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The 10  Most Expensive Gemstones in the World



Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

Have you ever wondered what the most costly gems in the world are? Some types of stones found deep underground can be incredibly valuable. They are so rare and special that people will pay unbelievable amounts of money to own them. These record-setting jewels are more than just shiny rocks. Their high prices come from how flawless, colorful, and scarce they are.

Some also have interesting stories about where they were found or who owned them long ago. When there are only a couple perfect pieces known worldwide, the richest collectors compete to buy them no matter the cost. 

In this article, we will highlight the top 10 gems that have sold for the highest sums in the world. The dollars paid for a single earring or ring stone will blow your mind! 

The 10  Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

The most costly and beautiful gems in the world are very rare and unique. Only a handful of people can afford to buy them. These special jewels are sold at very high prices at auctions to collectors and museums.

The top most expensive gemstones ever sold are the Pink Star diamond, the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, The Orange diamond, the Sunrise Ruby, and the Blue Belle of Asia sapphire.

1. Pink Diamond: Pink Star – $71.2 Million

The highest price ever paid for a gemstone was for the Pink Star diamond in 2017. This enormous oval-cut stone weighed 59.60 carats. That’s close to 12 grams! It sold at auction in Hong Kong for a groundbreaking $71.2 million dollars.

    What makes the Pink Star so special?

    Well first, natural pink diamonds are incredibly unusual. Their color comes from a distortion in their crystal lattice structure as they formed over billions of years underground.

    Second, pink diamonds with pure vibrant color are even rarer.

    Third, flawless pink diamonds over 10 carats are virtually unheard of.

    The Pink Star checks every box – its color is a perfect pure pink and it is internally flawless, meaning no imperfections at all!

    On top of all that, it has an elite Type IIa rating, meaning it contains almost no impurities.

    Gem experts say the Pink Star’s walnut-sized perfect oval is breathtaking in its even color saturation. No wonder it smashed the record for highest price ever paid for any gemstone! 

    2. Blue Diamond: Oppenheimer – $57.5 Million

    Second on our list is the Blue Diamond Oppenheimer. Perhaps the most famed blue diamond sale is the Oppenheimer Blue in 2016 at just over $57.5 million.

    Blue diamonds are treasured for their scintillating blue hue originating from the presence of boron atoms. The 14.62-carat Oppenheimer has the highly coveted ultra-rare Fancy Vivid Blue tone, indicating the most saturated natural blue color.

    The Oppenheimer Blue is designated with the highest color grading of Fancy Vivid Blue. Its precise cut showcases this lively color in ideal proportions. With no fluorescing elements, the blue will never fade over time.

    This diamond’s first owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, was so in awe of its splendor he named it after himself! Interestingly, this gem has little to no nitrogen, and has exceptional clarity too.

    At auction, its hammer price was over $50 million – $3.4 million per carat – cementing it as one of the most valuable blue diamonds ever sold!

    3. Orange Diamond: The Orange – $35.5 Million 

    Citrus-colored diamonds are usually scare in the world. In fact, fewer than 40 natural orange diamonds are known to exist worldwide! The largest of them all is the prized “Orange” diamond, a magnificent oval-cut stone weighing 14.82 carats. That’s close to 3 grams – about the weight of a raisin!

    How is the Orange Diamond the third most expensive gemstone in the world? When it went up for auction in 2013, passionate bidding drove the final price to a jaw-dropping $35.5 million. At over $2.4 million per carat, that established a world record at the time for highest price-per-carat for any diamond.

    What accounts for the Orange’s elite status among the world’s most expensive gems? It possesses the pure vivid orange hue only seen a handful of times in natural diamonds. 

    Moreover, gem experts also laud its expert oval cutting and brilliant polished finish. As the largest known fancy vivid orange diamond, the Orange stands in truly elite company among the world’s most valuable gemstones. 

    4. Ruby: Sunrise Ruby – $30.42 Million

    Rubies are one of the most expensive gemstones on the planet. In 2015, a 25.59-carat untreated Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby set a new world record for a ruby sale, fetching over $30 million at auction. This showstopper was named the Sunrise Ruby for its fiery glow resembling a sunrise.

    The Sunrise Ruby stunned evaluators with its high clarity rating – extremely rare for large rubies. Its dazzling red radiance comes from traces of chromium atoms.

    This is ruby with strong natural fluorescence emanating red wavelengths under light represent the peak most coveted. The Sunrise displays this prized phenomenon in spades.

    In all, the Sunrise Ruby stands today as the most expensive ruby ever sold at auction. 

    5. Sapphire: Blue Belle of Asia – $17.3 Million

    Rounding out on the top 5 most expensive gems comes the mysterious Blue Belle of Asia. This is a glittering blue sapphire weighing 392.52 carats. That’s 78 times heavier than a standard round solitaire diamond! Blue Belle sapphire was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1926. It instantly became a global sensation for its incredible size and crystal-clear royal blue colour.

