Diamonds have had an entire history to build a reputation of most precious and expensive stones on the planet. They can easily bring the flair of sophistication and luxury to a woman’s attire, although we must be honest and admit that more and more men are attracted to the diamond’s sparkle too. Today, we are not going to talk about diamonds, but the stones rarer than diamonds. It is going to be quite an adventure, so you better stay tuned. You are about to meet the most spectacular gems ever!
Exhibiting an enchanting red color that ranges from cherry red to ruby red, the red beryl is definitely a gem like no other. Its arresting beauty has inspired many to call it “The Scarlet Emerald”. In addition to being one of the stones rarer than diamonds, the red beryl is also part of the most desired ones, thanks to its excellent properties that make it the perfect adornment for timeless jewelry.
Red beryl is usually found in small sizes; the average size of an already cut red beryl material is 0.4 carats. This colored gem features an outstanding hardness of 7.5 – 8 Mohs, thus fiercely opposing the diamond in terms of durability and versatility. Officially recognized as a precious stone in 1904, the red beryl was named after a renowned American gemologist, Maynard Bixby. Quite often, it gets mistaken for ruby, due to the enormous resemblance in color, but it can be easily identified by an experienced gemologist.
In the United States, deposits of red beryl are located in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Southwestern Utah. Madagascar specimens are however, said to be of finest quality. The great rarity of red beryl creates a limitation in the commercial jewelry-making, as it is said to be 8000 times rarer than rubies and diamonds themselves. As a consequence, a single carat of red ruby can fetch a price of $15,000. Staggering, isn’t it?
One of the stones rarer than diamonds is musgravite, unfortunately, not as recognized and admired in the fine jewelry world as it truly deserves. To find a tested and certified musgravite stone is the same as winning in the USA Green Card Lottery among nearly 1 million applicants. Those who hear about the existence of this precious stone for the very first time probably wonder how it looks like; the musgravite color spectrum ranges from nearly colorless to light olive green. The other hues in-between are light/dark violet and greenish blue.
Musgravite fascinates with its vitreous luster that is intense enough to be measured with the luster of diamond. As a rare precious gem, it can be found in limited quantities in Madagascar, Tanzania, South Australia, Greenland and Antarctica.
Benitoite is remarkable for its striking blue color, reminiscent of the midnight sky. It was discovered in 1907 and initially, it was believed to be sapphire. Benitoite possesses some one-of-a-kind features that can be only perceived when the stone is exposed to UV light. In other words, its blueness becomes fluorescent, thus offering a breathtaking view for the observer’s eye.
But, that is not all that makes benitoite authentic and intriguing; it is also the fact that there is no official explanation about the origin of its color and fluorescent properties, even though it has been around for more than a century. The only place where benitoite has been found so far, is the San Benito River located in San Benito County, California. A recent gemological data confirms that deposits of benitoite are also found in Arkansas and Japan.
In addition to being the stone with most vivid hues, tanzanite is also known as the stone that is 1000 times rarer than diamond. Ever since it was discovered in 1967, this colored gem has been favored as a fashionable accessory, almost at the same level as blue sapphire. As the name suggests, the discovery took place in Tanzania, the Mount Kilimanjaro precisely, which is still considered the only place on Earth where this gemstone can be found. In the world of fine jewelry, tanzanite is highly appreciated for its intense color and excellent transparency.
Among the special properties of tanzanite, the most spectacular one is its ability to be pleochoric. Depending on the angle and lighting condition that tanzanite is viewed, it can appear as blue, purplish-red, greenish-yellow or cognac brown. Most of the tanzanite jewelry on the marketplace is present in dark blue and purplish-red hues. The maximum hardness of tanzanite is 6.5 Mohs, meaning that it is not a suitable option for daily wear. However, the good thing about it is that it comes at reasonable prices, even for specimens weighing up to 5 carats, which is not common for stones rarer than diamonds.
What makes ammolite different from the other stones we talked about is its organic nature. The ammolite gem occurs in the fossilized shells of ammonites, which are, much to your surprise, extinct sea creatures. They lived in the waters of the Bearpaw Sea in Alberta, Canada and today, their fossils are sources of gem-quality, iridescent ammonites, which are above everything, breathtakingly beautiful. Although ammolite is thousands of years old, it was only in 1981 when it was officially recognized as an organic gemstone that can be also used for jewelry purposes.
