Beautiful and rare, diamonds may be the fairest gemstone of all, but they aren’t the rarest. If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring at jewelry stores in Michigan or other states, you’ll likely find the right diamond for your intended. You’ll have a harder time finding some of these exclusive jewels, though.
Red diamonds are in fact, diamonds as the name suggests. Diamonds of other colors are created by impurities. Yellow diamonds are colored by nitrogen. Blue and green diamonds are created by boron. Red diamonds, however, are not the result of impurities. Instead, the pink and red-hued stones derive their color from tiny defects in the crystal lattice. They are the rarest of all colored diamonds. It’s estimated that fewer than 30 such stones exist. Rarely available for sale, experts at Christie’s Auction House in Geneva sold a 2.26 carat red diamond in 2007 for $2.6 million, or $1.15 million per carat.
This gem, first discovered in the Thomas Mountain Range in Utah in 1904, varies in reddish hue. It has been called by many names, including “bixbite”—in honor of its discoverer, Maynard Bixby—and red or scarlet emerald. To date, it’s only been found in three locations: the Wah Wah and Thomas Range in west-central Utah, and the Black Range in New Mexico. Geochemists believe there may be one red beryl per 150,000 diamonds. The gemstones sell for approximately $10,000 per carat.
Discovered in 1967 in southern Australia, musgravite is a very hard stone and belongs to the family of stones known as Taaffeite. Musgravite ranges in color from a deep purple to a brilliant greenish-gray. Though the first stone was found in 1967, there were no facet grade stones in known existence prior to 1993. Until 2005, only 8 were known to exist. Since then, the mineral has been found in Greenland, Madagascar, Antarctica, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, and experts theorize that some stones that were categorized as Taaffeite may actually be musgravite. If you can find musgravite available for purchase, expect to pay approximately $35,000 per carat.
First discovered in 1883, this mineral is named after the mineralogist who discovered it: Pavel Vladimirovich Jeremjev. Its beautiful crystals can resemble diamonds; some are colorless. Others vary in shade from purplish and gray-blues to yellow. Though first discovered in Siberia, the minerals there were not suitable as gems. A small deposit of facettable stones was recovered in Namibia in the 1970s. Mineralogists have also recovered stones in Burma. One of the most affordable of the world’s rarest stones, the jeremejevite sells for approximately $2,000 per carat.
This rare stone appears to be dramatically different colors depending on the kind of light it is exposed to. The gem ranges in color from green to red, resembling other colored jewels like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Alexandrite is rarer, however. In daylight, most stones exhibit green hues, but deep reds in incandescent light. It was identified by a Finnish mineralogist circa 1831. Alexandrite was first found in the Ural Mountains in Russia. Mines in Brazil, Burma, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania have also yielded stones. Alexandrite stones typically sell for $25,000 per carat or more. You may not be able to afford one, but you can catch a glimpse of the largest known specimen in the world; it is on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
This stunning stone can appear a pale, whispery, or brilliant deep blue. Known as the official state gem of California, benitoite was discovered in San Benito, California, in 1907. Though the mineral can be found in other places like Japan and Arkansas, the only gem-quality stones have been found in a single mine in the Golden State. A one-carat benitoite gem will run you $3,000 to $4,000.
Incredibly rare, there were only two known faceted stones in existence until 2004. Named after Arthur Charles Davy Pain, the English gem collector credited with discovering the stone, painite was, until very recently, considered the rarest mineral on Earth. It ranges in color from a pale brownish-orange to deep garnet red. Though several locations in Burma yielding painite were discovered in 2005, a fraction of the minerals were of crystal or gemstone quality. Today, one carat costs between $50,000 and $60,000.
Though not the rarest, diamonds are among the most exquisite stones on Earth. And you don’t have to travel far to gaze upon their beauty. They can be found in engagement rings and other pieces at jewelry stores in Michigan and around the world.
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