Get the list of top rare gemstones in this article. In the world today there are approximately 200 natural gemstone varieties. Numerous semi-precious stones, some of them so unbelievably rare that their worth is above many of the most precious jewels in the world, along with the world’s priceless gems (diamond, ruby, sabrah and emerald). Here’s a couple of the world’s uncommon.
List of Top Rare Gemstones
Larimar is a peculiar blue mineral pectolite variety and is present in only one small region in the Dominican Republic. Miguel Méndez, who made the stone prominent in 1974, took the first part of the name of his daughter, Larissa, and combined it with the Spanish word for shore, sea, to produce the portmanteau larimar. Locals had known for centuries the presence of stones because there were small examples on the seafront; however, the early 1970s saw enough stones to open the mine.
2. PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Tourmalines are popular in many colours in Brazil but, thanks to their copper content, Paraiba tourmalines are the only stones of the vivid turquoise shade. In 1987, determined miner Heitor Dimas Barbosa discovered the extremely rare gems, motivated by the conviction that something unusual hung under the hills of the Brazilian nation. Barbosa was right and eventually unloaded a turmaline of unrivalled blue neon, which shed light on the gem industry, after many years of fruitless searching. Then, the exceedingly rare stone (for every 10,000 diamonds only one stone is mined) became intensely desired. In 2003, turquoise turmalines in Mou mines were found to be quite similar.
Although some big stone examples have been found (the largest known alexandrit sample in the world is the Smithsonian at 65,08 karats) the majority is less than one carat. This means that it can be just $15,000 for a diamond under a carat, but that a stone bigger than a carat can get up to $70,000 per carat.
The incredibly colourful stone alexandrite was found in the Ural mountains of Russia in 1830 under the name of Alexander the Russian czar II. A range of colour shifting abilities of chrysobery make this steep stone particularly desirable: it looks blue-green in sunlight but turns red-purple under bright bright light. There are others that display marginal change, but the most precious are transparent stones that show total colour change. The level of change in the colour varies from stone to stone.
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In 2006, however, the mining was closed in a mine for commercial mining in California, near the river San Benito (hence the name), which made this gemstone scarcer. The gem was first discovered by geologist George Louderback around 1907, and is deep-blue with particularly fascinating characteristics when it is captured in UV light when fluorescent light glows. It was designated the official California gemstone of the government in 1985 because California is the only location that can be mined feasibly, considering its trace amounts in Arkansas, Japan and Australia.
The tanzanite is a beautiful blue mineral zoisite that is called so because it is located only in a small part of Tanzania, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was not found commercially until the 1960s, and has since evolved enormously, mainly thanks to Tiffany & Co’s efforts. Heat treatment of Tanzanite will enhance blue colouration at very high temperatures. The majority of gems on the market have thus been treated, but any Tanzanite not thermalized which naturally has a strong blue colour has a much more valuable effect.
In 1902 the French mineralogist Alfred Lacroix first described Grandiderite and named him in Madagascar in honour of French explorer Alfred Grandidier, a specialist in natural history in Madagascar. A number of locations around the world have found this very rare, blue-green mineral, but up to now only Madagascar and Sri Lanka have produced gem quality stones, which remain very scarce. The majority of the known stones are translucent but the rare example that has been found was the most precious.
Painite was first discovered and recognised in 1957 as new mineral by British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain. For years there was just one example of the dark red crystal in the British Museum in London that made it the rarest gemstone in the world. Still less than two dozen known painite gems were found later on, but in 2004. But a few mines in Myanmar have begun to make painite in recent years, and over 1000 stones have now been reported to be known. This gem is highly precious because of its rarity and only one carat can get more than $60,000.
8. RED BERYL
The Utah Geological Survey is so rare that a single such gem is revealed for every 150,000 gem-quality diamonds, also known as bixbite or red emeralds. Red beryl is so rare. The colourless pure beryl only takes its bright colours from impurities of the rock, with the chromium, vanadium and beryl being given a green colour that creates an emerald; the blue or yellow colour of iron which creates aquamarines and golden beril; and the deeply red manganese creates the roots of red beryl.
Red beryl only occurs in Utah, New Mexico and Mexico, with most specimens being only a few mm, too small to be trimmed and faced for use. Those cut are usually less than a carat, and a 2 or 3-carat red beryl is exceptionally important.
Gemologist from Austria to Irland Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe bought a box in Dublin in the 1940s of cut stones from a jeweller who thought he bought a set of spinels. However, when he was examined closer he observed that one of the pale mauve gems did not respond to the light just like the other spinels, so he sent them away for analysis. The findings showed he has discovered a previously unknown gemstone—a tricky yet challenging situation as he found a cut gem and did not know where the mineral occurred naturally.
Fortunately, several other collectors re-examined their own spinal collections after the new stele was released, and a variety of other samples were revealed. The source of the stele, although a few were also found in Tanzania and China, was finally found in Sri Lanka. Less than 50 specimens of taaffeite are believed to exist, all of which are in geological and private collections, making it so rare that the general public would never find it.