Myths and legends

What is the best gemstone?

A selection of the most precious stones in the world: an unforgettable gift or a reliable investment – how not to make a mistake.

Not just a diamond

For many centuries, precious crystals have attracted the attention of people, indicating status, wealth, emphasizing the grace of the owner, his financial situation and confirming sincere feelings if presented as a gift. In our article we will try to understand the most valuable stones and which of them is the most expensive on earth. For decades, the most beautiful and unique minerals adorned the attributes of the country’s top officials and were admired by the best jewelers, trying to get them for their masterpieces. It is traditionally believed that the most sparkling, iridescent and hard representative on the Mohs scale, and therefore the most valuable, is a diamond, but there are many other gems that are rarely found in nature, special in color, transparency, origin and varying in hardness. The rarest of them are mined only in a few places on our planet, and they are considered the most expensive.


Eremeevites open the list of precious stones by value, only from the end. The gem is so named thanks to the researcher of precious specimens, Pavel Eremeev. It was found in Transbaikalia several centuries ago in 1883. At first it was mistaken for aquamarine due to its light blue tint, but analysis of the composition did not show any similarity. Later, lemon and even colorless representatives were discovered, but blue specimens are considered the most rare and valuable. At last count, there are only a few hundred of them cut in the world, all of which are kept in personal collections. The average price borders on $1500 per carat.

Blue Garnet

This is a rarely found stone, known for its unusual property of changing color under different lighting conditions. For example, in daylight the gem sparkles blue, bright blue, and sometimes green, but in artificial lighting it becomes purple, in rare cases even deep red. The history of the crystal is short and began in the late 90s, when its first deposits were discovered in Madagascar. Now it is already actively mined in a number of other countries on the African, European and North American continents. If you want to become the owner of such a jewel, you will have to shell out more than $1500 for 1 carat. Blue Garnet 1500 dollars for 1 carat

black opal

This gem is the most valuable representative among its kind. Almost all of it is mined in Australia, with smaller deposits found in southern Brazil, parts of the United States and in Mexican rock formations. The color spectrum varies from the color of wet asphalt to a rich black hue, accompanied by multi-colored tints and shimmers. As of 2017-2018, these crystals are no longer as rare as they were a decade ago, but are still valued at $2000 per 0,2 gram.

Poudretteite or powdertite

  • transparency,
  • saturation,
  • brightness,
  • shine,
  • cut, etc.

It is named after the Canadian dynasty, which owns a small mining mine. He brought about three hundred gems of varying sizes and qualities to the society. Several excellent specimens of a soft pink hue were recovered in 2000 in Myanmar, but after 5 years not a single specimen was found again.


For a long period, this mineral was known only to select circles of private collectors and as one of the subspecies of garnet, which is characterized by a yellow-green, bright, fresh color. Over time, new deposits of this rare gem are being discovered in Russia, Asian countries and a number of African countries. Its fame has reached the masses, it is becoming more and more popular and in demand among buyers and its price is correspondingly increasing, today it is already more than 2000 euros.


The history of this stone began at the end of the Second World War, when Count Eduard Taaffe, studying and describing the properties of spinel, drew attention to a mineral that stood out among other samples. He sent it to a London laboratory, where new chemical and physical components were identified in its composition, allowing it to be classified as a separate group. It is expected that the crystal was named after its discoverer. The stone is extremely rare; small deposits of it are found in different parts of Sri Lanka and in the depths of African Tanzania. Shades range from delicate lavender to subtle pink. The price of this mineral, which occupies a place on the list of precious stones, is in the range of 2-5 thousand dollars per carat.


In terms of the presence of chemical elements and external parameters, it is very similar to taafeiite and was found in the depths of Australia in 1967. Over time, similar gems were found in the frozen ice of Antarctica and areas of Greenland, and found in Tanzania and Madagascar. In nature, this kind of mineral is exotic and comes in several shades, which determine its price. Representatives of green color cost 2-3 thousand dollars, and the price of purple high-quality and faceted samples reaches 6 thousand dollars.


