Gemstones are substances which are usually mineral deposits which are formed deep beneath the earth’s crust, where they accumulate. Examples of gemstones range from popular ones such as diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires and so on, to those that are not so common e.g. alexandrite, kyanite, citrine, rose quartz, celestite etc. This wide range of gemstones differs from one another according to their chemical composition, physical composition, shape, form, color etc.

They can all be divided into two major groups, which are; precious and semi-precious stones. However, some gemstones are extremely rare.


Rarity is one of the qualities that set precious gems apart from other types of stones. This is why, generally, the rarer a gemstone is, the more valuable it would be, particularly in terms of its commercial worth. This is because there will be a very high demand for it, particularly among the elite who would not hesitate to pay handsomely for it. The effect of rarity goes far beyond the realms of fashion – though, it may be difficult to see how that may be possible, considering the colossal massiveness of those realms – and crosses into the region of science, in some cases. That is to say, the demand for some rare gems is not only high when it comes to their function in fashion, but that scientists and researchers across the globe would also like to lay their hands on large deposits of them; purely for the sakes of testing, further research and the advancement of science.

Some of the rarest gemstones in the world include the following:

  • Tanzanite

Tanzanite is an extremely rare gemstone that has only been discovered naturally in the region of northern Tanzania (which is a country in East Africa). The discovery of the stone dates back to 1967, when it was first found by a Masai tribesman called Ali Juuyawatu.

This gemstone is blue in color and it is one of the most uncommon forms of zoisite. This stone is typically of high quality (i.e. gem quality) and rarer than diamonds. Experts say that its natural supply could be exhausted within the next 2-3 decades.

Tanzanite is one of the birthstones of November.

  • Taafeite

Taafeite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Most people have never even heard of it because of how extremely rare it is. It is light violet in color and has been discovered only in two countries on the entire planet, which are; Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

The discovery of taafeite dates back to 1945, when it was found by an Australian gemologist called Richard Taafe (at the time of his initial discovery though, he thought it was spinel). A lot of mined taafeite cannot be suitably faceted, which is another reason why the gem is so rare.

  • Red Beryl

Red beryl is an extremely rare form of beryl that can only be found in New Mexico and Utah (as far as anyone knows. However, it is only being mined in Utah). It is known to have been discovered in 1904, by a person called Maynard Bixby.

One fun fact about red beryl is that it is made from the same stuff as emerald (i.e. beryl). It is only that emeralds happen to be its green variant, which is why some people refer to this unique gemstone as red emerald. When formed in nature, the gemstone often contains inclusions which do not necessarily affect its value.

  • Demantoid garnet

Demantoid garnet is a very rare variant of andraite garnet. This gemstone was first discovered in Russia, in the middle of the 19th century. Despite the fact that most of the other varieties of garnet which have warm tones are not commonly regarded as highly valuable, demantoid garnet are remarkably highly prized.

When the hardness of demantoid garnets is measured it usually falls between 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale. Therefore it is suitable to be faceted and crafted into jewelry to be worn. One fun fact about the demantoid garnet is the fact that is does not usually occur in very large sizes in nature.

  • Alexandrite

Alexandrite is one of the few color-changing gemstones in the world. It usually appears green in sunlight and red in dim light.

Alexandrite was first discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural mountains, which also contains other kinds of uncommon substances (e.g. minerals). Different forms of the gemstones have subsequently been mined in regions such as Asia, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

When formed in nature, alexandrite may either be green and red or purple and red. Also, large samples of it tend to contain inclusions.

  • Black opal

Black opal is commonly regarded as the rarest form of opal in existence. Most of the known supply of this wonderful gemstone can be found in Australia, where it is mined in Lightning Ridge (New South Wales).

One fun fact about black opals is the fact that they can occur naturally in any color, as long as they fall into the darker – and perhaps the darkest – shades of that color possible.

It is quite possible to make synthetic opals from artificial and synthetic treatment of normal, common opal, in order to transform the color into darker shades (as a result of manmade effort).


The rarest gemstone in the world (even as at 2021) is a stone known as painite. Not only is it the rarest gemstone in the world, it is also the rarest and most unique mineral on the planet (it even holds a Guinness World Record for it).

Painite was first discovered in 1951 and for a while, there were only two known samples of it in the world. Over the course of several decades, more samples of this illustrious gemstone have been found a few places around the world. However, less a thousand samples of it are estimated to be in existence, at this present time.

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