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[PHOTOS] Top 10 Rarest Gems Found on Earth

[PHOTOS] Top 10 Rarest Gemstones Found on Earth
[PHOTOS] Top 10 Rarest Gems Found on Earth

For one reason or another, whether it’s jewelry, cars, art or sports memorabilia, people are attracted to the finer things in life. The rarer an item is, the more exclusivity it holds.

Gems for example, take millions of years to form in nature and only a fraction of them will ever be found, mined, cut and sold as gemstones. The following 10 gems are the world’s rarest and most valuable gemstones.  

10. Poudretteite

First discovered in the 1960s in the Poudrette quarry of Mon Saint Hilaire, Quebec, Poudretteite is one of the rarest gems known today.

9. Tanzanite

Aside from purchasing it, the only way you’ll ever obtain Tanzanite is by traveling to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania. The blue-purple stone is extremely rare and could potentially be mined out within 20-30 years.

8. Benitoite

Typically found near the San Benito River in California, Benitoite is a blue to purple gemstone first discovered in 1907. The best part of this gem is when put under UV light it resembles glowing blue chalk.

7.  Grandidierite

Found almost exclusively in Madagascar, this bluish-green mineral is pleochroic and can transmit blue, green, and white light.

6. Black Opal

While opal may be Australia’s national gemstone, black opal is the rarest and most valuable of its kind.

5. Red Beryl

There is only one known commercial production of gem-quality red beryl in the world and it’s located at the Ruby Violet mine in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah.

4. Jadeite

Mainly found in limited quantities, Jadeite is most valuable when it is colored a deep, translucent green. In 1997, Christie’s auction house sold a Jadeite necklace for nearly $10 million.

3. Taaffeite

Named after the Bohemian-Irish gemologist Richard Taaffe who discovered it in 1945, Taaffeite is a very rare gem. In fact, only a handful of these precious stones have ever been found, making them a true collector’s gem.

2. Alexandrite

The hype behind Alexandrite is due to its color-changing properties (and its scarcity relative to diamond). These unique traits make a rare combination of minerals that includes titanium, iron and chromium.

1. Painite

According to many, including the Guinness Book of World Record, Painite is the world’s rarest mineral. For decades, only two crystals were known to exist. The mineral is made up of aluminium, calcium, boron, zirconium and oxygen.