This is an expensive precious mineral, bright blue in color, like sapphire, glowing and shimmering with a blue tint under the rays of the sun, mined only in a single deposit on the globe – in the territory of modern California. Small deposits were discovered in the state of Texas, as well as in Belgium. However, their quality is an order of magnitude lower than Californian ones. In the world, there are no more than a few dozen representatives of 1 carat, the price equivalent of which is 4-6 thousand dollars.


The most common and popular of corundums, it often opens the ranking of gemstones by price. In our usual version, it is extracted from the depths of a deep blue hue, sometimes even with notes of black. However, its green, pinkish and yellowish colors are no exception, and the most valuable and rarest are star sapphire in orange color and parapaja – yellow-red, which is translated from Tamil as “dawn sun”, which fully reflects its appearance. Nowadays, natural parapaja is practically never found, and it is produced by heating corundum to the required temperature. The last original parapaja in a classic design, weighing about one and a half carats, was sold 25 years ago for 18 thousand dollars. Now this gem is one of the three most valuable stones on the planet and sells for 30 thousand dollars per 1 carat.

Sapphire deposits are located all over the planet: in the vastness of Madagascar, the Chinese state and Sri Lanka, in the depths of Australia, in the USA and Thailand, as well as in some places in Russia, India and Vietnam. High-quality, dense units are sold at international auctions for $4000-6000. for 0,2 grams.


The well-known mineral of calm and tranquility, colored in the lush, green shade of fresh grass. The main deposits of high-value reservoirs are concentrated in Colombia. Despite active mining and widespread use in the jewelry industry, prices for these jewelry still remain very high, which is due to the rare finding of high-quality, pure specimens. The demand and popularity of emerald products has never fallen, but on the contrary, it is growing over time, which affects the pricing for 1 carat at the level of 8 thousand dollars.


This is a gem of an exotic red hue, rarely found on the planet, first noticed on the North American mainland in the first half of the twentieth century. His specimens were small, and their quality and purity were left to the best, which precluded cutting. It was only 45 years later that large stones were discovered in the Utah mountains. It is almost impossible to find it on the open market. This mineral is almost unknown to the general public and is kept in private collections, and its price reaches 10-12 thousand dollars. for a quality stone.


An expensive stone that emphasizes the financial situation, taste and status of its owner. The first mineral was noticed in 1833 on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg in the Ural mines, and was presented to the public on the name day of Alexander II, and it was named after him. The emperor wore a ring decorated with this gem without removing it, due to which the crystal was nicknamed imperial, then the distribution of jewelry with such inlay was strictly prohibited. The mineral gained wide popularity already during the Soviet Union. Alexandrite is famous for its ability to change color. During daylight hours, in natural light, it is colored olive, sometimes blue-green, blue with a green tint, and under an artificial lamp its color changes to purple, even pearlescent violet, with red tints. The price of 1 carat reaches 15 thousand dollars.

Paraiba tourmaline

The distinctive blue-turquoise tint of this mineral attracts the eyes of jewelry makers, collection owners and ordinary buyers from all over the world. Beautiful and delicate, it was found in the Brazilian state of the same name in 1897 and was mined only there for a long period. Deposits have recently been found in Madagascar and Mozambique, but it is stones from Brazil that are most highly valued and reach $12-15 thousand per carat equivalent. But extremely pure and rare samples without impurities can be valued many times more.

Precious ruby

Rubies are widely popular and famous gems that were used to decorate toiletries back in Tsarist times. They are always rich, bright and look equally good in any metal. They are mined all over the planet, excluding icy Antarctica. There are all shades of garnet color of this crystal – from light to dark notes and almost black. The most valuable are considered to be oriental cut jewelry from Thailand and Myanmar, pigeon blood colored, characterized by a violet-red luster. The price in international spaces reaches 15 thousand dollars.


