precious gemsIt’s human nature to search for beauty in the world. One thing that can often turn heads, and wallets, are precious gems. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are just a few examples of admired precious gems. But rockhounds not only want their gems to look nice, they want rare finds that will set them apart from other gem enthusiasts or collectors. Here are some options that only a small handful of people could ever hope to acquire. Jeremejevite $2K/carat This colorless, blue, or yellow stone is mined in Namibia, and it is sometimes confused with aquamarine because of its elongated crystals. But this precious gem is much harder to find. Black Opal $23K/Carat Most opals are mined in Australia, with a small percentage found in North or South America. Black opals aren’t necessarily black, but are often dark gray. Their beauty is appreciated when they are looked at more closely and a wide mix of color is revealed. Red Beryl Emerald   $10K/carat Most emeralds are green, but the red beryl emerald is a pink-purple precious gem found mostly in the Wah Wah Mountains and Thomas Range in Utah.  Formed in volcanic areas and crystallized under high heat and low pressure, cut specimens are very rare. Musgravite $35K/carat This precious gem is a silicate mineral which contains beryllium, magnesium, and aluminum, and was first found in the Musgrave area in Australia. It has also been found in Sri Lanka, Greenland, and Madagascar but rarely with the quality of a precious gem. Grandidierite $50K – 1/2 Carat Madagascar and Sri Lanka are the best places to find this bluish-green mineral that transmits blue, green, and white light. Painite $50-$60K/carat This mineral was discovered in the 1950s in Myanmar, and was thought to be the rarest mineral on earth, with only three small crystals found for many years. By 2005, the number had climbed, but was still under 25. Just recently, a few more were mined in Myanmar. Blue Garnet $1.5 mil/carat Although most garnets are dark red, they do exist within the full spectrum of color, but it is blue garnets that are hardest to find. It was discovered in Madagascar in 1999, and has since been spotted in the U.S., Russia, and Turkey. Depending on the light, the gem can appear to be blue-green or purple. The highest known price for a single gem was $6.8 million for 4.2 carats back in 2003. Serendibite $1.8-2 mil/carat This cyan colored precious gem was discovered in Sri Lanka and contains calcium, aluminum, silicon, magnesium, boron, and oxygen. There have been just three of these stones cut at the sizes .56 carats, .55 carats, and .35 carats. The smallest was sold for $14.3 K per carat. Red Diamond $2-2.5 mil/carat Red diamonds are a purplish red and have only been seen by a handful of people. They are found every year or two in the Argyle Mine in Australia. When auctioned they sell for millions. Jadeite $3 million +/ carat The most sought after version of Jadeite is a green color and is found in Guatemala. Some grey or white Jadeite has been found in California as well. The most expensive jadeite jewelry was sold in 1997, a necklace with 27 half millimeter beads for the bargain price of $9.3 million.
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  • Amy Donahue