Gemstones much rarer than a Diamond

Gemstones rarer than a diamond

Gemstones, rarer than a diamond!

Believe it or not, Diamonds are not as rare as you think.

In fact, many people, know that diamonds are actually pretty common when it comes to gemstones.

Are you one of them?



So, who among you can name any gemstone that is actually rarer?

Well, do not worry if you can’t, here is a list of the ten of the rarest gemstones on Earth.

10 Painite

trillion cut painite
Gemstones much rare than a diamond Painite

In 2005, The Guinness Book of World Records called Painite, “The world’s rarest gemstone mineral”.

First discovered in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma,  by British mineralogist Arthur C. D. Pain in the 1950s.

For decades there were only two known crystals of the hexagonal mineral on Earth.

By 2005, there were still fewer than 25 known specimens.

Today, Painite isn’t as rare as it used to be.

According to Caltech’s division of geological and planetary sciences.

The real source of the original stones.

And the later discovery of two major new localities in the Magok area have all led to the recovery of several thousand crystals and fragments.

However, painite nevertheless ranks among the rarest mineral on Earth,

9. Alexandrite

Emerald by day, ruby by night
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Alexandrite

In at number nine is our old favourite, Alexandrite.

Alexandrite is known for its strange optical properties.

It can actually undergo dramatic shifts in colour depending on what kind of light it’s in.

This colour change is independent of your viewing angle.

A gemstone that shifts colours when you rotate it in your hand is known to be pleochroic.

And while, Alexandrite is strongly pleochroic.

It can also change colour independently of viewing angle when viewed under an artificial light source.

In natural sunlight, the gem appears greenish blue.

However, in soft incandescent light the gem appears reddish-purple instead.

Simply put.

“Emerald by Day, Ruby by Night”.

A variety of Chrysoberyl, Alexandrite belongs to the same family of gemstones as Emerald.

Bet you didn’t see that coming!!!!!!!!.

It’s colour changing properties is due to an exceedingly rare combination of minerals that include titanium, iron and chromium (which gives it its distinct green colour, think of Chrome Diopside).

Ask the mirror on the wall

“Which is the rarest gemstone of them all?”

If the answer is not Alexandrite, replace the mirror!!!!!.

8. Tanzanite

Blue zoisite
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Tanzanite

Discovered at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in 1967 and named Tanzanite by Tiffany.

Tanzanite, at first, was thought to be a variety of Sapphire until it was tested and found to be otherwise.

Tanzanite, is said to be a thousand times rarer than a diamond and expected to become even rarer.

In a bid to stop the supposed illegal mining of this gemstone.

The Tanzanian government, in September 2017, ordered  the military to build walls around the Tanzanite mines.

It also, directed the central bank to buy as much of the precious stone as it could to boost reserves.

Like Alexandrite, Tanzanite exhibits dramatic pleochroism.

These colours variations are largely due to the presence of vanadium

7. Benitoite

beautiful blue stones
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Benitoite

This striking blue stone has only been found, as its name suggests, near the head waters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California.

Although, some sources say it has also been unearthed in limited quantities in Arkansas and as far away as Japan, but that these specimens are not of gemstone quality.

Benitoite has also been named as the State of California’s official gem.

So there you go.

Scotland’s official gemstone is Smokey Quartz!!!!!

Just thought I would throw that in there.

One of the most distinctive features of Benitoite is how it looks under a UV light.

Where it fluorescents a brilliant colour reminiscent of glowing blue chalk.

What’s strange is that.

Even though it was first discovered at the turn of the twentieth century and we’ve known its chemical composition for decades.

The origin of it’s colour and it’s fluorescent properties still remain a mystery.

6. Poudretteite

Beautiful lilacy, pink stone
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Poudretteite

The first traces of Poudretteite were discovered in the mid 1960s in the Poudrette quarry of Mont Saint Hilaire, Quebec.

It wasn’t officially recognised as a new species of mineral until 1987 and it wasn’t thoroughly described until as recently as 2003.

According, to some sources it’s likely that few people will ever encounter a Poudretteite specimen in person, and many will likely never ever hear of it.

As you can see not a lot is known of this elusive beauty and it looks to remain so for many of us.

