mixture of minerals, rocks, and organic material. With over 300 gems currently documented, there are bound to be some that are significantly more rare and expensive than the iconic diamond.
Gemstones are some of the earth’s most exquisite natural treasures. People all over the world have admired them throughout history for different reasons.
While they are most commonly used as decorative ornaments, they are also recognized for their religious symbolism. Such gemstones have always been valued for their assumed healing powers too. Whether it be a diamond, ruby, or sapphire, all gemstones possess a distinct beauty and It makes each unique in its design.
Despite this, the truth is that some gems are rarer than others. That’s a circumstance that significantly impacts their value. Other necessary elements include size, grade, and color. Here is the list of the top ten most valuable gemstones in the world.
- Blue Diamond—$3.93 million per carat
- Jadeite—$3 million per carat
- Pink Diamond—$1.19 million per carat
- Ruby—$1.18 million per carat
- Emerald—$305,000 per carat
- Alexandrite—$70,000 per carat
- Musgravite—$35,000 per carat
- Red Beryl—$10,000 per carat
- Black Opal—$9,500 per carat
- Tanzanite—$1,200 per carat
Blue Diamond—$3.93 million per carat
We start our list with one of the world’s most famous gems, the blue diamond.
Given its rarity, anytime a blue diamond is set to resemble at an auction, the world’s top collectors line up for a chance to own one. They are more than ready to spend millions of dollars to make it happen.
This was undoubtedly the case in 2016 when a jaw-dropping emerald-cut Vivid Blue diamond weighing 14.62 carats came to Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva. The diamond, named “The Oppenheimer Blue” in the greatness of its previous owner, sold for a final price of $57.5 million.
While the Pink Star diamond broke its record for the most valuable jewel ever sold, the blue diamond holds the record for the highest price per carat at $3.93 million.
Jadeite—$3 million per carat
Jadeite is the purest, unique, and most vivid gemstone in the Jade family.
Though it’s available in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and black, green is most familiar with the stone. A unique shade of semi-transparent emerald green known as “Imperial Jade” is the most sought-after in the world.
Jadeite plays an especially significant role in Chinese culture, symbolizing prestige and status. In 2014, everyone expected a jadeite necklace that once referred to American heiress Barbara Hutton to set a record for most valuable Jadeite jewelry ever sold.
The “Hutton-Midivani Necklace,” which consists of 27 high, top-quality jadeite beads, did just that. After twenty minutes of intense bidding from eight potential customers, the piece sold for $27.44 million to Cartier, the original designer of the necklace.
Pink Diamond—$1.19 million per carat
While all colored diamonds are rare, pink diamonds are arguably the most unique of them all.
In the annual production of diamonds throughout the world, these pink-colored gems represent less than 0.1% of the total! When the pink diamonds make it to auction, they regularly break the $1 million mark for price per carat. In 2017, a stunning pink diamond weighing 59.60-carats was auctioned at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong for a record-breaking $71.2 million.
That’s $1.19 million per carat. Known as the “Pink Star” diamond, it’s the largest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond always graded as Internally Flawless by the Gemological Institute of America.
Ruby—$1.18 million per carat
Commonly regarded as the “King of Gemstones,” rubies feature a spectrum of vibrant red hues. All range from pink to darker red.
The fiery gem is a figure of passion and a zest for life. This meaning has been passed down through ancient cultures, who considered the color represented blood. In 2015, a unique Burmese ruby was auctioned off at a Sotheby’s event in Geneva for over $30 million.
This meant the 26-carat gem, named “The Sunrise Ruby” after a poem by the legendary 13th-century poet Rumi, sold at $1.18 million per carat, and that’s a staggering number, which makes it the most expensive ruby ever sold.
Emerald—$305,000 per carat
Emeralds are some of the most famous gemstones in the world, known for their exotic green tones.
Found primarily in four separate countries: Brazil, Colombia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Most emeralds are accessible on the market feature minor imperfections.
Thus, in the precious opportunity that a natural emerald without flaws goes up for sale, it can fetch mind-blowing figures. When Christie’s declared that the historic “Rockefeller Emerald” would be auctioned off, experts knew it would break records.
The 18.04-carat gemstone got acquired by John D. Rockefeller for his wife. Later, it was passed down to their son and then sold personally. At the Christie’s auction, it was acquired for $5.5 million, or $305,000 per carat. That made it the most valuable emerald per carat ever sold.
Alexandrite—$70,000 per carat
Alexandrite is a unique gem that changes colors. This not only makes Alexandrite unbelievably beautiful but also expensive.
Though they are primarily discovered in Russia (created in 1833), they’ve also been mined in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and India. Interestingly, they are almost always seen in sizes smaller than one carat.
Thus, when a bigger stone is up, the amount of value goes up exponentially. For example, they can cost $15,000 for a single carat, but up to $70,000 per carat if it’s a bigger stone. The Smithsonian Institute owns what is considered to be the largest faceted Alexandrite in the world, a cushion-cut stone weighing 65.08 carats valued at over $4 million.
Musgravite—$35,000 per carat
Musgravite is a different gemstone that was first discovered in Australia in 1967. The name originates from the Musgrave region, where it was found.
In 2005, only eight gem-quality musgravite stones did mine. That shows exactly how unique it is. The handful that was found combined colors that range from translucent olive green to greyish purple. Due to its exceptional rarity, it’s challenging to set a price tag on this gemstone. Although, experts usually value it at close to $35,000 per carat.
Red Beryl—$10,000 per carat
While red beryl has been found in Utah regions, New Mexico, and Mexico, only those explicitly mined in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah have been of gem-quality.
They exhibit a few various shades of a darker red color, all of which are equally mesmerizing. This variety is one of the most precious in the beryl family, which emeralds are also a part of.
In conclusion, red beryl is sometimes referred to as the “red emerald” by collectors. Similar to emeralds, red beryls also often highlight inclusions and fractures.
Values for this uncommon gemstone can reach up to $10,000 per carat, but that’s if you can find one for sale.
Black Opal—$9,500 per carat
Black opals are the most desired and expensive opals in the world. The stone features a dark body which provides an excellent backdrop for the extraordinary play of colors.
Black opals come almost exclusively from the Lightning Ridge region in New South Wales. They are, indeed, widely recognized as one of Australia’s national treasures.
The “Royal One” is the most valuable black opal in the world, valued at $3 million. The elusive gemstone weighs 306-carats. It went unreported for 14 years before the miner who had found it decided to sell.
Tanzanite—$1,200 per carat
We end off our list with Tanzanite, a gem that was first discovered in 1967. As you may have imagined from its name, Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tanzanite became famous after Tiffany and Co. began using the gem in their ornaments. This gemstone features a deep blue-violet hue that is distinguished from one of the sapphires.
While $1,200 may not look like such a high number (especially compared to the other gems on this list), the market supposes it to skyrocket in the next 20-25 years. The depleting supply of Tanzanite mostly causes that.
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