Despite the widespread desire in the culture for the finest diamonds, some gemstones are much more valued than diamonds for their superior colors and rarity. Think you have owned the most valued gemstone? You will change your mind after this article.
The finest Padparadscha Sapphire can be worth up to $100,000 per carat. Originally discovered in Sri Lanka, the hard-to-pronounce name actually comes from a Sinhalese word- “lotus blossom”. The poetic name serves the gem as they boast of bright shades of pink and orange. The gem is so rare that its cuts are usually economical in unusual, asymmetrical shapes. Consumers have to trade off the clarity for bright colors. You can find cheaper Padparadscha Sapphire sourced from Madagascar where now most of the world’s production comes from. However, watch out for the pieces which have gone through chemical treatment or heat treatment to enhance the colors. In general, beautiful, untreated gems are more high-valued.
In 1988, the exceptionally bright tourmaline was discovered in the state of Paraiba, Brazil-hence the name. The intense light blue coloring is from copper. It is also known as “neon tourmalines” for its vibrant light blue hue. Paraiba Tourmaline is loved by jewelry designers for its regal shade of blue. A fine example is this Faberge ring featuring a square –cut Paraiba Tourmaline. The price of Paraiba Tourmaline can come up to $16,000 per carat. The most famous Paraiba Tourmaline is the Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba with a mass of nearly 192 carats and valued at well over $25 million.
The range of Himalayas is home to many precious gems including the Kashmir Sapphire. At an elevation of 15,000 feet the deposit of Kashmir Sapphire is under the snow most of the year. The stones are so rare that most of us are likely to see one in a museum. The best species of the gem has a superb cornflower blue and a cloudiness, the “sleepy quality” due to rutile inclusions. In April 2007, a 22.66 carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, set in a pendant surrounded by diamonds, was sold at a Christie’s auction for $3,064,000, equivalent to $135,000 a carat, to an anonymous bidder. This set a record for sapphire yet many experts believe the piece is far from the most superior kind of Kashmir Saphire.
The gemstone has a noble history. When it was first discovered in the range of Ural, the stones can be green by daylight and red by incandescent light- the colors of old Imperial Russia. As such, it was named alexandrite in honor of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Alexandrite weighed more than 1 carat is very hard to find. Thus, over 1 carat, the price ranges from $50,000 to $100 million per carat.