Whenever one hears the words "most expensive rocks", diamonds are probably one of the first to be named. However, believe it or not, diamonds are not even in the top five!
Of course, diamonds are still expensive and some types of diamonds are outrageously so. Because precious metals and gemstones fall into the same category, some may think gold tops out at the most expensive mineral, but it's not. Check out the five most expensive types of rocks in the world - you may just be surprised!
5. Rubies - $1 Million Per Carat
Beautiful red rubies can go for up to a million dollars per carat. That makes them the fifth most expensive rock in the world. Although these red gems are plentiful, it's the quality of each one that gives them their value.
Those which are most valuable will be large in size, blood red in color, have clean cuts, and a lustrous sheen. The vibrant red color in rubies comes from chromium which is present during their formation process. Rubies are classified similar to diamonds, according to their grade, quality, and color.
A ruby without any flaws can be priced as high as a million dollars a carat. When these expensive rubies are accompanied by other precious gems in an enhanced setting, the price can climb even higher. For example, a large Burmese ruby was recently sold for thirty million dollars.
4. Blue Garnet - $1.5 Million Per Carat
Garnets are actually found in a multitude of colors. The gemstones can be found in green, brown, orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow; however, the rarest and most expensive color is blue.
After the first blue rock was found in the 1990s in Madagascar, the beautiful garnets have also been found in the US, Russia, and Turkey. In fact, the blue garnet is now mined in all three of these countries. Currently, this expensive rock goes for a million and a half per carat.
Their intense coloring is due to the presence of vanadium during their developmental process. In some cases, vanadium creates a more purplish hue, so it takes the perfect amount to produce the vibrant blue garnet that makes the rock so expensive.
3. Serendibite - Up to $2 Million
This mineral isn't very common; in fact, most have never even heard of it before. One reason for that is because the mineral has only been found in one of two places: Northern Buma and Sri Lanka.
Serendibite uses very small amounts of molecules from other minerals, such as oxygen, silicon, magnesium, boron, calcium, and aluminum, which bound together during a complex formation process. As of today, there are only three such faceted minerals in existence. All three around a half carat, they range in value from one point eight to two million dollars each.
2. Red Diamonds - $500,000 per Carat
Most would expect diamonds to be on this list but surprised that it's their red colored variety that made the top five. A red diamond is actually one of the most expensive diamonds in the world due to their being the rarest type. Only a few are mined each year at Argyle Mine in Australia.
Every couple of years, the mine puts the beautiful, rare diamonds up for auction. These rare rocks end up bringing between two to two and a half million dollars per carat. Buyers won't have to worry about observers taking them for rubies or garnets, however, due to their unique purplish red color.
1. Jadeite - $3 Million Per Carat
Yet another mineral some may not have heard of is Jaedite. However, it is found inside another precious mineral gemstone that most have heard of, Jade. Jadeite is the most expensive mineral, or rock, in the world at this time. Price per carat for this costly gem is three million dollars a carat!
Jadeite's beauty and rarity are what makes this rock so pricey. With stones coming in a variety of colors, each stone is unique, but still very much looks like Jadeite. The valuable mineral once used to make ax heads and jewelry during ancient times. In fact, during the late 1990s, a piece of jadeite jewelry was sold for almost nine and a half million dollars.
If you find a pretty rock, don't be so quick to throw it away; you never know what you may find. Although these five rocks are hard to find, many aren't as nearly as rare. Besides, rocks are cool!
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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