Gemstones have been a big component of jewelry for thousands of years thanks to their beauty, durability, and incredible health benefits. People will often wear raw gemstone rings to make an outfit more elegant or gain some much-needed energy and confidence for a night out or work presentation.
You’ve probably heard of quartz, diamonds, and sapphire. But did you know there are rare gemstones out there that are much harder to come by? Here are some of the rarest gemstones in the world and a little bit about what makes each one unique.
This rare gemstone is only found in a very small area in Tanzania. Tiffany & Co. coined the name tanzanite to make it sound more marketable since its scientific name wasn’t too catchy. But even with the new name, tanzanite is still rare to find in the jewelry industry and beyond.
Tanzanite is a beautiful light blue and violet color. But it actually can only get this color when tanzanite is heat-treated. It’s a stunning gemstone that gives off a royal vibe without being too over the top in appearance.
Opal is rare but black opal is actually the rarest of all. Opal is the hydrated amorphous form of silica, known for its high water content. When it’s in its raw form, it needs to be submerged in water to keep it from drying out and losing its iridescence. Opal comes in all colors but the rarest is black opal, which features specks of color floating in a deep darkness.
Black opal is often called the “king of opals.” It was discovered in 1902 in New South Wales, Australia. This is the only place you’ll be able to find black opal.
This stunning gemstone is often used in jewelry due to its durability and appearance. It has color-changing properties, inspired by the lighting. The most desired alexandrite appears blue-green in the daylight and then red in the dark. Alexandrite is very hard to find, although it’s been located in the Ural Mountains and Brazil.
Alexandrite is probably one of the most expensive gemstones out there. GIA-graded, natural alexandrite is about $15,000 on average. Rare and high-quality pieces can be $50,000 to $70,000 per carat. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective gemstone that’s just as stunning, check out the raw gemstone rings at Ice Imports. These beautiful pieces are sure to make a statement without breaking the bank.
Taaffeite is the first and only gemstone to ever be identified from an already cut and polished stone. How did this happen? Richard Taaffe bought some gemstones from a jeweler in 1945 but saw some inconsistencies in one of the gemstones. He sent it out for identification and it was discovered that it was actually a brand new gemstone that was never before seen.
Taaffeite is primarily found in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. It’s also found in some parts of China. Taaffeite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Less than 50 samples have ever been found. It’s actually a million times rarer than a diamond.
This gemstone was initially discovered in the Musgrave Ranges of Southern Australia, hence the name. Musgravite comes in many colors ranging from light olive to very deep violet. This gemstone is closely related to taaffeite.
This is a crystal that’s often a very light pink. Small fragments of this gemstone were initially found in Quebec, Canada in the 1960s. This gemstone is just as rare as Taaffeite, with less than 50 specimens reported to be found. On average, it’s about $3,000 per carat.
This is a mineral rock only found in the Dominican Republic. It stands out from other gemstones due to its stunning blue color, making wearers of this rare rock think of a tropical beach. Larimar is used as jewelry due to its hardness but it can fade if exposed to the sun too long.
Other varieties of beryl are already pretty rare, like emerald, but red beryl is the rarest of them all. It’s found in Utah and New Mexico, identified due to its intense red coloring. It’s so rare that it’s much more valuable than a diamond.
This blue gemstone was discovered in the early 20th century. Its color is similar to sapphire but it’s actually a totally different mineral with vastly different properties than sapphire. Benitoite is too soft to be used for jewelry but it has still become pretty iconic in the gemstone world.
It was first found near the San Benito River. It’s also been found in the California Benito Gem Mine, which has made it the state’s official gemstone. You can also find benitoite in Japan and Australia. It grows in small quantities, however, which is why it’s so hard to come by.
This semi-precious gemstone is rare due to its color. Tourmaline comes in a large variety of colors throughout the US, Brazil, and Africa, but paraiba tourmaline gemstones are much harder to come by. The first one was discovered in 1989 in Paraiba, Brazil. It has a much higher quality and a more intense color than the usual tourmaline.