Every girl’s dream, the highest manifestation of feelings, is a ring with a diamond, even a small one. Millions of women want to wear cut diamonds, considering them the most expensive stones in the world, constantly studying them in photos of magazines and Internet resource sites. The production of jewelry decorated with these gems is growing, and they are being sold out at incredible speed. Diamonds are mined everywhere and the price for 1 carat is 15 thousand.


It is used in many areas of everyday life: jewelry, weapons are made from it, and used in bath procedures. This is the most mysterious stone of all. For a number of countries it is considered sacred. The largest deposits are located in the Japanese archipelago, the Chinese state, and Myanmar. In Russia there are also traces of this emerald-colored crystal – in the area between the Kantegir and Elisey rivers. It is one of the 10 most expensive stones in the world and costs more than 20 thousand dollars per carat.


A very beautiful mineral, soft blue, blue-blue, blue-turquoise, blue-green, reminiscent of the waters of a clear ocean, first noticed in the depths of the island state of Sri Lanka. A significant amount of the rock is extracted in Madagascar, but a limited number of cut offerings (about 20 worldwide) put the value of one carat at $30.

The world’s most expensive gemstone

Red diamond is the most valuable of the representatives of its subgroup and the most valuable on our planet. There are few scarlet-colored gems weighing less than 0,1 carats. The only places currently producing purple diamonds exist in Argyle in Australia, where only a few exotic specimens are recovered annually. Crystals weighing more than 0,1 carats can only be found at well-known auction sites, where the price per carat starts at $1 million.

Most of the cut pieces are kept in personal collections and are instantly sold out at auctions. The most expensive stones in the world are revealed by names such as red diamond, grandidierite, parapaja and jadeite. Their cost exceeds 20 and even 30 thousand. for 0,2 grams. These are the rarest representatives of gems, they will enjoy the beauty that nature has provided in very limited quantities.

Choose a precious gift with the Avers pawnshop and delight your loved ones with unique jewelry.

Semenov, Ya. P. Which gemstone is the most expensive / Ya. P. Semenov, L. N. Tokareva. — Text: direct // Young scientist. — 2020. — No. 2.1 (32.1). — P. 55-58. — URL: (date of access: 17.06.2024).

This article talks about what kind of precious stones there are, what factors influence the cost of precious stones, which precious stone is the most expensive at present.

Keywords : minerals, stones, gems, diamond, value, cost.

The purpose of my research is to study precious stones. During the research, several objectives were set: to learn more about precious stones; study information about different precious stones; find out by conducting a survey what my peers know about the research topic.

The practical significance of the study is that it can be used in lessons about the outside world and in extracurricular activities.

Precious stones are natural minerals that have a beautiful appearance and are quite rare, and, as a result, expensive.

Minerals are compounds formed naturally during complex geological transformations. Today, about 2,5 thousand minerals are known, however, only about a hundred of them are considered valuable. Precious minerals are those that either have no color at all or have a beautiful, uniform color of moderate tone, transparency and hardness, shine, play in the light and cause admiration.

A natural gemstone must be resistant to wear and fading, as well as external chemical attack. Natural stones are used to create jewelry and other artistic products, and they are often collected in collections.

The price of a gemstone is largely determined by its prevalence in natural conditions.

Today, jewelers do not have a generally accepted division of precious stones. The classifications of gemstones used in trading are extremely difficult to understand and confusing. There are several dozen ways to separate gemstones into different types. For example, the classification of precious stones can be carried out according to their properties (color, transparency, hardness).

The classification of precious stones by E. Ya. Kievlenko, which he proposed in 1973, has gained the greatest popularity among specialists. This classification takes into account the market value of stones and their purpose.

Fig.2. Classification of precious stones E. Ya. Kievlenko

Kievlenko identified three main groups of stones: jewelry, jewelry and ornamental stones and ornamental stones. The first group consists of four orders, the second – of two. The value of a mineral directly depends on the rank of its order – the higher the order, the more expensive the value of the mineral.

Group I. Jewelry (precious) stones.

1st order: diamond, ruby, emerald, blue sapphire.

