11 Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

Ruby Necklass
Photo: pixabay.com

In the movie The Titanic, a magnificent but fictional gem called The Heart of the Ocean, which is the origin of the story is based on the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond.

One of the world’s most valuable diamonds, it is said to be worth a whopping $350 million.

Its history is intriguing. Initially, it was 67.125-carat, blue colored diamond and is believed to have been curated in India. It made its way to French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1666 who then sold it to King Louis XIV in 1668. 

The king was eventually executed, along with Marie Antoinette, which led to the theft and disappearance of the gemstone. 

Experts believe that it was subsequently cut and the result was the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond. Interestingly enough, the Hope Diamond is now the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other noteworthy and expensive gemstones in the world and  what makes them so expensive From ruby to emerald, here’s a list of the most expensive gemstones in the world:

1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 million per carat

The blue diamond holds the record for the most valuable price per carat at $3.93 million. This special gemstone is just as the name suggests, a diamond except that it is blue in color. Blue diamonds get their color from the amounts of boron that debase the structure of their crystalline mesh. They are part of a category called fancy color diamonds.

2. Emerald – $305,000 per carat

It is no surprise that this gorgeous green gemstone is one of the most expensive in the world. It gets its color from the amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium that is embedded within it. Emeralds are found in all parts of the world, but the majority of the supply comes from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Columbia.

Most emeralds have some kind of minor imperfection. So when a flawless natural emerald is found, it is sold at a ridiculously expensive price. An example of this is when John D. Rockefeller purchased one for his wife. Several years after the death of the couple, their son put it up for auction at Christie’s, where it sold for $5.5 million or $305,000 per carat. This made it the most expensive emerald ever sold.

3. Jadeite – $3 million per carat

This stone is one of the rare ones. It is the most vivid in the Jade family. Jadeite is found in a variety of colors, such as red, yellow and black; however, those that are green are the most famous. Jadeite was used in the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, which is comprised of 27 huge jadeite beads. This necklace was then auctioned off and sold for $27.44 million to Cartier Jewelers. 

Mineral Taaffeite4. Taaffeite – $35,000 per carat

Another rare mineral, this one is commonly confused with spinel. It was first discovered in Dublin, Ireland in 1945 where it was already cut and polished. During this time, it was already being called spinel and when it was further inspected, they came to the conclusion that it was a new gem. This rare mineral can be found in alluvial deposits in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

5. Pink Diamond – $1.19 million per carat

At this point, we can see that those gems that are of a high value are denoted by their color, so it is no surprise that another expensive set of gemstones are called pink diamonds and are among the rarest gemstones in the world. In fact, only 0.0001% of the diamonds that exist are pink.

The highest that this diamond ever sold for was a record-breaking $71.2 million, which amounts to $1.19 million per carat. This was at an auction in Hong Kong in 2017. It came to be known as the ‘Pink Star’ diamond which is the only pink diamond in existence that is totally flawless. No doubt its rarity and flawless cut are why this pink diamond is so expensive. 

6. Grandidierite – $20,000 per carat

This unique beauty of this marvel was first discovered in Madagascar in 1902. It is a rare piece that goes up to $20,000 per carat. It is most often located on aluminous boron rich rocks. 

7. Ruby—$1.18 million per carat

This delicious red gemstone is one of the most stunning gems there is. It is much sought after, so much so that the most expensive ruby ever sold was for $30 million at an auction. It is called ‘The Sunrise Ruby’ and is a 26 carat stone that comes close to being a perfect red.

8. Alexandrite – $12,000 per carat

Alexandrite Mineral
Alexandrite (variety of chrysoberyl)

First discovered in the Ural mountains in Russia during the 1830s, this beauty has the unique ability to change color, according to the light that shines on it. In the light, it appears to be emerald and in the darkness a ruby. Most of them are indigenous to Russia, however, they have also been found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and even India. The biggest and most expensive one ever discovered was in the US. A 65.08-carat gemstone priced at $4 million.

9. Black Opal—$9,500 per carat

This stone is dark just as the name suggests and differs from its lighter sibling. It is also the more expensive opal. It is extremely rare, so much so that it is only found in one single region of the world, i.e. the Lightning Ridge of New South Wales in Australia.

The biggest and most valuable black opal called ‘the Royal One’ is 306 carats and is valued at just over $3 million. It was first found by a miner who kept it a secret and hid it at his home, for fourteen years until he came out with it. 

10. Red Diamond $1,000,000 per carat

You now know that diamonds are among the most expensive and valuable gemstones. We have looked at the blue and pink ones but the red diamond is one of the most expensive. It is sold for over $1 million per carat. The reason is that it is a rarity; there are less than 30 red diamonds across the globe and most of which are less than half a carat. It gets its red color from the plastic deformation of the crystal mesh. The largest red diamond in the world was the Moussaieff stone found in 2011 for $8 million.

11. Red Beryl – $10,000 per carat

Just as the name suggests, this gemstone is a variety of beryl. It is extremely rare and has only been found in very few locations. Some of these include Beaver County, Wah Wah Mountains, New Mexico, etc. It is sometimes also marketed as “red emerald “.

Each of these 11 gemstones is unique and absolutely stunning. There’s a reason that they have been sold for so much! 








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