7 Rarest Stones in the World

| |

Humans have always been attracted to gems and crystals, especially when crafted into beautiful jewelry and other trinkets, but geologists and experts alike will tell you that rare stones don’t have to be bright, shiny objects that are only destined to be used in rings, necklaces and bracelets. While gemstones are deemed special for their crystal formations, rocks and stones are equally special for many different reasons. They are also used in jewelry, as well as ornaments and other decorative items, not to mention their innate beauty that’s in a world of its own.

7. Jet

Image Editorial Credit: Geni / Wikimedia Commons

A variety of lignite coal that’s been formed over millions of years from fossilized wood, Jet is technically not a mineral but it is considered by many to be a gem, because it can be polished and faceted. A rare form comes from Whitby, England – called Whitby Jet, which originates from the early Jurassic period, 182 million years ago. Since the Neolithic period in Ancient Britain, Jet has been crafted into ornamental items and was even considered to contain magical properties by the Romans. In the Victorian era, Jet was used to make jewelry for mourning and the adjective “jet-black” comes from how dark this stone is. Price: About $2 per gram

6. Blue Amber

Blue amber
Image Editorial Credit: Vassil / Wikimedia Commons

Amber is an organic substance with a pleasant scent and is the hardened resin from ancient pine trees, which sometimes has inclusions of trapped insects and plants. It has been used in jewelry for over 10,000 years but the more rare stones are blue, found mainly in mines around the city of Santiago in the Dominican Republic. The blue coloring is thought be the result of incomplete combustion in an extinct species of trees during forest fires around 25 to 40 million years ago. What’s fascinating about Blue Amber is that under artificial light or when held against the sun, the color is like regular amber, but in sunlight it has an intense blue florescent glow and when under ultraviolet light is appears bright, milky-blue. Price: $5-$10 per gram for smaller pieces

5. Fire Obsidian

Image Editorial Credit: Openverse/Flickr

Obsidian itself is a fascinating material, which is volcanic glass formed from magma or lava flows that are rich in silica and suddenly chilled by water or other elements, preventing crystallization. When broken or chipped, they can be razor sharp and this material was often used in weapons and tools for cutting. Fire Obsidian is a rare form with an iridescent quality and is found in the Northwest of the U.S.A. Displaying brilliant colors and patterns, this stone can be worked into beautiful gems akin to Opals. Containing thin layers of microcrystals from magnetite, the colors and patterns change depending on the angle it’s viewed from, making it a sought after and wonderful example of a semi-precious stone. Price: Approx $10/oz for unpolished

4. Cinnabar

Image Editorial Credit: JJ Harrison / Wikimedia Commons

Cinnabar is an interesting and unusual mineral that was favored by the Ancient Romans for its mercury content and its use as a pigment dye called vermilion. In China and South America, it was also used for decoration and ornaments, due to the various shades of red – from brick to cinnamon and bright scarlet. Composed of mercury sulphide, it occurs in volcanic veins and alkaline hot-springs. Quite soft, with a hardness of up to 2.5 on the Mohs scale, Cinnabar is incredibly dense and heavy, making it a popular specimen for collectors, with the rarest examples found in China and Spain. Once used as a rouge and in cosmetics, this mineral is highly toxic and can cause mercury poisoning. Price: Small beads can cost as low as a few dollars, however you should exercise caution with this toxic stone. 

3. Coral

Red coral
Image Editorial Credit: Arturo Donate / Flickr

Red coral is also called precious coral and is an intensely colored “skeleton” found on rocky sea-beds with low sedimentation in dark crevices and caverns. Durable and highly colored from pink-orange to intense red, this mineral is mainly used for jewelry. Growing up to a meter in height, they have the appearance of leafless bushes and the original species is found mostly in the Mediterranean Sea. Consisting of hard calcium carbonate, Coral can be polished until it has a glassy shine and was used for decoration by the Ancient Egyptians and has been discovered in prehistoric European burial grounds. Often used to make beads, this mineral is highly prized and has been considered to contain magical properties. Conservation is an issue, due to over-mining and damage due to the fishing industry. Price: From a few dollars per carat, into the hundreds

2. Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli
Image Editorial Credit: Hannes Grobe / Wikimedia Commons

Used as a semi-precious stone since around 7,000 B.C., Lapis Lazuli is an intensely blue rock that has been mined in places such as Afghanistan for various uses, including jewelry, ornamentation and as a pigment dye called ultramarine. This silicate mineral usually has inclusions of calcite, sodalite, pyrite and other materials. It was used in the creation of Tutankhamun’s funeral mask and other artistic works. Found in other regions like Russia, Chile, Italy, Mongolia and the U.S., Lapis Lazuli is usually found in caves and is also polished for inclusion in objects such as small statues, boxes, vases and other precious items. This stone has been discovered in ancient burials and regions that existed since the Neolithic age and Cleopatra used the ground pigment for eyeshadow. Price: $1 per carat for lower grades, up to $150+ for high grade

1. Fulgurite

Image Editorial Credit: John Alan Elson / Wikimedia Commons

Also known as fossilized lightning, Fulgurites occur when lightning strikes certain places, such as sand, soil, rock and other organic substances, creating a tube or clumps of fused matter. Popular among collectors, these oddities are usually hollow and sometimes branch out, depending on what the lightning has struck. Fulgurites can occur deep under the surface of whatever the lightning hits and are sometimes used by scientists to calculate the history of lightning strikes in a specific region. Comprising of various glasses and silicates, these rare occurrences have created a full spectrum of colorful specimens, however most are transparent, white or black. In a sandy area, the temperature of the bolt can reach 30,000 degrees C. Due to it’s otherworldly nature and reliance on weather to be created, Fulgurite is the rarest stone on Earth. Price: Varies greatly, but you can find common smaller specimens for a few dollars. 

This article originally appeared on Rarest.org.

More from Rarest.org 

14 Rarest Mustang Models Ever Released

14 Rarest Mustang Models Ever Released
Provided by Rarest.org

The Ford Mustang has long been an icon of American automotive history, known for its performance, style, and cultural significance. Throughout its storied history, Ford has produced numerous Mustang variants, but some stand out as exceptionally rare and coveted by collectors. Read More

10 Rarest Elements in the Universe

Francium (Fr)
Provided by Rarest.org

Within the vast expanse of the universe lie elements that are exceedingly rare, elusive, and intriguing. From radioactive isotopes to fleeting traces found in ores, these elements capture the imagination of scientists and enthusiasts alike. Read More

8 Rarest Genetic Disorders in the World

8 Rarest Genetic Disorders In The World
Provided by Rarest.org

Genetic disorders are conditions caused by abnormalities in an individual’s DNA. While some disorders are relatively common, affecting thousands or even millions of people worldwide, others are incredibly rare, with only a handful of cases ever reported. Read More


6 Rarest Dollar Coins in the United States

10 Rarest Neurological Diseases in the World


Leave a Comment