The rarest gemstones you’ve never heard of

Since ancient times men have coveted the mineral riches of the earth. Iron, tin, copper, silver and gold have been valued since antiquity, alongside the various gems with which they share the dark rock.

 

The Ancient Greeks were the first to classify gems into two broad categories – precious and semi-precious stones. The original range for the former included diamonds and the corundums (ruby, sapphire and emerald), but throughout history its ranks have swollen with other gems, including amethyst (until a new source undermined its rarity) and demantoid garnets (which have only recently re-appeared in the market). Currently tanzanite and Alexandrite are also considered precious gems.

 

However there exist a range of precious gemstones that command exceptional prices and yet which few have heard of. Some of these stones can be found below:

 

Black Opal

 

Opal-black2

While the majority of opals are beautiful stones, perhaps limited for purposes of jewellery by their softness, they all are classified as semi-precious gems… except for the black opal.


Endemic to Australia, demand for the black opal exceeds the supply. This rarest of all opals commands an average price of 2000 USD per carat – leagues above its closest other colour variation.

Originally discovered in the Musgrave mountains of Australia, deposits of this beautiful stone have since been found in Tanzania and Madagascar as well. Occurring mainly in green and violet, only a few specimens are known to exist.


The rarity of this stone has made it highly prized, and specimens sell for a minimum 6000 USD per carat.

Musgravite

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Jadeite

 

 jadeite

While Jadeite is variety of Jade, the most fine specimens of this mineral rank among the most precious of gems.


Currently the deep, translucent green stones being mined in Myanmar are the most prized species with the highest quality Jadeite selling for about 20 000 USD per carat.