    Twelve years after its unveiling, the Blue Belle was bought by American heiress and trendsetter Edith Haggin DeLong. She had it set into a platinum necklace designed by celebrity jeweler Cartier.  Following Edith’s death, the Blue Belle vanished for decades before anonymously resurfacing at auction in 2014. There it sold for a cool $17.3 million!

    In all, the Blue Belle ranks among the most valuable and storied sapphires ever unearthed!

    6. Yellow Diamond: Graff Vivid Yellow – $16.3 Million

    The Graff Vivid Yellow diamond is one of the rarest and most extraordinary yellow diamonds in the world. Its exceptional size contributes to its record-breaking $16.3 million price tag set at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014.

    What makes this diamond so special is its vibrant yellow color, rated “fancy vivid” by the Gemological Institute of America. This is the highest possible color grading for a colored diamond.

    The origin of its captivating yellow pigment traces back to nitrogen atoms absorbed within the diamond’s crystal structure during its billion-year formation deep inside Earth.

    While the majority of natural diamonds contain slight impurities or inclusions, the Graff Vivid Yellow contains none visible under 10x magnification. This makes it a true wonder of nature and worthy of a record-shattering price for a fancy vivid yellow diamond sold at auction.

    7. Red Diamond: Moussaieff – $7 Million

    Red diamond is among the rarest diamond colors in the world. The Moussaieff Red is rated as the largest fancy red diamond in the world by the Gemological Institute of America, contributing to its staggering $7 million price tag. What bestows diamonds their range of possible colors are chemical impurities present during their formation. 

    The diamond gets its name from the Moussaieff family, renowned diamond dealers who acquired the gem after years of it changing hands among elite collectors.

    In 2002, its current owners paid what was then the highest price per carat ever attained at auction for the privilege of owning one of the most singularly precious gems in the world.

    8. Emerald: Rockefeller Emerald – $5.5 Million

    The Rockefeller Emerald was once among the largest and most flawless uncut Colombian emeralds in the world. Originally sourced from primitive mines in Colombia’s bountiful Muzo emerald belt during the 1930s.

    This legendary emerald bears the name of its former esteemed owner, John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of the Standard Oil tycoon who acquired the gem after one of his Standard Oil associates purchased it in a business deal.

    Emeralds attain their iconic verdant green colors from traces of chromium and vanadium impurities in a beryl mineral crystal structure. These minerals permeate raw emerald crystals while embedded for eons in host shale rocks where Colombia’s emerald belt resides.

    In 2017, the Rockefeller emerald realized $5.5 million at auction for its phenomenal size and quality, setting a new world record for a Colombian emerald.

    9. Spinel: The Hope Spinel – $1.4 Million

    The Hope Spinel is widely considered the single most famous spinel gemstone the world over. This saturated pink-red spinel attained its name from famed London banking family the Hopes who added the gem to their extensive jewelry and gem collection in 1839.

    The exceptionally rare and valuable spinel owes its brilliant color to trace elements of chromium absorbed in its crystal lattice during formation. These impurities interrupt the transmission of white light to reflect back the longer red wavelengths and produce the spinel’s vivid color intensity.

    The Hope Spinel current estimated value sets new auction records upwards of $1.4 million; a testament to spinel repute despite its lesser global fame than diamond, ruby or emerald treasures.

    As spinels gain attention for their hardness and clarity approaching diamonds, the unmatched size and pedigree of the legendary Hope cements its status among the world’s rarest precious jewels. 

    10. Opal: Virgin Rainbow – $1 million 

    Do you know that it’s only a few gems that convey the spectral visuals of the larger natural world better than opal? This gemstone has flickers of changing color dance across high quality opals depending upon the angle they’re viewed from and the play of light across their surface.

    Of these elite opals, the world record price for a single stone sold at auction belongs to the Virgin Rainbow opal at $1 million USD. This phenomenally sized specimen of black opal exhibits the full color spectrum of spectral fire across its dense play of surface color variations in vivid streaks of rainbow reds, greens, violets, and yellows against an inky background.

    Opal was uncovered in 2003 from South Australia’s famed Coober Pedy opal mining district in the outback; home to over 90% of the global finished opal supply.

    The Virgin Rainbow’s dazzling display of fiery colors across such a huge stone size sets it apart as one of the most valuable individual opals ever offered at auction.


    There you have the most expensive gemstones in the world. These special diamonds, emeralds, rubies and more hold records for the loftiest amounts ever paid. Owning one of these famed jewels puts the buyer in truly elite company. They signify extreme wealth and fashion influence.

    Museums proudly display them, monarchs wear them in crowns, and celebrities sport them on red carpets. For the rest of us, we can still admire how Mother Nature can produce such treasures over unbelievable spans of time.

    And if we ever find ourselves gazing at one in real life at a gallery or jewelry store, we can better appreciate the thousands of years and incredible events it took for us to stand in its glow. Just knowing something so beautiful exists might feel almost as good as owning it!

    Ralph has shaped this website into a source for inquisitive readers looking for the latest information on Richest People, Net Worth, Top List (Luxury) and How to Make Money Online. He has over 5 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content online.

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