The reason why ammolite is among the precious stones rarer than diamonds is its limited-edition occurrence located in the Rocky Mountains. There, ammonites are mined in almost any color of the rainbow that sometimes happen to occur all in a single stone. Ammolite usually comes in large sizes, some featuring a carat weight of up to 10 ct. This colored gem looks especially captivating in elaborate, vintage-inspired jewelry designs. According to the records, ammolite was launched on the commercial jewelry market for the first time in 1981.
It is believed that there are more than 4000 minerals on the planet and the magnificent poudretteite is one of them, at the same time holding a special place in the category of stones rarer than diamonds. Discovered by the Poudretteite family in the mid 1960s in Quebec, Canada, poudretteite is a precious gem that barely anyone knows. It took many years after its discovery to be defined and officially recognized in gemology, which actually happened in 2003.
Poudretteite is showcasing a soft pink hue, but it can also occur colorless. Its hardness is measured at 5 Mohs, meaning that poudretteite jewelry is best to be worn on special occasions only. There is no much information available about this colored gem, so a great part of its history and actual use remain a mystery for jewelers and buyers as well. One of the things we do know for sure and you certainly would like to be informed about is that one carat of an already cut poudretteite can reach a price of up to $3,000 per carat.
This is another lesser-known gem, often mis-identified as garnet or ruby, due to the inevitable similarity in color. Luckily, there are some other characteristics that make painite be distinguished from these two stones, such as the level of refraction, which is way higher in painite. In 2005, this gemstone won the 1st place in the “stones rarer than diamonds” competition, according to the The Guinness Book of World Records.
Painite was originally discovered in the 1950s in Myanmar, by the renowned British mineralogist Arthur C. D. Pain. In the past decades, there has been an increased interest in mining painite specimens, as it was confirmed that there are other deposits in the world expect Maynmar, the place of origin. Moreover, with an outstanding hardness of 8 Mohs, painite is definitely a rare and precious gem that has a lot to offer.
Grandidierite appears on the list of stones rarer than diamonds, but extreme rarity is not the only attribute related to its existence. Its enticing, semi transparent bluish-green hue is another major reason that boosts its popularity in the world of fancy gems, although not everyone can enjoy in having it, because a single carat of grandidierite cannot be found any lower than $20,000 on today’s market.
The grandidierite discovery took place in 1902 in Madagascar and later, it was also found in Sri Lanka. These two locations still remain the largest (maybe the only) deposits of grandidierite, providing the industry with super-attractive, gem-quality specimens whose hardness ranks 7.5 on the Mohs scale. This colored gem was named after Alfred Grandidier, a wealthy French naturalist and explorer who, at the age of 20, undertook a round-the-world trip that allowed him to describe Madagascar’s natural history and geography. Grandidierite can be also easily identified by its intense trichroic pleochroism that makes it appear dark bluish-green, dark green and pale yellow to colorless.
Jeremejevite is not only difficult to pronounce, but also to found. Being an exceptionally rare borate mineral, the color spectrum of this gemstone ranges from blue, purplish-blue to golden-brown. Jeremejevite is almost impossible to found on the commercial jewelry market; wealthy gemstone collectors are aware of its rarity, hence the reason why they do not miss the opportunity to enrich their valuable collections with this specimen.
Jeremejevite was recognized as one of the stones rarer than diamonds in 1883, which is actually the year of its discovery that took place in the Siberian Adun-Chilon Mountains. As for its complex name, it got it in honor of its founder, the Russian mineralogist and engineer Pavel V. Jeremejev.
Treasured as a spiritual stone and a one that leaves the observer in awe with its mystic green color, jadeite is included in both categories of “stones rarer than diamonds” and “most expensive gemstones in the world”. Apart from the signature green appearance, jadeite is also found in pale violet, reddish-orange, blue, yellow and black color, which are supremely valued when they make the stone look like a drop of colored oil. Jadeite is a gemstone with rich history and folklore.
One of the most memorable sayings about it is: “Gold has value, jade is invaluable.” Fine-quality jadeites come from Upper Burma, Guatemala, Kazakhstan and California, appreciated for their high transparency that comes as a result of the stones’ fine texture. The hardness of jadeite is ranked between 6.5 and 7 Mohs, thus making it suitable for jewelry production.
Photo credit: Pinterest