Gemstones have always been a fascination for human beings for centuries. Their unique characteristics and sparkling colours are a symbol of beauty and luxury. While diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are the most popular gemstones, there are many rare and extraordinary gemstones that are not commonly known. In this article, we will discuss ten of the coolest and rarest gemstones that you may have never heard of before.
Tanzanite is a stunning bluish-purple gemstone that was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. It is also known as blue-violet zoisite and is unique in that it displays different colours under different lights. This is due to tanzanite’s trichroism, a colour-changing property not commonly found in gemstones. Its natural supply is depleting, making it an extremely rare gemstone. A carat of tanzanite can cost upwards of $1,000 depending on its clarity and crystal orientation.
Red beryl is a rare gemstone that can only form under very strict conditions. It requires large amounts of beryllium and manganese to grow and needs a specific geochemical condition to allow its components to crystallize. The only place that gem-quality red beryl can be found is in the Wah wah Mountains of Utah. It is estimated that for every 150,000 gem-quality diamonds, there is only one gem-quality red beryl, which drives up the price per carat of red beryl to around $10,000.
Bornite is a gemstone found exclusively in the headwaters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California. It was named the official state gem of California in 1985 and is often called one of the most beautiful gems in the world. It is commonly known for its five-star crystal form, although a rarer six-point crystal form called the Star of David has been found. A carat of Bornite currently sells for around $4,000.
Black opal is the national gemstone of Australia and is one of the most stunning gemstones around. A good quality black opal will display all the colours of the rainbow due to the presence of both iron and carbon, which give it its dark colour. The darker the opal, the brighter the rainbow. Black opals are unique to the Lightning Ridge of New South Wales, Australia, and can cost around $10,000 per carat depending on their quality.
Taffite is a rare gemstone discovered accidentally in 1945 by Australian geologist Count Edward Charles Richard Taff when he was sorting through a box of spindle gems in a jeweller’s shop in Dublin, Ireland. Taffite is the only gem that was discovered in cut or faceted form and is the first mineral to have both beryllium and magnesium as essential components. The price of taffite varies greatly depending on its quality and rarity.
Painite is a rare gemstone that was first discovered in Myanmar in the 1950s. It was once considered the rarest mineral on Earth because only a handful of specimens were known to exist. Painite has a unique orange-red to brownish-red colour and can have a reddish-brown or violet-red fluorescence under UV light. Its rarity and beauty make it one of the most expensive gemstones in the world, with a price per carat of around $60,000.
Paraiba tourmaline is a rare and valuable variety of tourmaline that is coveted for its unique neon-blue or greenish-blue colour. It is named after the Brazilian state of Paraiba, where it was first discovered in 1989.
Paraiba tourmaline’s intense blue colour is due to the presence of copper and manganese in its crystal structure, which absorbs certain wavelengths of light and gives it a distinctive glow. The colour saturation and brightness of Paraiba tourmaline are unparalleled by any other gemstone, making it highly sought after by collectors and jewellery enthusiasts. Because it is so rare and valuable, there have been many imitations and synthetic versions created. Therefore, it is important to purchase gemstones online from a reputable source and have the stone certified by a gemologist to ensure authenticity.
Alexandrite is a rare and highly valued gemstone that was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830. It is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander II and is known for its unique colour-changing properties. In daylight, Alexandrite appears green or blue-green, but under incandescent light, it appears reddish-purple. The colour change of Alexandrite is due to the presence of chromium in the crystal structure, which absorbs certain wavelengths of light and reflects others. Alexandrite is typically found in small sizes and is considered a collector’s gemstone, with prices often exceeding $10,000 per carat for high-quality stones.
Today, Alexandrite is found in several countries, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar, but Russian Alexandrite from the original Ural Mountains deposits is still considered the most valuable and sought after. Alexandrite has become a popular gemstone for engagement rings and other fine jewellery pieces due to its rarity and unique colour-changing properties.
Blue diamonds are a type of diamond that gets their blue colour from the presence of boron during their formation. This makes them a very rare and valuable type of diamond. These are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle over millions of years, under extreme heat and pressure. During this process, some diamonds can absorb trace amounts of boron which give them their blue colour. The more boron present in the diamond, the deeper and richer the blue colour will be.
Blue diamonds are graded in the same way as white diamonds, based on their colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a widely recognized organization that grades and certifies diamonds, including blue diamonds and range from pale blue to deep blue. The most valuable and rarest shade is a vivid deep blue colour. The world’s most famous blue diamond is the Hope Diamond, which is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Finally, we have jadeite, a gemstone that has been revered by many cultures for thousands of years. Jadeite is one of two forms of jade, the other being nephrite, but it is the more valuable of the two. Jadeite is known for its incredible translucency, rich green colour, and excellent toughness, making it ideal for carving and jewellery making.
Jadeite is primarily found in Myanmar, but it can also be found in Japan, Guatemala, and California. The most valuable jadeite comes in a rich, deep green colour, but it can also be found in a range of other colours, including lavender, yellow, and red.
Due to its rarity and desirability, high-quality jadeite can fetch incredibly high prices at auction. In 2014, a necklace made of jadeite beads sold for $27.4 million at a Hong Kong auction, setting a new world record for the most expensive piece of jadeite jewellery ever sold.
Gemstones have captivated humans for thousands of years, and their beauty and rarity continue to make them highly prized possessions. While there are countless gemstones out there, the ten we’ve listed here are some of the coolest and rarest, each with its own unique qualities and stories. Whether you’re a collector or simply appreciate the beauty of these stones, they are truly worth marvelling at.