Things That Are Way More Expensive Than Diamonds

By Victoria Simpson on June 30 2020 in Economics

A red ruby with diamonds surrounding it. Image credit: NithiPhotos/Shutterstock.com
A red ruby with diamonds surrounding it. Image credit: NithiPhotos/Shutterstock.com
  • Bixbite is also known as red beryl or red emerald is only found in Utah's Wah Wah Mountains and is worth over $10,000 per carat.
  • Grandidierite is from Madagascar and is worth more than $20,000 per carat.
  • Pearls come in two types: cultivated and natural, and as natural pearls are more rare, they are also more valuable.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Of course, if someone wishes to give her something else that is a bit more expensive, this would certainly be welcomed as well. But exactly what really IS more valuable than a diamond?

A diamond’s value is not actually simply determined by the availability of the stone on our planet. Strangely enough, these gemstones are actually available in large numbers but marketing has made buyers think they are super rare. The company De Beers, a diamond mining company, started marketing diamond rings heavily in 1938, as an integral part of getting engaged in the US. De Beers simply chose a high price for diamonds, and has had a hold on the market since, making us believe the stones are rare and therefore expensive. 

Let’s clarify. When you buy gold, it is a good investment. This gold is very likely to gain in value as time goes on. This is because gold is actually rare on Earth as a metal. When you purchase a diamond however, it is expensive, but that stone will not gain that much in value in the coming years because there are actually so many diamonds to easily be mined on Earth that the stones do not have a high intrinsic value. 

Some gemstones and other items are in high demand because they are rare, however. Here is a list of things more expensive than diamonds, that may be worth your hard-earned dollar.

9. Bixbite

Red beryl from Wah Wah Mts., Utah. Image credit: Albert Russ/Shutterstock.com
Red beryl from Wah Wah Mts., Utah. Image credit: Albert Russ/Shutterstock.com

This is a super shiny red gemstone that almost looks like a delicious candy. Bixbite is also known as red beryl or red emerald. The only form of this stone that can be cut into crystals can be found in Utah. This stone is in the Violet Claim in the WahWah mountains. Bixbite was discovered there in 1958, and in 2014, it was selling for over $10,000 per carat in the US. Grab some now while it’s hot. 

8. Musgravite

This gemstone is a haunting translucent grey and is found in the Musgrave Ranges in South Australia. It was discovered in 1967, but samples of the stone that could be cut into jewelry were only unearthed in 1993. In 2014 at the Tuscon Gem Showcase, Musgravite was valued at $35,000 per carat. 

7. Painite

 Painite. Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia.org
Painite. Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia.org

This gem is a late bloomer, so to speak. Up until 2004, only two samples of painite had been cut into faceted gemstones. This stone was discovered by the gem dealer Arthur C.D. Pain in Myanmar, but he first thought it was a ruby. In the 1950s it was discovered to be a brand new gemstone, all on its own. It was valued in 2014 at over $60,000 per carat.

6. Alexandrite

Alexandrite. Image credit: Christina rutz/Wikimedia.org
Alexandrite. Image credit: Christina rutz/Wikimedia.org

Alexandrite has a longer history than the first stones on this list and goes all the way back to 1830s Russia. This gem changes color depending on the light it is in, appearing green outside and red in artificial light. At times, it looks to be purple or orange as well, depending on the angle at which you view it. Some say this stone is an “emerald by day and a ruby by night”. Alexandrite is now found in many mines, but the original sites are though to have the most precious stones. This jewel was valued in 2014 at $10,000 per carat. 

5. Grandidierite

Grandidierite. Image credit: American-thai/Wikimedia.org
Grandidierite. Image credit: American-thai/Wikimedia.org

Like many rare animals, this rare gemstone hails from Madagascar. Often blue-green but sometimes pearl-looking, grandidierite is named after the French explorer Alfred Grandidier, who described the natural history and geography of the fantastical Madagascar.  This stone was valued in 2014 at about $20,000 per carat.

4. Burma Ruby

Burma Ruby. Image credit: thisisbossi from Washington, DC, USA/Wikimedia.org
Burma Ruby. Image credit: thisisbossi from Washington, DC, USA/Wikimedia.org

This stunning ruby is a deep blood-red is younger than rubies hailing from East Africa. Burmese rubies are made from the Indian subcontinent colliding with Asia, which happened about 45 to 5 million years ago. Some sources say rubies in general can be valued as high as $1,000,000 per carat. 

3. Jadeite

Jadeite Diamond Ring
Jadeite Diamond Ring

Hailing  most often in various shades of green and greenish-blue but also in yellow, orange-red, blue, black, and lavender, jadeite is said to now be valued more for the artistic effort put into statues and other pieces carved from this stone, than for the stone itself. The highest quality Jadeite is said to come from Myanmar, and the appeal of jade these days is largely found with collectors.

2. Natural Pearl

A man opening oysters and extracting pearls from them, Cultural Quarter Katara, Doha, Qatar. Image credit: HUSSEIN-ALSHAFAI/Shutterstock.com
A man opening oysters and extracting pearls from them, Cultural Quarter Katara, Doha, Qatar. Image credit: HUSSEIN-ALSHAFAI/Shutterstock.com

Pearls come in two types: natural and cultured. A cultured pearl is produced by an oyster or mollusk in the sea, with human assistance, in either freshwater or salty seas. Natural pearls, in contrast, are formed by nature itself, when an irritant like dust enters an oyster and it activates its defense system. This causes the creature to produce many secretions, which develop into pearls. Natural pearls can be extremely expensive, and that is in part because they are rare, and also hard to source. Reports indicate that it can take as many as 100,000 deep sea dives to make just one pearl necklace.

1. Gold

Gold bars. Image credit: Itti ratanakiranaworn/Shutterstock.com
Gold bars. Image credit: Itti ratanakiranaworn/Shutterstock.com

Finally, gold is more valuable than diamonds. This is because the value of gold is more predictable and stable than that of diamonds. It is true that gold is more abundant than are large, rare diamonds on Earth, but in general, diamonds are not as rare as gold, when seen as a class of material. Because of this, gold is actually more expensive than diamonds, overall.

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