In today's globe, there are around 200 different types of natural gemstones. In addition, numerous semi-precious stones exist alongside the world's precious gems (diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald), some of which are so extraordinarily rare that their value exceeds that of many of the world's most valuable precious jewels. Here is a handful of the world's rarest gemstones.
- Black opal- Opals are typically creamy white in hue, with rainbow-coloured inclusions that reflect light as the stone moves. Because virtually all-black opals are found in mines in the Lightning Ridge area of New South Wales, Australia, they are rarer. The more precious the stone, the deeper the background hue and the brighter the inclusions. The "Aurora Australis," discovered at Lightning Ridge in 1938, is one of the most expensive black opals ever found. The 180-carat opal is prized for its enormous size and strong harlequin colour; it was valued at AUS $1,000,000 in 2005 or about $763,000 in the United States.
- Alexandrite was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830 and possessed amazing colour-changing properties. This stone appears emerald green to peacock blue in daylight but ruby red to amethyst under incandescent light due to small levels of chromium in the crystal structure. Imperial Russia's colours — red and green – were fashionable at the time. It's no surprise, then, that the Russian elite desired this stone. This chrysoberyl variant, named after Czar Alexander, is still an uncommon stone. Although alexandrite has been discovered in Brazil and a few other places, it is still one of the world's rarest gemstones. Alexandrite, a contemporary June birthstone, is still popular and is frequently synthesised for jewellery.
- Tanzanite's intense violet-blue colours may equal exquisite sapphire for a tenth of the cost — yet it's a far more uncommon stone! This zoisite cultivar, which is only found in a tiny area of Tanzania, has grown in popularity. It immediately gained popularity after its discovery in 1967, thanks in part to marketing efforts by Tiffany & Co. This stone has much pleochroism, so it might appear blue, violet, green-yellow, or brown, depending on how you look at it. Gem cutters orient these stones to have blue or violet colours. Even though virtually all tanzanite is heat-treated to achieve its appealing blue colours, this treatment results in a long-lasting colour, which is what makes this stone so desirable.
- Painite was discovered in 1951 by British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain and was identified as a new mineral in 1957. Only one specimen of the dark red crystal existed for many years, and it was kept in the British Museum in London, making it the world's rarest gemstone. Other examples were found afterwards, although there were still less than two dozen known painite gems in 2004. However, a handful of mines in Myanmar have started producing painite in recent years, and there are currently over 1000 stones known. Because of its rarity, this diamond has become exceedingly expensive, with a single carat fetching more than $60,000.
- Tourmalines are found in various colours around Brazil, but due to their copper concentration, Paraiba tourmalines are the only stones with vivid blue colour. The scarce diamonds were discovered in 1987 by Heitor Dimas Barbosa, a dedicated miner motivated by the notion that something unique lay under the hills of the Brazilian state of Paraiba. Barbosa was correct, and after years of unsuccessful digging, he eventually discovered an unequalled neon-blue tourmaline that ignited the gem market. These turquoise-coloured tourmalines were discovered in mines in the Nigerian and Mozambican highlands in 2003.
- Benitoite is only mined in a limited region of California, near the San Benito River (thus the name), but the mine closed in 2006, making this gemstone even more uncommon. The diamond was discovered in 1907 by geologist George Louderback and has a deep blue hue that flashes fluorescently when exposed to UV light. In 1985, the gem was designated as California's official state gemstone, owing to the fact it could only be extracted in California, although being found in trace amounts in Arkansas, Japan, and Australia.
- Taaffeite- A gemologist who is both Austrian and Irish In the 1940s, Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe thought he was buying a collection of spinels when he acquired a box of cut stones from a jeweller in Dublin. However, upon closer examination, he saw that one of the pale mauve stones was not responding to the light in the same manner as the other spinels, so he sent it off to be examined. The findings indicated that he had discovered a previously undiscovered gemstone, which was both fortunate and disappointing because he had discovered a cut gem and had no knowledge where the mineral customarily existed. Fortunately, many other collectors re-examined their spinel collections, and various other sample stones were uncovered. The stone's origins were finally traced to Sri Lanka. However, a few have also been discovered in Tanzania and China. Fewer than 50 specimens of taaffeite are thought to exist, with many of them held in geological and personal collections, making this gemstone so rare that it is unlikely to be found by the general public.
- Larimar is a highly uncommon blue type of pectolite that can only be found in a limited area of the Dominican Republic. This turquoise stone was coined by Miguel Méndez, the man who popularised it in 1974. He merged the initial half of his daughter's name, Larissa, with the Spanish word for sea, mar, to form the portmanteau larimar. The stone has been known to the locals for decades since little pieces had washed up on the beach, but it wasn't until the 1970s that enough was discovered in the earth to establish a mine.
- Jeremejevite is an uncommon aluminium borate mineral containing fluoride and hydroxide ions in varying amounts. Pavel Vladimirovich Eremeev, a Russian mineralogist, was given the name (Jeremejev, German). It occurs in granitic pegmatites as a late hydrothermal phase combined with albite, tourmaline, quartz, and infrequently gypsum.
- Poudretteite is a very uncommon mineral and gemstone initially discovered in the 1960s as minute crystals in Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. It was considered exceedingly uncommon at first, but numerous specimens were found in Myanmar in 2003.
These are some of the extremely rare and exorbitantly priced gemstones in the world.