Top 10 Most Expensive Gems on Earth

Brooches_and_gemsImage Credit: Mauro Cateb

The vast amount of different minerals and gems produced by the earth over millions – sometimes billions – of years is enough to give you incredible appreciation for the magnificence of the planet we live on. We’ve all heard of the more popular gemstones, like emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. However, a recent collaborative work to categorize more than 5,000 minerals has brought a few new gems to the attention of the jewelry market that make rubies and emeralds pale in comparison.

Poudretteite-382457Image Credit: Rob Lavinsky/

10. Poudretteite

Ranging from colorless to light pink, Poudretteite was first discovered less than 60 years ago in Mont St Hilaire, Quebec. The initial occurrences were small crystal traces, and it wasn’t until 2000 when a gem quality poudretteite was discovered in Burma.

1 carat = $3,000


cristaux de bŽnitoite sous U.V. (USA)Image Credit: Patrick Gery

9. Benitoite

Named after the San Benito Valley where it was first discovered, Benitoite is a blue crystal that glows fluorescent blue when held under short wave UV light. The gem has also been found in Japan and Arkansas, but is closely tied with San Benito and was adopted at the official state gem of California in 1985.

1 carat = $4,000


Taaffeit-G-EmpireTheWorldOfGemsImage Credit: By DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems)

8. Taaffetite

This rare gemstone is one tough stone to find – there are only a few facet-quality examples known to exist. In fact, the first taaffeite was first discovered in a jeweler’s shop in Ireland, already cut and polished having been misidentified as a spinel. Talk about hiding in plain sight! A few deposits have been found in Sri Lanka and Tanzania, but taaffeite remains one of the most rare stones in the gem market.

1 carat = $6,000


Beryl-20919Image Credit: Rob Lavinsky

7. Red Beryl

Even in its rough form, red beryl is rarely larger than 1 karat, and facet quality gems are only found in one location in Utah. It is only formed under extremely specific conditions where large quantities of beryllium are existing simultaneously with manganese (the element that gives the gem it’s ruby red coloring), in the exact geological environment needed to produce crystallization. Talk about high maintenance!

1 carat = $10,000


800px-Alexandrite_26.75ctsImage Credit: Wikimedia Commons

6. Alexandrite

Alexandrite is perhaps one of the more entrancing gems on the list, with unique properties that allow it to change from a cool bluish-green in daylight to a purple-red in incandescent light. It was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, but has remained incredibly scarce since then, with only minute quantities of color changing specimen being found in Brazil and Tanzania.

1 carat = $12,000


1200px-Esperanza_Diamond_TrioletteImage Credit: Bakerbotha

5. Diamond

It may not surprise you that diamonds would be included on this list – after all they are one of the most popular precious gem choices in modern jewelry (hello, engagement rings!). While diamonds are not as rare as some of the other members of this list, a flawless D color, perfect cut diamond can fetch a pretty penny in the modern gem market.

1 carat = $15,000


Serendibite-G-EmpireTheWorldOfGemsImage Credit: DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems)

4. Serendibite

Serendibite is a hard, nearly opaque stone with an inky black hue that shows traces of pale yellow and blue-green when held up to a light source. This stone is so rare, it can only be mined at facet-qualities in two places on earth: Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

1 carat = $18,000


Grandidierite-rare08-09aImage Credit: Rob Lavinsky

3. Grandidierite

First discovered in Madagascar in 1902, Grandidierite is a bluish-green stone with a marbled semi-transparent pattern. The more transparent the stone is, the more rare and high quality it is. So far, there is only one perfectly transparent grandidierite specimen known to exist in the world.

1 carat = $20,000


Musgravit-G-EmpireTheWorldOfGemsImage Credit: DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems)

2. Musgravite

A rare form of the taaffeite family, which holds an earlier spot on the countdown, Musgravite was first discovered in 1967 in the Musgrave Mountain Range of Southern Australia. Until recently, there were only 8 known facet-quality samples known in existence, however small quantities of musgravite have been discovered in Greenland, Sri Lanka, Antarctica and Madagascar.

1 carat = $35,000


red-diamond-giaImage Credit: Josh Balduf/GIA

1. Red Diamond

Though all fancy colored diamonds are a rare find, red diamonds top them all. There are only about twenty facet-quality red diamonds known to exist, with most weighing in at under a half carat. The largest red diamond ever discovered was the 5.11 carat Moussaieff Red Diamond was sold in 2001 for $8 million.

1 carat = $1,000,000


The earth has certainly been generous in producing such a wide variety of stunning gems and minerals, and every gem (rare or not) has a unique beauty that makes it a treasure to it’s owner.

We definitely have a few more gems we’re adding to our bling wish list! Which of these gems would you like to add to your jewelry collection?


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