Why are gemstones so expensive

The most expensive gemstones and minerals in the world



When talking about high-priced gemstones, the word diamond is almost always used. But diamonds no longer top the list of the most expensive gemstones in the world. Rather, there are a few minerals that are less known and that are at the top of the most exclusive minerals in the world.



Table of Contents: The Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

Rare gemstones = expensive gemstones?

Over 5,000 minerals are known worldwide, the majority of which are relatively unfamiliar.

Classic gemstones such as emerald, diamond, aquamarine, ruby ​​and sapphire as well as minerals such as rose quartz, amethyst, opal, rock crystal or agate are known to many.

In contrast, tsaregorodtsevit, lomonosovite, tyuyamunite, yakhontovite, charoite, creaseyite, roselith, mansfieldite, tranquilityite or wakabayashilite are among the minerals that are not common in the displays of mineral shops or on mineral exchanges.

Whether a rare mineral also has a higher value than mineral “celebrities” depends primarily on the demand and the possibilities of use.
The sugar-crystal-sized fingerite is currently the rarest mineral in the world, but does not reach the price on the market as, for example, musgravite. Fingerite crystals are too small and rare for the stone to be commercially exploited and processed. Rather, numerous rarities among the minerals are of interest to collectors and scientists who deal with the conditions of the formation and the chemical composition of minerals.


Colored gemstones - our recommendations *

*

The value of precious stones

There is no general answer to the question of how expensive a gemstone is. The price of minerals and gemstones results from the interplay of various factors; in particular: Color, purity, weight, possibly cut and rarity.


While the purity is decisive for colorless gemstones, the saturation or intensity of the color, the uniformity of the color distribution and the question of whether the color is natural or whether a subsequent color correction has taken place play an important role in the case of colored gemstones.

Minerals whose color corresponds to that from the textbook are considered to be of higher quality than specimens with a weak color. In addition, the assessment of colored gemstones checks how evenly the color is distributed or whether lighter and darker spots can be seen.
Corresponding blemishes can be repaired by so-called burning. The mineral is heated carefully and expertly. As a result, the color becomes more intense and unevenly distributed colors become more uniform. The fact that a mineral has been treated is made clear by references such as “burnt amethyst” or “treated tanzanite”.

Minerals that have had their color corrected or changed are classified at a lower price than untreated stones.


The purity of minerals is essential especially for stones with clear transparency. Inclusions of other minerals, gases, liquids or growth lines have a disruptive effect on the shine and play with light in the crystal. Such errors can also be corrected with the burning process, so that the quality is flawless.


The share of the cut is 40 to 60% of the price of a mineral.
A distinction is made between smooth cuts and facet cuts. Smooth cuts (e.g. cabochons) are mainly used for opaque and translucent minerals, the color or pattern and structure of which are in the foreground. Facet cut (e.g. brilliant cut, emerald cut) are particularly common for transparent minerals, the play of colors of which is supported by the incident light on the facets.


The weight of gemstones - expressed in carats (1 carat = 0.2 g) is also an important factor in determining the price. However, it cannot be assumed that only the weight determines the price - true to the motto: the heavier a stone, the more the mineral costs.
A natural, untreated tanzanite with a 1 carat is traded on the gem market at higher prices than a 3 carat that has been fired.
In addition, the crystals of many minerals are often small in size. Benitoite crystals weighing more than 2 carats are considered an absolute rarity.

Last but not least, the rarity is included in the price of minerals. Minerals that occur frequently around the world and for which no foreseeable shortage is to be expected, such as quartz and feldspar, are classified differently than minerals of which only a few mining areas are known and whose resources are exhausted. For example, of the blue zoisite variety tanzanite and the turquoise-blue larimar only one site is known, which increases the rarity.


The most expensive minerals in the world

The list of the most expensive minerals is currently manageable. These are primarily gemstones that have become coveted and popular gemstones in recent years. An order or ranking is difficult to make out.

The prices are subject to normal market fluctuations.

It is no longer just diamonds that occupy the top ranks of the most expensive gemstones. Colored gemstones and colored diamonds are on the rise and compete with the classics among gemstones. In contrast to real estate, a shortage, accompanied by an increase in value, is to be expected in the future due to the rarity of many expensive minerals.

In addition to colored or fancy diamonds - particularly noteworthy are red diamonds, the following minerals are currently among the most expensive minerals in the world:

Precise information on how much a carat of the respective mineral costs is difficult in view of the individual nature of a stone (see above purity, color, cut, weight).

However, it is not uncommon for a deep green emerald from Colombia to be traded internationally for up to US $ 20,000 / carat; a benitoite is $ 10,000 per carat and a taaffeite is $ 3,000 / carat, while an alexandrite is estimated to be worth up to $ 50,000 / carat.


Also interesting:
⇒ Gemstones and minerals as an investment
⇒ Diamond Bullion - stock exchange diamonds
⇒ Fancy Saphire - Anything but blue


* = Affiliate Link, i.e. exemplary links that lead to the Amazon affiliate program and are remunerated with a commission if the sale is successful without incurring additional costs.

Last updated: September 26, 2019

Our buying guide