It is often misconstrued that the most valuable precious stones do not exceed the value of diamonds, however, this is not the case. There are many determining factors in valuing gemstones, the three main being the rarity of the stone, how beautiful it is as well as the demand within the market. Other factors include the cut and clarity of the gemstone. The clarity of the stone is determined by the blemishes and imperfections which cannot always be seen with the naked eye. The fewer imperfections, the more valuable the precious stone.
If you are interested in precious stones or are perhaps searching for a gemstone for a special occasion, here are the top five most valuable precious stones.
Alexandrites are most famous due to their ability to change colour and this also makes them highly sought after gems. In the daylight they are a bluish-green whereas in darker lights they become more of a red or purple. Unlike other gemstones which have a vast ancient history, Alexandrites are a relatively modern gem. They were first discovered back in the 1830’s in Russia’s Ural mountains. Their value comes from their rarity and they are usually found under five carats, any stone found over five carats are incredibly valuable.
Rubies are one of the most popular gems in the precious stones market. The name ruby is actually derived from the Latin word rubens, which means red. The red hue of this stone is from the mineral chromium. The shade of rubies can vary from light pink to a deep red, the most valuable rubies are a full rich red colour with a slight hint of blue undertones.
They are mined all over the world in places such as Africa, USA, Myanmar and Australia. The value of a ruby is dependant on how many imperfections it has as well as the colour of the stone. It is incredibly rare for rubies to not have any kind of imperfection, ones that are found without any are valued higher than diamonds within the market.
Diamonds have a famous reputation for being one of the most expensive precious stones, as well as being the most popular gem for engagement rings. They are formed deep within the earth, more than 100 miles into the earth’s crust and are carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions. Diamonds are made from a single element, they are almost 100% carbon, formed under intense heat and pressure.
Here is a clip from the National Geographic on the formation of Diamonds:
Diamonds have been mined all over the world in countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa and Canada. Less than 20% of all the diamonds that are mined are of gem quality and can be used in jewellery. Of that 20%, only 2% of the diamonds mined of flawless quality which is of course where they get their value.
The first grandidierite was found in 1902 in Madagascar, however little that was discovered was of gemstone quality. These are known as one of the rarest stones on the planet. They are a beautiful shade of both blue and green which is due to the presence of the element, iron. Some of the most valuable grandidierite were not discovered until 2014 in southern Madagascar, the larger pieces that have entered the market are thought to be the only ones for the foreseeable future.
It was previously thought that transparent grandidierite were non-existent until one was discovered in Sri Lanka in 2003. The transparent gems are valued highest, with opaque grandidierite being more of an affordable price.
- Red Diamond
Diamonds have been treasured by mankind for centuries, admiring its exquisite beauty and unique properties. Diamonds can actually come in many different colours, but none are as rare as the red diamond. The red diamond is so rare that there are only 20-30 gem quality diamonds within the market. The red colour is believed to come from a deformation in the atomic structure as the diamond is forming. The shade of the diamond depends on how much light is going through the diamond, therefore, the diamond changes colour in different lights.
Red diamonds are mostly found in Africa, Australia and Brazil although there have been some found in India and Russia. The most famous mine to produce red diamonds is Argyle in Australia. The biggest red diamond to be discovered was the Moussaieff diamond, also known as the red shield. It was found in Brazil and weighted 5.11 carats. This incredible gemstone was sold at just over £6 million ($8 Million)!.
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