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What is the most expensive mineral on Earth?

Currently, science knows more than 5300 minerals existing on Earth, and this list will expand every year. However, not many rare gemstones are known – about 200 varieties. But which of these minerals is the rarest and most expensive? Someone will probably say that such a stone is a diamond. It is indeed very expensive, but it still cannot be called rare. Diamonds were discovered back in the XNUMXth century, and during this time large quantities were mined. But there are minerals that were discovered quite recently. They exist in single copies, and their owners are known by name. It is these minerals that will be discussed further. Science knows more than 5300 minerals, but some of them exist in single copies.

What stones are called minerals

Stones can be roughly divided into two types – rocks and minerals. But how are minerals different from rocks? Minerals are usually called parts of rocks, ores, and meteorites that are homogeneous in composition and structure. They arise as a result of natural geological processes and are a chemical compound or chemical element. Rocks are a combination of one or more minerals; accordingly, they have a heterogeneous structure. According to the US Geological Society, minerals are elements and compounds that are not organic, meaning they do not contain carbon. However, according to the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), minerals also include some salt-like organic compounds, such as oxalates, mellitates, acetates, etc. Kyawtuit is the rarest mineral in the world, which exists in only one copy

Mineral kiavtuit

How many copies of one mineral must exist on Earth for it to be considered the rarest? Of course one! That is why kiavtuit (kyautuit) was awarded such a title. It was discovered in the Mogok region of Myanmar in a single copy. Let us recall that Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a multinational state located in Southeast Asia. It borders India, China, Bangladesh, Laos and Thailand. A description of kiawthuite can be found in the Caltech Mineral Database. It is a small, water-polished dark orange crystal with a “diamond shine.” The size of the single copy is only 1,61 carats. The mineral kiawtuit was recognized by the MMA in 2015 It must be said that the MMA recognized the mineral relatively recently – in 2015. The description for the stone says that it is fragile. The discovered sample has a fracture and three chips. Unfortunately, there is very little information about this mineral.

Mineral painite

The second rare mineral, which will be discussed further, was also discovered in Myanmar. We are talking about painite, which was first discovered in 1956. The mineral belongs to the class of borates, that is, minerals based on salts of orthoboric acid (H3BO3). This stone was named in honor of its discoverer, mineralogist and collector Arthur Payne. The rare mineral painite – until 2001, only three specimens existed. Painite is a hexagonal crystal, usually dark red in color, but sometimes pink specimens are found. Externally it looks like a ruby. Moreover, Arthur Payne himself in 1952 acquired two crimson-colored crystals in Myanmar under the guise of rubies. The collector did not even suspect that he had come into his hands with something much rarer than just the rubies for which Myanmar is famous. Did you know that there is a planet in space with sapphire and ruby ​​clouds? The temperature on it reaches 2500 degrees Celsius. Until 2001, there were only three small painite crystals in the world. Then their number increased to 25. In 2006, a deposit of these crystals was discovered here in Myanmar. They are found, in fact, in the same place where rubies are found. However, all stones mined since 2006 are of much lower quality than the first crystals discovered before 2006. The latest study to date on painite (namely, the very first stone purchased in 1952 by Arthur Pen) was published in 2018 in Mineralogical Magazine. The author of the study, George Rossman, was able to find out that the mineral, as previous studies had shown, contains aluminum, boron, calcium and oxygen. Science knows only one deposit of painite Why does the stone look like a ruby? It contains vanadium and chromium, which give it its red color. But the most important feature, and even the mystery, of this mineral is that it contains boron and zirconium. These substances do not bind well to each other. In fact, painite is the only mineral in which these two substances occur in nature in a combined state. The reason for this is still unclear. Even though painite is now a much more common mineral than it was just 20 years ago, quality crystals suitable for jewelry are still very scarce. Therefore, the cost of the crystal reaches 60 thousand US dollars per carat. By comparison, the cost of one carrat of quality ruby ​​ranges from US$500 to US$8000, depending on the quality. The cost of one carat of an average quality diamond is about 1000-1500 US dollars. Be sure to subscribe to the YANDEX.ZEN CHANNEL, where truly exciting and fascinating materials await you.

Why are rare stones found in Myanmar?

