The 10 Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

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What are the most expensive gemstones in the world?

Some people like gemstones in jewelry and others collect them just for their value, but the stones on this list are reserved for only the wealthiest buyers!

These definitely aren’t your average rose quartz, and their prices are absolutely shocking.

 

The Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

If you have a taste for bling, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the most extravagant gemstones that only the wealthiest people can afford.  

Here’s our list of the 10 most expensive gemstones in the world:

 

10. Black Opal – $9,500 Per Carat

Most Expensive Rocks:Gemstones in the World - Black Opal

Black opals are the most valuable and exceptionally rare.

These opals have only been found in Australia, and most come from the town of Lightning Ridge in New South Wales.

What’s more, is that mining these opals is a game of chance, since they don’t appear in veins and there are no real clues as to where they will appear.

All miners can really do is dig and hope!

The black opal has a dark body, which allows for its brilliant colors to really stand out.

In 2013, the “Royal One“, the most valuable piece of black opal in the world, went on sale in Las Vegas with the massive asking price of $3 million.

This 306-carat gem-quality stone was found by an Australian miner and eventually given to Katherine Jetter, a well-known jewelry designer.

Although the Royal One is definitely one of the most expensive gemstones in the world, even “average” black opals costing $9,500 per carat are bank-breaking.

You’ll need to sell some of the most expensive beanie babies in the world just to be able to afford a single carat of this extremely expensive stone.

 

9. Grandidierite – $20,000 Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Grandidierite

Grandidierite isn’t a stone that you would commonly find in any gem or jewelry collection, and faceted stone pieces are incredibly uncommon.

Originally discovered in southern Madagascar in 1902, this mineral exhibits strong pleochroism, meaning that it can show three different colors depending on the angle you view it from.

Commonly, this stone can appear a bluish-green, dark green, colorless, or seldomly pale yellow, depending on its cut and viewing angle.

Although scientists have created a synthetic version of this mineral for research, it has never been released for use in jewelry, so you don’t have to worry about coming across a piece of grandidierite only to discover it isn’t authentic.

When cut, most of these stones range from one to 10 carats, meaning the largest ones will cost upwards of $200,000!

While not as costly as some of the most expensive engagement rings in the world, buying a 10-carat piece of grandidierite is definitely going to set you back.

 

8. Alexandrite – $70,000 Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Alexandrite

Although alexandrite was first found in Russia in 1883, it has since been found in Sri Lanka, India, and Tanzania.

While you may think this would lower its price, the fact that it is mostly found in small pieces under 1 carat makes larger stones incredibly valuable and rare.

To put this into perspective, smaller stones can go for $15,000 for a single carat, but if the stone is large, this price can skyrocket to $70,000 due to its overall size.

The largest cut piece of alexandrite, a whopping 65.7 carats, is currently in possession of the Smithsonian Institute, which you can view on their website, having been originally mined from Sri Lanka.

We couldn’t imagine what the price tag that stone would come with, but it is unlikely to ever leave the Smithsonian’s collection to be put up for sale.

 

7. Emerald – $305,000 Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Emerald

Emeralds might seem common because everyone knows what they are, but in reality, some of the most valuable emeralds can surpass the cost of even some of the most expensive precious metals in the world.

The precious stones are among some of the most popular in the world, and they are much beloved for their rich green hues.

Although they are mined in various locations in Brazil, Colombia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, most emeralds that get dug up have imperfections that lower their overall value.

Because of this, when an emerald is found without any imperfections its value can skyrocket to unbelievable amounts.

A great example of this is the “Rockefeller Emerald” which was sold during a Christie’s auction for $5.5 million!

This emerald weighs a stunning 18.04 carat and was mounted in a ring at the request of David Rockefeller.

Labeled as exceptional by the American Gemological Institute, the Rockefeller Emerald is thus far the most expensive emerald ever sold, and if you have millions in your bank account, you may want to keep an eye out if it ever goes up for auction again.

 

6. Red Diamond – $1 Million per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Red Diamonds

Red diamonds are considered to be the rarest colored diamonds, and very few have ever been found.

The source of its stunning light and ruby red color is debated in the geological community, but most attribute this diamond’s color to gliding atoms in the stone as it is exposed to extreme pressure during formation.

As one of the 12 fancy colored diamonds, pink and blue being two others, a red diamond is extremely rare and extremely expensive.

Mainly found in sizes lower than a carat, larger specimens are considered the most valuable gemstones, with the Moussaieff Red Diamond being the largest and most flawless.

The Moussaieff Red Diamond is 5.11 carats with a triangular cut and it has been displayed previously in the Smithsonian’s “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit, alongside some of the other most valuable gemstones, such as the Heart of Eternity and the Pink Star.

Purchased in 2001 by Shlomo Moussaieff, an Israeli-born jeweler who lives in London, this expensive jewel is currently owned by his business, Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd.

Unlike some of the most expensive rocks, gemstones like this are very hard to come by, even if you do have Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth, due to the fact that owners rarely sell them.

While smaller red diamonds can be bought, at $1 million per carat, for a larger, flawless gemstone, you’ll need to have as much luck as money in order to grab one for yourself.

 

5. Ruby – $1.18 Million Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Ruby

Whilst Rubies don’t normally cost a million dollars per carat… they can.

Rubies are another of the most well-known gemstones in the world, and, like emeralds, they can cost an extremely high amount of money.

These expensive rubies can range in color from light pink all the way to deep red, and the deepest red gems have long been revered, even in ancient cultures.

The most expensive rubies have the potential to cost upwards of $1.18 million per carat, and the highest price ever paid for one was $30.42 million.

Known as the “Sunrise Ruby”, this expensive gemstone was originally mined in Myanmar, with its name taken from a 13th-century poem by Rumi.

