It’s long been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But according to Forbes, there are a whole bunch of natural gemstones that pack pricey punches, too. Here are the 10 most expensive gemstones in the world.
10. Poudretteite: $3,000 per carat
The Poudrette family in Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, discovered this delicate pink gemstone in the 1960s. Although the stone itself was found and named in the ’60s, it wasn’t until nearly 40 years later (in 2000) that an actual gem-quality vein was found in Burma.
A more affordable lookalike is pink topaz.
9. Benitoite: Up to $4,000 per carat
Benitoite was discovered in San Benito County in Northern California just Northeast of Monterey in 1907. It features hues that range from a bright blue to bluish white and looks like a lighter, brighter version of blue sapphire.
8. Padparadscha Sapphire: $8,000 per carat
Thought all sapphires are blue, did you? Padparadscha sapphire counts as the world’s rarest sapphire and shines with a clear, pink/orange blaze. These sapphires come from mines in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Its name comes from the Sanskrit/Singhalese words for “lotus” (“Padma”) and “color“ (“ranga”) because its color replicates that of a lotus bloom.
An affordable lookalike is Mexican fire opal.
7. Red Beryl: $10,000 per carat
Red Beryl was first found in Thomas Range, Utah in 1904 and is sometimes referred to as “scarlet emerald” or “red emerald.” It’s color ranges from a raspberry pink to purplish red and it’s even rarer than rubies.
A more wallet-friendly lookalike is pink tourmaline or rhodolite garnet.
6. Alexandrite: $12,000 per carat
Alexandrite was discovered in the 1830s in the Ural Mountains of Russia, and is rare because it features color shifts based on light. It can change from green/blue to reddish purple, among other combinations.
Affordable lookalikes include color-changing sapphires and garnets.
5. Diamond: $15,000 per carat
Diamonds in their true, clear form are the most sought-after stones for wedding and engagement rings in the world. As a result, you’ll pay a premium for them. Bring in the color or “fancy” versions and you’ll just need to sell your house and the houses of everyone you know to afford them.
Diamonds come in shades ranging from pink, yellow, blue, and green to brown, black, purple and gray. The Hope Diamond is a perfect-yet allegedly-cursed example of a colored diamond with its unusual (and rare) shade of light grayish blue.
Wallet-friendly alternatives are white topaz, citrine, blue topaz, green garnet, black spinel, and amethyst.
4. Serendibite: $18,000 per carat
Serendibite was discovered in 1902 in Sri Lanka in 1902. Its colors range from a light, transparent greenish blue color to pale yellow, greyish blue, and even black.
More affordable alternatives include citrine, tourmaline, and topaz.
3. Jadeite: $20,000 per carat
Jadeite is the rarest, costliest version of jade and is opaque as opposed to the traditional transparent gems on the market. Its color ways range from milky white, beige, and all shades of green-from muted celery green to an emerald green called “imperial jade.”
Budget-friendly options include agate, aventurine quartz, and chrysoprase.
2. Red Diamond: $1,000,000 per carat
Red diamonds are so rare that there are fewer than 30 in the entire world, and most are quite small.
The famous Moussaieff Red Diamond, pictured above, was acquired at auction in 2011 for a staggering $8 million. At 5.11 carats, it’s the largest red diamond currently known to man.
1. The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond: $3.93 million per carat
Blue might be considered the color of sadness, but not in this case. The Oppenheimer Blue diamond is the largest “vivid” blue diamond known in the world. It’s a nearly 15-carat gem that sold for nearly $58 million at auction.
Affordable alternatives are blue topaz and aquamarine.