2nd order: alexandrite, noble jadeite, orange, purple and green sapphire, noble black opal.

3rd order: demantoid, noble spinel, noble white and fire opal, aquamarine, topaz, rhodolite, moonstone (adularia), red tourmaline.

4th order: blue, green, pink and polychrome tourmaline, noble spodumene (kunzite, giddenite), zircon, yellow, green, golden and pink beryl, turquoise, peridot, amethyst, chrysoprase, pyrope, almandine, citrine.

Group II. Jewelry and ornamental stones.

1st order: rauchtopaz, hematite-bloodstone, amber-succinite, rock crystal, jadeite, jade, lapis lazuli, malachite, aventurine.

2nd order: agate, colored chalcedony, cacholong, amazonite; rhodonite, heliotrope, rose quartz, iridescent obsidian, common opal, labradorite, belomorite and other opaque iridescent spars.

Group III. Ornamental stones.

Jasper, written granite, petrified wood, marble onyx, listvenite, obsidian, jet, jaspilite, selenite, fluorite, aventurine quartzite, agalmatolite, patterned flint, colored marble.

Let’s take a closer look at the ten most valuable and expensive gems.

10 place – emerald and sapphire ($8000 per carat)

Emerald (obsolete smaragd) is a mineral, a gemstone of the beryl group. The ideal emerald is a clear stone with an evenly distributed rich dark green or grassy color. There are very few such pure specimens, which is why they are so highly valued. Sapphire (from the Greek “sappheiros” – blue) is a gemstone of the corundum group of deep blue color. Sapphire is distinguished primarily by its high hardness (9 on the Mohs scale) and high brilliance. The color of the stone depends on the presence of titanium, is very stable and ranges from light bluish blue to dark blue. Sapphires often have asterism (from the Greek “aster” – star), a bright star with three, six or twelve rays is visible in the polished stone.

9 place – bixbit (red emerald) ($10000–12000 per carat)

Bixbite is a rare variety of beryl that is mined exclusively in the state of Utah in the United States. Bixbit has a rich red color, so it got another name – red emerald. At the moment, about three and a half thousand cut bixbits are known. You can find bixbite in volcanic rocks, and in order to extract one stone, you need to process several tons of ore.

8 place — alexandrite (from $12000 per carat)

Alexandrite is a natural variety of the mineral chrysoberyl, but this gem is capable of changing its color depending on the lighting. Under the sun’s rays the stone is greenish, and evening light makes it reddish, purple or violet. This gemstone was found in the first half of the 19th century near Yekaterinburg and was named in honor of the 16th anniversary of the future Emperor Alexander II, on whose birthday the first alexandrite was allegedly found and described.

7 place — Paraiba tourmaline (from $13000 per carat)

The Paraiba stone became a discovery quite recently, at the end of the 20th century, but in fact, as scientists say, it is the same age as dinosaurs. Paraiba has an incredible turquoise color and an even more unique neon glow even in the twilight – this property is not found in any other stone.

6 place – ruby ​​(from $15000 per carat)

Ruby is one of the varieties of red corundum. The shade of the mineral varies from bright pink to deep red and depends on the amount of chromium impurities. Ruby is a first category gemstone and its composition is similar to sapphire. In Old Russian, ruby ​​and sapphire were usually called yakhonts.

5 place – diamond ($15000–17000 per carat)

Chemically, diamond is a type of carbon and is a sibling of graphite. Essentially, both the graphite lead of a pencil and the bright diamond in a ring are pure carbon. The difference in the properties of these two related minerals lies in their internal structure. This is the hardest mineral. A cut diamond is called a brilliant and is one of the most beautiful and beloved gems by people.

4 place — transparent jadeite (from $20000 per carat)

Jadeite is a mineral from the pyroxene group, a silicate of sodium and aluminum. It is often green in color, but shades of other colors may be present. Transparent jadeite is called imperial, and it is one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. This is a green gem, quite rare and therefore very expensive.

