Some of the rarest minerals in the world don’t look anything like diamonds. In fact they come in a spectrum of different colors, and interestingly enough many of them come from the same places.
Painite was discovered in the 1950’s in Burma and at the time was carefully one of the rarest minerals on the planet. Since 2002 new sources of the stone have been found in Myanmar, Ohngaing and two locations in Mogok.
The color of the painite stone ranges from pink, to red, to brown and pleochroic (which means it displays different colors from different angles), and the stone was named after the man who discovered them, British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain
Prior to 2005 there were less than 20 painite stones in existence (only 2 of them faceted). Today a few hundred stones with enough ability to be faceted have been cut and several thousand crystals and fragments have been mined.
Serendibite is a stone found in Sri Lanka which is created via an incredibly complex recipe which includes calcium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, boron & oxygen. The stone is named after the old Arabic name for Sri Lanka, Serendib.
The color of the serendibite stone can show blue, blue-green, grey-blue, light yellow and a deep dark blue and can be transparent to translucent.
To date only three specimens of faceting ability exist in three different sizes, 0.33 carats, 0.55 carats and 0.56 carats. The first two stones were discovered by a gemologist named D.P. Gunasekera and later sold to a professor E.J. Gübelin in Switzerland. To get an idea of the worth of these stones, the smallest of the stones sold for about ,300.00 per carat
Poudretteite was first discovered in Mont St. Hillaire in Quebec, Canada during the 1960’s and was named for the Poudretter house who operated the primary source quarry in Mont St. Hillaire. Originally only seven crystals were unearthed, but they weren’t recognized as a new type until 1986.
Later in 2000 an unknown gemstone was purchased in Mogok, and sent to a lab to be identified. That stone proved to be the first gem-quality specimen of Poudretteite ever documented. By 2004 more gem-quality pieces had been discovered in Mogok, the largest of which weighed in at 9.41 carats.
The primary color-causing element in poudretteite is manganese and the resulting crystals can be pink, purple and clear in color. It is also the softest stone on our list. So soft, in fact, that they are not convenient for daily wear set in rings or bracelets.
Grandidierite was discovered in 1902 and named after the French naturalist and explorer Alfred Grandidier, an authority on the history and geography of Madagascar.
The first and only gem-quality specimen was found in Sri Lanka and originally mistaken for serendibite (above) and swiftly purchased by Professor Gübelin in Switzerland.
The mineral is bluish-green in color and found primarily in Madagascar, although there are also deposits on Antarctica, Africa, North America, Europe, and Greenland.
Grandidierite is trichroic which means it transmits a blue, green and white light, the resulting crystals appear either colorless or carry a greenish or bluish tint.
Jeremejevite (pronounced ye-Rem-ay-ev-ite) is one of the most desired assembler minerals. It was originally discovered in 1883 in the in the Nerchinsk district of Transbaikal, Russia and named for the Russian mineralogist & engineer Pavel Jeremejev who discovered it.
The second discovery didn’t come until 1973, found by a woman who made a habit of collecting pretty rocks as she walked behind her husband’s grader. These specimens eventually made their way to the sharp eye of geologists who confirmed they were jeremejevite.
Often mistaken for an aquamarine, the crystals are clear, blue or pale yellow in color and are found in Russia, Germany, Tajikistan and Namibia. Currently the highest ability stones come from Namibia.
Beautiful For Its Own Reasons
Each one rare for it’s own specific reason, these stone remain a strangeness in many ways. In precious mineral terms rarity often comes from the level of strangeness found in harvesting and refining the crystals.