5. Grandidierite

Like little shiny green mini eggs
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Grandidierite

This blueish-green mineral is found almost exclusively in Madagascar.

Although, the first, and presumably  only, clean faceted specimen was recovered from Sri Lanka.

Like Alexandrite and Tanzanite, Grandidierite is pleochroic and can transmit blue, green and white light.

Like Poudretteite, not a lot is known about this gem.

Although unlike Poudretteite, there have been some deposits found.

So some of us may be able to acquire this stunning and rare gem for our collections.

I can dream, can’t I ?

4. Red Diamonds


some of the rarest coloured diamonds
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – red diamonds

Technically, speaking red diamonds are diamonds, but they serve to highlight the fact that diamonds actually come in a range of colours.

Geologists estimate that only one in one hundred thousand diamonds mined is a coloured diamond.

Fancy coloured diamonds get their colours from small amounts of trace elements such as Nitrogen, Boro

Nitrogen, Boron,and Hydrogen, which interact with the carbon atoms of the stone.

Nitrogen will create yellow and orange diamonds.

Boron, blue diamonds


Hydrogen, Pinks, Purples, and Reds.

Order of rarity of Diamonds

  • Yellow
  • Brown, Champagne, Cognac
  • Colourless, White
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Black
  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • And last, but by no means least,
  • Red

In other words the clear diamonds you’re liable to encounter at your local jewellers aren’t rare as far as diamonds go.

Told you.

The largest red diamond on Earth – The Moussaieff Red weighs 5.21 carats (about 1g).

However, it is not the most expensive red diamond.


Worldf's most expensive red diamond
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – The Hancock Red Diamond

That accolade belongs to The Hancock Red, a 0.95 point, not even a carat, diamond.

Which sold for $880,000, in 1987- making it $926,315 per carat.

Compared, to the largest colourless “traditional” diamonds.

Such as those diamonds cut from the 3,106.75 carat.

Yes, you read that right, an over 3,000 carat diamond!!!

One of which was the Cullinan diamond – weighing in at over 500 carats.

In a word.


We still have another three gemstones that are rarer than a diamond.

3. Musgravite

blueish rare gem
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – musgravite

This mineral was first discovered in 1967.

At the Musgrave Range in South  Australia.

However, it has also shown up in limited quantities in Greenland, Madagascar and Antartica,

Funny that, how it was discovered in the same year as Tanzanite and it not that dissimilar!!!

Is that not curious!

The very first specimens that were actually large and pure enough to be cut to shape wasn’t reported until 1993.

As of 2005 only eight such specimens are believed to exist.

Our Penultimate rare gemstone at No 2.


2. Jeremejevite

looks very similar to Kyanite
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Jeremejevite

First discovered in Siberia at the end of the nineteenth century.

Looks not unlike Kyanite in colour, though structure looks different.

Gem quality crystals of Jeremejevite have since been recovered in limited supplies in Namibia.

For a gemstone that was discovered over a century ago there is not a lot known or written about it.

Drum roll please.

We have reached our number one if the Gemstones rarer than a diamond list.

Oh! it’s exciting

And now in at number one

1. Bixbite

Red Emerald
Gemstones rarer than a diamond – Bixbite
gemstones rarer than a diamond

Red Beryl, also known as Bixbite, “Red Emerald” or “Scarlet Emerald” was first discovered in 1904.

While it is closely related on a chemical level to both emerald and Aquamarine.

It is considerably rarer than both.

The minerals known distribution is limited to parts of Utah and New Mexico.

However, it has proven exceptionally difficult to mine in an economically feasible fashion.

As a result, some published estimates say that Rubies of similar quality.

Rubies being a rare gem themselves are roughly 8000 times as plentiful as any given red beryl specimen.

Consequently, prices for red beryl have been known to reach as much as 10,000 per carat for cut stones.

Having said all that, Bixbite is tipped to be the stone to invest in for 2019.

You saw it here.

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  1. hi, thanks for publishing very informative gem details. I live in Sri Lanka and engaging with gem mining. If you want to buy natural gem stones you can contact me. They can produce with certificates.
    Eg. taaffeite , serendibite, ekanite

    thank you.
    Dr. HMMR Bandara.
    Sri Lanka’

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