Considered to be an extremely rare gemstone, the Swiss Gemological Institute described it as a “treasure of nature”.

The Sunrise Ruby was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2015 and was bought by an anonymous buyer, who we doubt will part with this gem any time soon.

While other gemstones are lovely to look at, there is just something enrapturing about rubies that makes this vivid gemstone one of the most sought-after in the world.

 

4. Pink Diamond – $1.19 Million Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Pink Diamond

Like the red diamond, a pink diamond is a rare gem that will cost you a lot of money to get your hands on.

While several pink diamonds have been found, only one in the entire world is known to be 100% flawless.

The Pink Star diamond, previously known as the Pink Dream diamond, is a 59.60-carat gemstone that was unearthed by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa.

Because of its incredible rarity, it took a tedious 20 long months to cut the Pink Star, since any mistakes could have potentially ruined this one-of-a-kind pink diamond.

The Pink Star debuted in 2003 at a public ceremony in Monaco and was later shown alongside the Moussaieff Red Diamond and Heart of Eternity in the Smithsonian’s diamond exhibit.

Originally, the Pink Star was meant to be auctioned at Sotheby’s for the price of $83 million, though the sale fell through when the buyer failed to settle.

In 2017, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises took possession of this incredible diamond in a Hong Kong auction for the price of $71.2 million.

As one of the most precious stones in the world, it is unlikely that the Pink Star will be up for sale any time soon.

However, if you are willing to settle for a smaller pink diamond, you’re still going to need to fork over $1.19 million per carat.

 

3. Serendibite – $1.8 Million Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones in the World - Serendibite

Serendibite is an extremely rare silicate mineral that was first discovered in Sri Lanka in 1902.

Found primarily in skarns, hard metamorphic rocks, only three faceted gem-quality specimens are known to exist in the entire world!

Serendibite found in Sri Lanka tends to have a blue-green or blue-violet hue, which makes them very desirable stones.

However, serendibite has also been found in Burma, where it appears with a darker green-blue hue that can often appear nearly black.

The gem-quality type of this stone has an impressive luster and a nearly transparent appearance.

If you’re ever lucky enough to come across a piece of serendibite, consider yourself extremely fortunate, especially if you have the money to afford it!

 

2. Jadeite – $3 Million Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Jadeite

This rare mineral takes our number two spot as one of the most valuable gemstones, and it is most commonly known for its bright green coloration.

As the purest and most rare form of jade, Jadeite is one of the most valuable gemstones in China, though its use spans the globe, dating back even to the stone age.

Neolithic sites in the British Isles have even yielded jadeite ax heads which had been quarried in northern Italy and presumably brought to the UK via an exchange between the cultures.

While all varieties of jade are most commonly associated with Chinese art and jewelry, small deposits of jadeite have been found in various regions, including Myanmar, Japan, Russia, and California.

One of the most expensive jadeite jewelry pieces is the Hutton-Mdivani necklace, which went up for sale in 2014.

This necklace, which consists of 27 large, high-quality jadeite beads, set a record for the most expensive jadeite jewelry ever sold, selling for $27.44 million to the original designer of the piece, Cartier.

While smaller pieces of jadeite are more ‘affordable’, they will still cost more than some of the most expensive cars in the world, which definitely helps to put just how valuable this mineral is.

 

1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 Million Per Carat

Most Expensive Gemstones - Blue Diamond

Topping off our list is one of the most valuable gemstones, if not one of the most legendary in existence; the blue diamond.

Blue diamonds are so rare that anytime one is set to go up for auction, the world’s most wealthy people line up for the small chance of owning it for themselves.

To own a blue diamond is something truly special and it would immediately put you in a very privileged minority.

You may be familiar with the Hope Diamond, a 45.42 carat blue diamond thought to have been discovered in India, with its first records appearing in 1666.

However, other blue diamonds such as the Heart of Eternity and the Oppenheimer Blue stand out as lesser-known, but arguably more impressive specimens of this most expensive jewel.

The Heart of Eternity was first unveiled in 2000, as part of the De Beers Millennium Collection. Set with ten other smaller blue diamonds, this necklace totaled 118 carats and there have been attempts to steal it.

While it was rumored to have been bought by Floyd Mayweather, ultimately, the current owner of the Heart of Eternity is unknown, but collectors are definitely keeping an eye out for its return.

Similarly, the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond holds the current record for the highest price paid for any diamond, raking in $58 million in a Christie’s auction.

Lauded to be the “gem of gems”, the Oppenheimer Blue came at a price that only someone with Jeff Bezos’ net worth could comfortably afford.

While the wealthiest among us are eagerly waiting for this gem to re-appear at auction, we don’t expect it to show up anytime soon.

 

Summary

We definitely hope you enjoyed our list of the most expensive gemstones in the world as much as we did putting it together!

While all of these rare gems are exquisite, we definitely don’t anticipate being able to afford them any time soon!

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 most expensive gemstones in the world:

  1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 Million Per Carat
  2. Jadeite – $3 Million Per Carat
  3. Serendibite – $1.8 Million Per Carat
  4. Pink Diamond – $1.19 Million Per Carat
  5. Ruby – $1.18 Million Per Carat
  6. Red Diamond – $1 Million per Carat
  7. Emerald – $305,000 Per Carat
  8. Alexandrite – $70,000 Per Carat
  9. Grandidierite – $20,000 Per Carat
  10. Black Opal – $9,500 Per Carat

Which one of the most expensive gemstones is your favorite? Leave a comment below.

Andy Dilks
Andy Dilks
Andy Dilks first got into tech with Laserdisc players and hasn't looked back since. When he's not writing he's deciding which room to convert into a home cinema.

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