7 Rare Gemstones That Are Scarcer Than Diamonds

These gemstones are considered rarer than diamonds due to their color, how they are obtained, and their limited availability.

Diamonds are exquisite in nature, especially those that have the utmost quality and clarity. However, its undeniable brilliance aside, did you know there are rare gemstones that are scarcer than them? These are not only harder to find or obtain, but they possess unique qualities that make them highly sought after by collectors or gem enthusiasts. They offer a glimpse into nature’s most exclusive creations that surpass the trusty, classic dazzler. 

Here are seven rare gemstones with characteristics that make them exude unparalleled magnificence and allure. 

READ ALSO: L’Heure Bleu: Largest Carved Tanzanite Earns A Guinness World Record


The International Gem Society stipulated that tanzanites are rarer than diamonds because they can only be mined in Tanzania. They show pleochroism, which means the gem comes in different colors: from violet, red, green-yellow to brown, red, and blue. However, it undergoes heat treatment to reach a tantalizing hue of blue, making them more desirable.

The rare gemstone’s discovery involves the Maasai tribe herders, who found blue crystals in the Merelani Hills. They were tending livestock when they saw the stones and notified a prospector, who promptly registered claims to begin mining. 

Tanzanites come in violet, red, green, yellow, brown, red, and blue hues
Tanzanites come in violet, red, green, yellow, brown, red, and blue hues/Photo from Sabrianna via Unsplash 

Last month, the world’s largest carved tanzanite, L’Heure Bleu, earned a Guinness World Record for its carat size of 703.4 carats. Tanzanites, depending on the hue, carat, and grade, may cost up to $1,500 per carat

Tanzanites are known as stones of intuition and perception. Some believe that it is a good gem to have in situations where you need a calming presence.


Sapphires are classified as rare gemstones because they are composed of the gem-grade mineral corundum (aluminum oxide). The International Gem Society notes that sapphires are scarce because only a small fraction, around one percent of all corundum discovered, is high enough quality to be considered gem-grade. 

The crystal comes in various colors. Most in-demand sapphires are the deep blue ones, so the pink, orange, yellow, or green counterparts are considered one of a kind. Hot pink ones or pink-orange sapphires are priced high in the market. This doesn’t mean the blue ones are less valuable, as they fuel the exorbitant pricing for the gems. 

Sapphires are considered rare gemstones due to containing gem grade corundum
Sapphires are considered rare gemstones because they contain gem grade corundum/Photo from Ceylon’s Munich website

The precious stone’s worth depends on its quality. Suppliers like Ceylon’s Munich and With Clarity New York claim the prices per carat may reach up to $2,000.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) explained sapphires symbolize nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It is associated with royalty as their robes are filled with the precious stone for centuries. Britain’s King Charles, previously a prince, gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to the late Lady Diana Spencer, in 1981.

Paraiba tourmalines

The Paraiba tourmaline has a bright, saturated blue and green hues first discovered in Brazil. However, larger sizes of the gem had been found in Mozambique and Nigeria. 

It is difficult to excavate as they are found in pencil-thin veins deep below the Earth’s surface. This factor makes the Paraiba tourmalines incredibly rare and steeply priced.

A Paraiba tourmaline ring set in platinum
A Paraiba tourmaline ring set in platinum/Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The American Gem Society mentioned it was named after the northeast state of Brazil where they were discovered. Metaphysically, they are believed to promote communication, truth, diplomacy, and self-expression.

As repeatedly stated above, rare gemstones are valued depending on their quality and size. A rare Paraiba tourmaline may cost up to $50,000.


The American Gem Society described the alexandrite gemstone as a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. They referred to it as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” due to its color-changing abilities. 

Amounts of chromium in the gem can make it appear from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under low light. Due to their scarcity, they are rarer gemstones than diamonds. 

An alexandrite ring with hues of red and purple
An alexandrite ring with hues of red and purple/Photo from Wikimedia Commons

It was discovered in Russian emerald mines located in the Ural Mountains. It was believed to be discovered in 1834 on the same day that Russian Czar Alexander II came of age, hence, it was named to honor him.

Prices for alexandrites may reach up to $70,000, depending on its gem grade and carat size. It is so rare and expensive that only a few people have seen a natural stone of its kind.


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln stated that emeralds are rare due to the limited geologic environment that they occur in. “Most emeralds form in contact with metamorphic rocks,” the website mentioned. “That is the narrow baked zone where a hot magma (lava) comes into contact with sedimentary rocks such as limestone or shale.” 

They are often found with numerous inclusions that indicate where the emerald came from. Colombian emeralds have pyrites, liquid, and carbon dioxide embedded inside it. Indian emeralds have dark inclusions called biotite, while South African ones have needle-like structures within. 

Emeralds are rare due to the limited geologic environment that they occur in
Emeralds are rare due to the limited geologic environment that they occur in/Photo from Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Emeralds range from green to blue green varieties of the mineral beryl and are one of the rarest gemstones in the world. 

Colombian emeralds command the highest prices for these stones, which reach up to $100,000 a carat. They are associated with royalty, wit, eloquence, and foresight and they make great gifts for 60th anniversary celebrations.


The International Gem Society mused that rubies, the red variety of corundum, are scarcer than blue gems. Their rarity, along with the demand for vibrant red stones, contributes to their high price. While small rubies used in clusters are abundant, they remain expensive yet readily available.

The American Gem Society mentioned that the finest rubies come from Myanmar, formerly Burma. Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, India, and Tanzania, among many others, mine the gem. Both natural and synthetic rubies are used for watchmaking, lasers, and other medical instruments due to their strength and fluorescence.

The Sunrise Ruby, one of the most expensive rare gemstones in the market, sold for about $30 million at an auction
The Sunrise Ruby, one of the most expensive rare gemstones in the market, sold for about $30 million at an auction/Photo from Sotheby’s

The rare gemstones may cost up to more than $150,000, depending on carat size, quality, and if it is untreated.

Rubies stand for passion, protection, and wealth. Many cultures, as per the American Gem Society, tied the gemstone to love and commitment. It is also the traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.


Painites are rare gemstones discovered in Myanmar in the 1950s. It is typically reddish brown or orange brown in color, with top grade brilliance making it popular to use for jewelry.

Painite gemstones are believed to occur in metamorphic rocks that underwent high pressure and high temperature conditions. Bonhams said on its website that in 2005, Guinness World Records declared the stone as the rarest gem mineral in the world. 

A true pink painite from Myanmar (Burma)
A true pink painite from Myanmar (Burma)/Photo via Instagram @thegemtrader

There are only a few known specimens of painite so prices may reach up to $60,000 per carat. It is believed to have spiritual and metaphysical properties such as enhancing creativity, intuition, spiritual growth, and understanding.

Banner photo from Sabrianna via Unsplash.

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