Have you ever watched the reality TV shows that follow rock and gem hunters as they search for treasures in the rocks and streams? While it's the popular belief that hunting for gold yields the greatest potential for striking it rich, gold is not the most expensive mineral in the world.
It's worth a hefty sum, but there are actually four others that fetch a higher price. Precious metals and gemstones all fall under the mineral category, but it might surprises you to learn which are of the highest value currently.
We researched to find the 5 most expensive minerals in the world, and this is what we found.
5. Rubies - $1,000,000 per carat
Rubies are the fourth most expensive mineral in the world today. These red colored gems are plentiful enough, but it is the quality of each gem that dictates the value. A large sized ruby with a blood red color with a lustrous sheen, clean cuts and a fair size are the most valuable per carat. The red coloring comes from the presence of chromium early in their formation process.
They are classified by their color, quality and grade, similar to diamonds and other precious gems with the most perfect examples being highly prized for their rarity over inferior examples.
A flawless high quality ruby can go for up to $1,000,000 a carat with examples of the finer stones going for much more when placed in an enhanced setting for jewelry with precious metals. A large Burmese ruby recently sold for a whopping $30 million.
4. Blue Garnet - $1.5 million per carat
Garnets are found in a variety of colors including yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, brown and green, but the most valuable and rare is the blue garnet. The first blue garnet was found in Madagascar in the 1990s. since this time, blues have been found in Turkey Russia and the United States and are mined from locations in these countries.
The current value of this expensive mineral is $1.5 million per carat. High amounts of vanadium in the developmental process give blue garnets their intense coloring. Vanadium can create a purplish hue but just the right amount produces a vibrant blue color that makes the stone worth a fortune.
3. Serendibite - $1.8 – 2 million per carat
Serendibite is a mineral that isn't as common as most others in our list. There are only two places in the world where this rare cyan colored stone has been exposed. One location is Mogok in Northern Burma and the other is Ratnapura in Sri Lanka.
Serendibite is created in an extremely complex process that includes a variety of different molecules coming together in the formation process. It takes scant amounts of aluminum, calcium, boron, magnesium, silicon and oxygen to come together in one location.
There are only three surviving faceted Serendibite known to exist today in a 0.35 carat, 0.55 carat and 0.56 carat size. With only three in the entire world, it's no small wonder that they are valued at $1.8 to $2 million per carat.
2. Red Diamonds - $2 – 2.5 million per carat
Diamonds are a mineral that are known as "A girl's best friend," but the values are all over the charts because not all diamonds have been created equally. They are found in a variety of colors, quality and intensities.
A red diamond is one of the most valuable diamonds in the world. They are more rare than other types and a few have been mined from Australia's Argyle Mine each year.
The mine puts them up for sale at auction every couple of years with high price tags fetching between $2 and $2.5 million per carat. Red diamonds are a purplish red in color so they 're not easily mistaken for rubies or garnets.
1. Jadeite $3 million per carat
The most expensive mineral in the world is Jadeite, coming in at a whopping $3 million per carat. What makes this mineral so expensive is its rarity and its beauty. Jadeite gemstones range in a variety of green colors, some with greenish white hues, and others are white with green spots.
Each stone is unique, yet unmistakably Jadeite. Jadeite is found within the precious mineral gemstone Jade. In ancient times, Jadeite was used to make axe heads as well as for jewelry. One jadeite jewelry item sold at auction for the astounding price of $9.3 million in the late 1990s.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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