Which is the rarest gem in the world?
It seems to change every year. For a long time the Guinness Book of World Record (now known as the politically-correct Guinness World Records) held the Painite crystal as the rarest gem in the world. And how about Sugilite, Serendibite, Grandidierite, Musgravite, and a whole lot of other – ites sit in museums and private collections feeling smug about being special. Some of these gems are indeed so rare, their values can not be estimated. And that’s a bad thing.
Gems, after all, are a business. And if a product can’t be sold, it’s pretty much useless, no matter how rare. So this limits the rare gems to those actually open for business. Most prices for rare gems are basically adjusted according to what the seller wants to have and the buyer is willing to pay.
And that depends a lot on the value the general public opinion puts on said gem. Taaffeite and Benitoite for example are extremely rare gems and shockingly beautiful. But who’s ever heard of them? Hence their prices rarely exceed $500US to $2,000US per carat, despite the fact of being a million times rarer than diamonds.
I’m not afraid to say it: diamonds are the least rare gems in the world. Now, before a mob of angry housewives accuses me of romance deficiency, allow me to point out that the yearly production of gem-quality diamonds is at a whopping 135 million carats. That’s 27,000 metric tons.
In comparison, high-grade Blue Amber has a yearly output of approximately 100 kilos, while the low-grade does not exceed 800 kilos. That makes top-grade blue amber the rarest amber in the world and it is among the rarest gems.