Many rare gemstones are found in Myanmar, and some of them, as we found out, only exist here. What is this connected with? It’s all about the geological history of the region. About 180 million years ago, the supercontinent Gondwana began to break up, which subsequently broke up into Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Arabia, Madagascar and Hindustan. Moreover, Hindustan was initially separated from South Asia, but at some point collided with it. It was thanks to this event, or rather the enormous pressure and temperature that arose at the moment of the collision, that many rocks and rare precious minerals arose. As you probably guessed, Myanmar is located right at the junction of Hindustan and South Asia, where new minerals were formed. The continent of Gondwana began to break apart 180 million years ago, causing India to collide with Asia The presence of certain chemical elements in the composition of minerals is explained by the characteristics of the region. For example, according to George Rossman, boron got into painite and other borate minerals from shallow seas located around the newly formed landmass. Finally, we note that scientists, as we said, find new minerals every year, not only on Earth, but also in space. Some of them can be very useful on our planet. For example, not long ago we talked about a lunar mineral that can serve as a source of energy. Our planet is very rich in a variety of minerals, which play a vital role in the daily life of all organisms on Earth. People have learned to use these stones and metals in construction, the transport industry and for many other purposes. We have become almost completely dependent on certain natural resources, without which even the simplest car will not start and it will not be possible to create a reliable shelter. Economy, medicine, industry and many other areas of our life are unthinkable without some very rare and valuable minerals. They are considered precious and incredibly expensive due to the fact that they are not easy to obtain, or because there are very few of them in nature. In this list you will learn about the rarest and most valuable minerals on Earth. 10. Rhodium Rhodium is a very rare mineral, and due to its demand and scarcity, this noble metal is highly valued. It has excellent catalytic properties and is therefore ideal for automated processes in industrial plants. In addition, rhodium is used in the production of mirrors and jewelry. Russia and South Africa are the leading producers of the highest quality rhodium on the planet. Now this unique mineral is valued at an average of $56 per 1 gram. 9. Painite Just 1 carat of painite costs as much as $60! This mineral is so expensive for a fairly simple reason – it is one of the rarest in the world. The British were the first to discover painite, as recently as the 000s. The amazing mineral was discovered by a gemstone seller named Pain, after whom the find got its name. Painite can be red-orange or red-brown, and its color is due to the presence of iron in its composition. They say that painite is the most expensive mineral not used in industry. 8. Diamond Diamond is another very valuable stone that plays a vital role in many areas of human life, although it is most often associated with jewelry. 1 carat usually costs about 55 thousand dollars. Diamond is the hardest substance in the world, and that is why it is actively used in the manufacture of the strongest drills. Natural diamond is formed under the influence of very high temperatures and extremely high pressure, and it gets closer to the Earth’s surface during volcanic activity. 7. Black opal Opals are very different. Black opal is different from all its other counterparts, because it is extremely rare and therefore a very expensive stone. Green opals are much more common and therefore not as valuable. Australia is famous as the country where the most black opals are found. Among other leading countries in the extraction of this precious stone is Ethiopia. 6. Platinum This mineral is valued all over the world. It is very rare, but we still manage to use it in a variety of areas. For example, people have learned to use platinum in the production of high-quality cables that conduct electricity, because platinum does not rust and lasts a very long time. Did you know that platinum-based drugs are actively used in the treatment of cancer? There are many other areas of application for this expensive mineral; the list can be continued for a very long time. 5. Gold Most people believe that gold is the most expensive and precious mineral in the world. In fact, there are at least 3 other types of minerals that are more expensive than gold. Gold is mined in mines all over the world, and it is used in many different areas, although we all most often see it in jewelry. 1 gram of gold costs approximately $56. 4. Rubies Rubies are precious stones. They are considered practically the most expensive stones in the world. The attractive red color of this mineral is due to the presence of chromium in its composition. Myanmar is the main supplier of rubies (90% of world production), and stones from this country are most valued. 3. Jadeite Outwardly, it strongly resembles jade, but jadeite still has a more granular structure. In addition, it is much rarer, and this stone is not so easy to obtain, which explains its high cost. The only known birthplaces of this emerald green mineral are Guatemala and Mexico. The price of jadeites continues to rise, and now they are asking as much as 1 million dollars for 3 carat! 2. Blue garnet This mineral comes in a variety of colors, including purple, blue, brown, yellow and red, but blue garnets are considered the most expensive of all their garnets. It is one of the most recently discovered minerals in the world, having been discovered in 1990 in Madagascar. Since then, the mineral has been found in only a few countries around the world. The USA, Türkiye and Russia were among them. Currently, the gem is valued at $1,5 million per carat. 1. Lithium Our rating will be completed by a mineral that was discovered by the Swedish chemist Johan Arfvedson in August 1817. Lithium is an extremely popular metal that is actively used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries, in metallurgy, nuclear energy, lubricants, medicine, pyrotechnics, electronics, flaw detection and many other areas. The bulk of lithium production lies in Afghanistan.

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