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Rarest gem?

Hello all,

Which gem currently used in the jewelry trade is considered the #1
rarest? When recently asked this question, I couldn’t offer a
knowledgeable answer.

Thanks so much, CaroL

Well I’m sure that someone else will have a different one but to my
knowledge it would be red beryl from Utah.

I vote for a red diamond of decent size…

John Dach

I would have to say the 100% complete color change, eyed alexandrite
would have to be near the top and maybe 1 in larger sizes…or maybe
the bixbite


Which gem currently used in the jewelry trade is considered the #1
rarest? When recently asked this question, I couldn't offer a
knowledgeable answer. 

Frankly, the question is nonsensical. First consider term “used”.
There are a lot of rare gems not used in jewellery as a rule, but
could be. So meaning of “used” is important. Second is term "rarest"
Rarest as species, or variety, or a specimen. The best possible
answer is - gems containing chromium as chromophore, but there are
many exceptions.

Gems formation is a lottery. It takes common elements like Aluminum
Oxide or Silicon Oxide to come in contact with element to imbue
crystal with attractive appearance. The rarer the element, the rarer
the gem, simply because probability of combination is low. Take
corundum a.k.a. Aluminum Oxide. Very common element. Most of clays
are partially Aluminum Oxide. White clay or kaolin is pure Aluminum
Oxide. It is the staff that porcelain is made from. However when
combined with chromium, in crystal form it becomes a ruby.

There is a super rare element Astatine. It is estimated that there
are no more than 25 grams exist in Earth crust. It has a very short
half-life, but if there would be a gem, whose coloration resulted
from interaction with Astatine, it would be the rarest gems of all.
That is true until even more rarer element is discovered.

Leonid Surpin

Carol- A Red Diamond. That and maybe a rich person with good taste:)

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Good question. Good answer.

From others we have also hear red diamond, ruby and alexandrite.

The last time I visited Whistler (where Olympics 2010 were held)
there was a stone quarry right in the middle of one of the most
expensive villages on the planet.

What do you do with such a quarry when the stone is no longer being
drawn for construction purposes? Why not hire the Mikey Angelo
Construction Company to do a little stone carving with the rock face?
How much is Mount Rushmore worth as art? What are the most valuable
sculpted stones in the world? How rare is Da Vinci’s statue of David?

What do we call such a work of art? Whistler’s Mother? I would start
Whistler’s Mother by cutting the quarry deep enough to support a
good sized natural aquarium at the bottom. The waterfall over the
stone facets above would also create an excellent effect especially
when the complexities of lighting are taken into account for the
final display. The stone-light interaction amazes me. Water is God’s
natural cosmetic. Water-light can turn the most ordinary stone into a
gem. Just as a carved ruby can have its value enhanced by the
setting, so too Whistler’s Mother would be enhanced by floral
displays in the rocks and by the fauna in the aquarium.

If the Whistler’s Mother stonework should be the rarest gem in the
world, it could even raise the property values around it. It might
support a store with the name of “Rarest Gem” which sells the rarest
stonework on the planet. Nemo dat non quod habet does not apply when
it comes to selling by Internet. “Rarest Gem” could even put the Da
Vinci stone works up for sale in a video display room.

BTW, how much do those rare red diamonds, rubies and alexandrites
fetch on the market, before and after stone masons have had a go at
them? How much value is added by sculpting them? Could future
sculptings of these stones add even more value by departing from the
conventional facetings and curved bead and cabochon stone faces?

Finally let us put this in a cosmological perspective. We live in a
universe of > billions of stars x billions of galaxies. What might
the rarest stone in Andromeda be like? When those little green guys
in the movie, Mars Attacks said, in perfect binary language, Ack
Ackack, my cosmic translator tells me they were trying to trade this
planet for a string of Polonium beads (there is a glut of Po on
Mars). Martian culture takes rejection very badly. When they make an
offer Earthlings can’t refuse we should pay attention.

What will they do in the sequel, Mars Attacks 2?

not sure this may not be the rare-est but i’ve been told Benitoite
(ben eee tow ite ) is reasonably rare - goo

My vote is Olivine in iron meteorites. Only less than 1 % of
meteorites are Pallasites. And meteorites even more exceptional are
the large “chunks” of crystallized Olivine in it. Olivine is better
known as “Peridot” amongst the gemological community. I have found
reference to use by a very few of the finest jewelry houses and only
one source for the cut gemstones


I’m not an expert, but of faceted gems hard enough for general
jewelry purposes, Benitoite comes to mind. Gem quality material is
only found in San Benito County Ca, and even there not much of it.

Todd Welti

I'm not an expert, but of faceted gems hard enough for general
jewelry purposes, Benitoite comes to mind. Gem quality material is
only found in San Benito County Ca, and even there not much of it. 

Benitoite is definitely a rare gem, but when discussing rarity it is
important to keep in mind the color, the size of and the
appearance of

Ruby is quite common, but in sizes over 5 carat and of so called
"pigeon blood" color - may take several lifetimes to find.

Peridot is very common and inexpensive gemstone, but once 50 carat
mark is passed, it becomes a museum specimen.

What could be more commoner than Almandite garnet. However, it is
very dark in large sizes. Large Almandite of good color and
transparency would be an exceptionally rare gemstone.

Leonid Surpin

but of faceted gems hard enough for general jewelry purposes,
Benitoite comes to mind 

I’ve had in mind to point this out for awhile - you need to define
"gem". Red diamond is a good pick for the rarest ~commonly used in
the jewelry industry~ gem, but there are many minerals that could
qualify as gems, if there was enough material of good quality to be
used as such. Arakiite, anyone? This is a good spot to put the two
great websites out there for minerology: Very technical and a bit difficult to
navigate… At least a bit more user friendly…(a bit

Thank you to everyone who has responded to this. Red diamond,
Benitoite, red beryl, Alexandrite and Jeremejevite have all been
suggested the most.

John Donivan mentioned defining “gem” and by that I meant rarest
gemstone material that is faceted and currently used in the jewelry
trade. Hopefully that narrows the question down a little better.

Learning a lot from your answers, thank you! CaroL

how can the rarest gem be commonly used?

how can the rarest gem be commonly used? 

Not to respond to Neil’s tongue-in-cheek thought, which is true
enough… There’s a whole marketplace out there of “Gem
collectors”. Some of them just want a certain shade of aquamarine,
but some of them are more like stamp or coin collectors. “I have one
of the twelve faceted Spriggites in the world…” Some are
geologists, some are gemologists and some are just educated. Some
collect specimens (mounted crystals and such), some collect cut
stones or both. Since any mineral ~can~ be or become a “gem”, that
means that ultimately there are places in the world that are the only
place a certain mineral exists at all. That’s a certain sort or
rarity, but as I questioned, it’s not the kind of rarity this thread
really asks. There are far rarer facetable stones than pink or red
diamonds, it’s just that nobody outside of gemology has ever heard of
them - sometimes nobody outside the county has… Often because
nobody outside the collectors market really wants them. Just by way
of conversation, really…

The cheapest piece of stone can be turned into the rarest gem if
Michaelangelo is carving it.

How about a faceted olivine from a meteorite?

Craig mcintosh