3 place – padparadscha (from $30000 per carat)

A pink-orange sapphire with exceptional color is called Padparadscha sapphire. The cost of such a sapphire is much higher than ordinary blue sapphires. The name means “Sunrise”. The color of the stone in the classic version should consist of three colors: red, orange and pink.

2 place — grandidierite (from $100000 per carat)

This rare gemstone is amazingly beautiful. Pale blue, it shimmers with three colors at once: white, blue and green. It is named after the scientist Alfred Grandidier. The only deposits of grandidierite in the world are located in Madagascar. The beauty and rarity of the stone make it almost priceless. It’s worth what they pay for it. Only 8 stones in the world have been proven to meet grandidierite standards, so they pay 100 thousand per carat for each of them!

1 place – red diamond (up to $1 per carat)

The fantastic value (up to $1 million per carat) is explained by the amazing beauty and extreme rarity of the stone. Red diamonds are found exclusively in Australia, and in very small quantities, literally a few stones per year. Moreover, gems weighing as much as 0,1 carats are highly valued!

Scientists have not yet figured out why diamonds appear red. The main hypothesis is that thousands of years ago, during the formation of these stones, the process was disrupted, an anomalous failure occurred, which was the reason for the release of red pigment in diamonds.

In total, about 50 pure red diamonds were mined in the world; at the moment, the location of these stones is unknown. The production of red diamonds has dropped to almost zero, which is why their price is growing every day. The world’s largest red diamond was presented at the Smithsonian exhibition. Its weight is just over 5 carats, and the cost is impossible to imagine.

Fig.3. Red diamond is the most expensive stone

During the research work, I conducted a survey of third-grade students of school No. 176 in the city of Samara, during which I asked several questions about precious stones, their value and cost.

Analysis of the survey showed that the majority of schoolchildren of my age know what precious stones are, can name several types of precious stones, know about the high value and cost of precious stones associated with the uniqueness of gems – they are rarely found in nature, to get them you need to spend a lot effort and labor. To the main question about which gemstone is the most expensive, I received many different answers, the majority thought that it was a diamond, and several students gave the absolutely correct answer, specifying the type of diamond – red diamond.

While conducting research, I learned many interesting facts about gemstones, their types, found out why they are so valued by people, and compiled an approximate rating of gemstones according to their price. I learned that gemstones are stones that meet the following requirements: beauty in appearance; uniqueness; strength. When determining beauty, shine, play of light, shimmer and other optical properties are assessed. The uniqueness of gemstones stems from the difficulty of finding these minerals. The strength and hardness of gemstones is the reason for their longevity. All these factors have a great influence on the formation of the market value of the gem.

There are several dozen ways to separate gemstones into different types. Currently, experts most often use the classification of precious stones by E. Ya. Kievlenko, according to which, depending on the cost of the mineral, three main groups of stones are distinguished: jewelry, jewelry and semi-precious stones. The first group consists of four orders, the second – of two.

As a result of my research, I came to the conclusion that there are many different types of gemstones, each of them has its own beauty and its value will mainly be determined by the price that the buyer is willing to pay. Therefore, it is quite possible that, although red diamonds are most valuable now, over time some other gems will become more valuable.

  1. All about the precious stones of the world. — St. Petersburg: SZKEO, 2019. — 104 p.
  2. All about precious stones. D. Stone. – St. Petersburg: SZKEO, 2005. – 175 p.
  3. Minerals and precious stones. Sergey Afonkin. – St. Petersburg: Baltic Book Company, 2016. – 96 p.
  4. Colored stones. Encyclopedia. V.V. Bukanov. – St. Petersburg: Baltic Book Company, 2008. – 472 p.
  5. Encyclopedia of precious stones and minerals. R.K. Balandin. – Moscow: Veche, 2000. – 392 p.
  6. The most expensive, rare and large precious stones [Electronic resource] – Access mode

Basic terms (automatically generated): stone, carat, gemstone, dollar, red diamond, diamond, place, mineral, order, sapphire.

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