Precious stones rarer than diamonds

It is often said that women like diamonds. In fact, many opt for a solitaire as their engagement ring instead of opting for other gemstones. However, over time, traditions change and so do desires. So, if you are planning to propose to your beloved, why not opt ​​for rarer gemstones than diamonds? And, we’re sure they’ll make not only women feel special, but men too.

While precious stones like emeralds, sapphires, rubies and colored diamonds are expensive and come in different cuts and ranges – often flaunted by celebrities too – you’ll have to splurge to own rare gemstones like jadeite, alexandrite, red beryl and black opal .

Various organizations specializing in the study of gemmology talk at length about rare gemstones – their appearance, size, manufacture, price, mineral composition and description. However, the fact that some of them are more expensive and rarer to find or find than diamonds is what makes them enigmatic and sought after.

Sure to take sophistication to another level, these have a certain mystical aura about them that not only a gemstone lover should know, but anyone who loves these sparkling beauties.

A look at some of the rare gemstones


Image Courtesy: RDonGuennie (G-Empire The World of Gems – Die Welt der Edelsteine), CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

Entitled as the “rarest gemstone mineral” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005, this gem is in Myanmar. International Gemstone Society (IGS) says, “The first specimen of painite, a single crystal, was identified as a new gem species in 1957. Until 2001, only two other crystals had been found. Since then, other painites have been discovered. Over a thousand crystals and fragments have now been recovered, but most of this material is not facetable.

The color of this rare gem varies from brown to red, giving it a brilliant sheen, which makes it even more attractive. Painite costs between 50,000 and 60,000 USD per carat but is difficult to find in the market. the the greatest pain weighs approximately 213.52 carats and is owned by the Medici Collection LLC, Los Angeles, USA. It belongs to Dion and his family, as indicated by the Indian Institute of Gems and Jewelery (IIGJ).

Painite was named after British mineralogist Arthur CD Pain, who first discovered it in the 1950s in Myanmar.


Image Courtesy: Ralph Bottrill, CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

The history of this green beauty dates back to ancient Mesoamerica. Although it comes mainly from Myanmar, it finds most of its buyers in China.

According to IGS, the stone was used to make weapons and decorative objects in prehistoric times, in addition to being used in jewelry. He also specifies that “the Chinese sage Confucius compared jade to a gentleman esteemed by all for its qualities. The Chinese have traditionally valued jade for carving as well as religious and medicinal purposes.

Jadeite sculpture is considered a rare form of art and antiquity. The specialized gem is of variable translucency and is difficult to assess. However, it is estimated at $30,000 per carat and above. Jadeite can be found in various countries including New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Canada, Turkestan, Italy, Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Myanmar and USA, California to be specific .


Image Courtesy: Ron Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

One of the rarest gemstones in the world, this lovely aqua colored gem is hard to find. One of the reasons is that it is difficult to cut, which makes it unsuitable for making jewelry. However, cabochon cutalso known as cabbing, an art form of cutting minerals to create jewelry, can give that piece of jewelry a unique look.

Recent discoveries in Sri Lanka in 2000 and Madagascar in 2014 have helped gemstone enthusiasts to own some of these faceted gemstones, according to IGS. It takes its name from Alfred Grandidier, French explorer.

An interesting fact about them is that they show trichroic pleochroism, which means they can display three different colors depending on the viewing angle. This rare gem costs around $20,000 per carat, according to Forbes.


Image Courtesy: RDonGuennie (G-Empire The World of Gems – Die Welt der Edelsteine), CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

This stunning and extremely rare black gemstone was discovered in the Mogok region of Myanmar around 2015, according to a report by Forbes. Until 2002, only two samples of faceted serendibite were available, as discovered in the secondary deposits of Ratnapura in Sri Lanka, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

A serendibite ranges from bluish-green to black, giving it a dark hue. This mineral is said to have less gem qualities due to its chemical composition, but its price is around 18,000 USD per carat.

red beryl

red beryl
Image Courtesy: Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

There is one red beryl crystal for every 150,000 gem-quality diamonds, as reported by the Utah Geological Survey.

Discovered in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah in 1904, this stunning red gemstone is found nowhere else. IGS States,”The rule of exponential increase in price with increase in size definitely applies to this gem so often found in sub-carat sizes. With red beryls, the cut is an afterthought, in terms of value. Gem cutters seek to produce the largest gems possible from their rough. As a result, fenestrated stones with mediocre proportions are in the majority.

Priced at around US$10,000 per carat, red beryl should be cared for as emeraldsanother beryl gem.

black opal

black opal
Image Courtesy: Danmekis, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

Opals are a class of their own and have been mined and treasured for thousands of years. Compared to other rare gemstones, these are readily available, but black opals and fire opals are quite rare to find. Black opals have a mystical aura and cost around $2,300 per carat.

IGS explains the difference between common and rare opals. He says common opals can have an opaque or glassy appearance. They come in a varied range of colors and have a wax-like luster. On the other hand, precious opals, also known as “noble opals”, display fire or a plethora of colors in a single gem.

Opals have various folklores to complement them or stories that call them the luckiest or unluckiest stones to wear. If you are considering buying one, choose wisely.

Pink Star Diamond (Honorary Mention)

pink star diamond
Image Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Although it is a type of diamond, the pink diamond is one of the rarest gemstones to find, so we can’t help but mention this one. Read on to find out why.

Sold at an exorbitant price of 71 million dollars as announced by Gemological Institute of America (GIA)the pink star diamond is one of the most expensive gems to be sold to date. This stunning beauty was in Sotheby’s inventory and purchased at auction by a Hong Kong jewelry retailer. Chow Tai Fook bought the gem for around HKD 553 million including fees.

According to the Australian Diamond Walletthe rare pearl which weighs 59.60 carats weighed more than pink boner (about 24.78 carats). In 2013, Sotheby’s sold it to diamond cutter Isaac Wolf for $83.2 million, but it was repossessed after Wolf failed to make payment.

It costs approx. US$1,208,053.69 per carat approx.

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Feature Image Courtesy: Danmekis, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

Sarah C. Figueiredo