Gemstones are some of the most beautiful items in the world. They are usually formed miles underneath the surface of the earth, when mineral deposits buried beneath the earth’s crust are subjected to natural forces (such as pressure and heat). Examples of gemstones include; diamonds, rubies, sapphires, citrine, alexandrite, garnet, jade, emeralds and so many more. Usually, it takes a long period of time for a lot of gemstones to be formed in nature; and this duration may range from several months to billions of years. This must be one of the reasons gemstones are always highly in demand.


There are many different types of gemstones in the world, such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emerald, quartz, lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye, alexandrite, jade, agate, amethyst and so many others. All the gemstones in the world are usually found in very specific areas around the world; which is why they are usually rare (though, some of them are a lot rarer than others).

Based on factors such as rarity, all the gemstones in the world can be divided into two distinct categories, which are; precious stones and semi-precious stones.



Precious stones are gemstones that are more highly esteemed, regarded and demanded, compared to all other types of gemstones. They are usually the types of gemstones that are a lot more famous, compared to all others. Examples of precious stones include; diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. These stones are very old and have a lot of cultural relevance (which can be seen in the fact that they usually feature prominently in a lot of ancient thrones and crowns). They also happen to be very rare. As a matter of fact, the classification of a particular gem as a precious stone, usually has a lot to do with its rarity, among other factors (a fine example of the importance of rarity in the classification of gemstones as precious stones is the case of amethyst, a popular violet gemstone, that was generally regarded as a precious stone until large quantities of it were discovered in Brazil).

Due, in part to this rarity, as well as their strong cultural relevance (and general public sentiment, as well as their notable brilliance and popularity), precious stones are widely demanded and used in the field of jewelry making. They – along with jewelry pieces made from them – also happen to be a lot more expensive, compared to other gemstones and the jewelry pieces made from them.



Semi-precious stones are gemstones that are not as expensive or highly demanded (globally) as precious stones. Examples include; citrine, jade, alexandrite, quartz, lapis lazuli, topaz, carnelian, peridot, onyx, sardonyx, opal, turquoise, amethyst (which used to be classified as a precious stone, until large deposits of it were uncovered in Brazil) and many other gemstones; many of which are used in the jewelry making industry for making pieces such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings (although, such items are not as highly prized as those that are made from high quality and properly cut precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires).

One major point to consider in the classification of semi-precious stones is the fact that they are generally not as rare or as widely demanded as precious stones. However, when it comes to the world of precious stones, a lot of people may be surprised to discover exactly which gemstones happen to be the rarest in the world.


When it comes to the realm of gemstones, some stones happen to be much rarer than others (and quite possibly among the rarest in the world). Therefore, the rarest gemstones in the world include the following:

  • Tanzanite

Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world, because it can only be found in one country in the world (Tanzania), in only one part of that country (i.e. the northern part), and in very small amounts. It is a blue gemstone that is actually a form of zoisite. It also happens to be a lot rarer than diamonds.

  • Black opal

Amongst all the opals in the world, black opal is the rarest and possibly the most valuable. Most of the black opals that have been found in the world usually come from a place called Lightning Ridge, which is locates in New South Wales, in Australia. One of the main qualities that differentiate black opal from other types of opals is its distinct body tone, because while black opals are called “black”, they actually come in almost every color; except they are usually formed in a shade, which is on the darkest side of the gemstones color spectrum; which is why it usually appears black.

Due to its rarity, this gemstone is usually highly desirable, particularly in high quality samples.

  • Taaffeite

Taaffeite is a very rare gemstone which is not very common or popular among people (as a matter of fact, a lot of people – including avid gem lovers – may not even know what it is). Basically, taaffeite is a gemstone that is violet in color. It was first discovered in the year 1945, when it was initially mistaken as spinel. This rare gemstone has only been found in two countries around the world, which are Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

One important thing about taafeite is the fact that it is several times as rare as diamonds.

  • Demantoid garnet

Demantoid garnet is a very rare type of garnet that is renowned for its notable green color. It is a rare form of andradite garnet, which was first uncovered in Russia during the 1800s. Demantoid garnet is very valuable, despite its small size (they occur in very small sizes in nature), because very rarely do they need to be treated (and they are also rarely treated). The stone is relatively hard and suitable for regular everyday use (or wear), because it has a hardness that is around 7.5 on the Mohs Scale.

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