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THE MOST EXPENSIVE GEMSTONES IN THE WORLD
Pronounced ye-REM-ay-ev-ite, this gemstone was discovered by the Russian mineralogist Jeremejev in 1883.
It is quite rare, only a few thousand crystals have been found and most of it is not suitable for cutting into gemstones. The light blue variety is still the most expensive color on the market today.
Another elusive gemstone, blue in a garnet is only seen as part of the color pattern of color change garnets, though there are rumors of non-color change blue garnets.
Current prices are around $1,500 per carat for high quality color change garnets with a profound color change from a blueish color to a red or purplish color.
The red to purple taaffeite (pronounced TAR-fight) was first discovered in 1945. Count Edward Taaffe noticed something strange in one of the spinels he bought, it displayed double refraction.
Despite its rarity, a few thousand stones exist at best, it is not extremely expensive.
Black opals are almost exclusively mined in Australia and though not particularly rare they are still quite expensive.
The main reasons for this is the very high demand and the fact that truly magnificent black opals are only a fraction of the total black opal production.
This vivid green garnet variety, popularly known as a demantoid or demantoid garnet, has steadily increased in popularity.
A very rare soft pink gemstone that was only discovered in 1987 in Quebec, Canada.
Gemstone quality poudretteite only started to show up on the market in the early 2000's, when a few speciments were found in Mogok, Burma.
Benitoite is almost exclusively found in California, USA. This purple blue gemstone was first described in 1907 and named after San Benito County, where it was first found.
Because gemstone quality benitoite is only found in a single mine in California prices are quite high. The mine is not very productive and stones of more than 1 carat are extremely rare.
Padparascha sapphires (orange sapphires), blue sapphires and black/blue star sapphires, will sell for up to $4,000-$6,000 per carat.
Discovered in 1967 in the Musgrave mountains of Australia this gemstone occurs in a few colors, most notably green and violet. In the early 2000's only a handful of cut gemstones existed. In the last few years it has been found in a number of other places, including Madagascar and Tanzania.
Although emeralds have been mined for thousands of years, but eye clean emeralds are still extremely rare, combine that with their popularity and it's no surprise that prices skyrocket.
Bixbite is a red variety of beryl, which makes emerald, morganite and aquamarine its family members.
For this reason (and to avoid confusion with the mineral bixbyite) it is not officially referred to as red beryl or more colloquial; red emerald.
Alexandrite is perhaps the most beautiful color changing gemstone and certainly the most expensive.
The increasing popularity of alexandrite in China and Japan will likely further inflate prices.
A magnificent variety of tourmaline named after the state of Paraiba in Brazil, where it was first found. This type of tourmaline displays such bright, vivid colors that it has been nicknamed 'neon tourmaline'.
Though tourmaline is found all over the world in all colors of the rainbow, paraiba tourmaline still fetches the highest prices.
While diamonds are quite common compared to most of the gemstones listed here, they are still one of the most expensive.
The reason, of course, is the enormous popularity of diamonds. The amount of diamond jewelry being sold every year is staggering and seems to increase every year, as mmore and more consumers from all over the world join the fray.
Currently a flawless, D color, perfect cut 1 carat diamond sells for around $15,000 per carat. Prices for large flawless diamonds reach stratospheric levels, particularly if they have a history of their own.
THE MOST POPULAR GEMSTONE OF ALL TIME
The ruby is in fact a red sapphire, but has been known under the name ruby throughout history. Just like sapphires, the ruby is extremely expensive due to the limited availability of high quality gemstones and its high popularity.
The most expensive type of ruby is called 'pigeon-blood ruby' and is a ruby with a slight purple hue to it.
Why is a purplish red ruby the most expensive type you ask?
Well there are two explanations for this.
The first one is that according to color science,
purple will bring out the red color more than other
hues like pink and orange.
The second reason is that when a ruby is placed in gold jewelry the purple of the ruby cancels out the yellow of the gold, leaving a vivid red ruby.
THE GOAL IN BOTH CASES IS TO HAVE THE RUBY AS RED AS POSSIBLE.
Many other lists of the most expensive gemstones name jadeite as the most expensive of all. Often claiming it sells for 3 million per carat, but this is completely false.
jadeite is expensive and yes, certain pieces have sold for exorbitant prices.
The piece of jewelry they base the $3 million figure on is the "Doubly Fortunate" necklace, which was sold for $9.3 million in 1997 in a Christie's auction.
However, the jadeite in this necklace had an estimated weight of 500 carats, which leads to a price of $14,000-$16,000/carat.
Incidentally this figure is close to the currently price of high quality jadeite, which is around $20,000/carat.
Grandidierite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world, with an estimate of just a few hundred faceted gemstones in existence.
The rarest diamond color of all, only 20-30 certified red diamonds are known to exist. Most of these are quite small as well, weighing in at under half a carat.
The highest price per carat paid for a red diamond was in 2007. In that year Sotheby's auctioned 2.26 carat red diamond. This red diamond was sold for $2.7 million, which is a whopping $1.18m per carat!
If a larger red diamond ever makes it to a public auction it is likely that this price record will be shattered. This could take years though, as only a few red diamonds larger than 3 carats exist and the few times they changed hands it was done in private deals.
The prices listed for gemstone that are readily availble on the market are based on high quality gemstones of between 1 and 2 carats.
For extremely rare gemstone we have taken the average price/carat of publicly sold stones in the last few years (or even decades in a few cases).
Keep in mind that some of these prices are an educated guess, rather than hard and fast rule.
There are several reasons for this
The market for these is extremely small and prices vary wildly.
Many of these gemstones are sold privately and prices are not disclosed.
In some cases it has been years since the last gemstone was sold publicly, so their current prices could be quite different.
We decided against including more fancy diamonds, because otherwise half the list would have been diamonds in various colors. The obvious exception being red diamonds as the most valuable of all the diamond colors.