YOU PROBABLY HAVE NOT HEARD OF SOME OF THESE GEMSTONES.VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS THEM + PICS & INFO.
About Fire Opal – History and Introduction
Fire opal is a gem-quality form of amorphous hydrated silicon dioxide with no crystalline structure. Like other opal gemstones, between three and ten percent (and in some cases as much as 21 percent) of the weight of fire opal is water. Owing to its high water content, fire opal is rather delicate and should be protected from heat and prolonged exposure to strong light, to avoid drying and cracking. Fire opal is not known for its play of color, but rather for its vivid body color. In fact, most fire opal does not exhibit any play of color, although it may occasionally exhibit flashes of bright green.
The name ‘fire opal‘ is derived from its ‘fiery’ orange color, though it can also be white or brown. Darker brownish fire opal will typically exhibit more play of color than fiery golden colored varieties. Fire opal that exhibits no play of color is sometimes referred to as jelly opal. Unlike most opal, fire opal occurs with good transparency and because of this, it is usually faceted rather than cut en cabochon. On the other hand, brownish fire opal is usually cut en cabochon to enhance and maximize its desirable play of color effect.
Fire opal is one of the many different varieties of opal available. Fire opal looks best when viewed in daylight just after sunrise or before sunset, which exposes and maximizes its exceptional color. Its distinctive colors are what separates fire opal from other opal varieties. Fire opal does not exhibit much play of color like other varieties of opal. Fire opal typically exhibits a hazy or cloudy appearance, which is a result of slight opalescence (adularescence). Opalescence is often used to refer to ‘play of color’, but the term should only be used to describe the milky iridescence of common opals, which do not possess any play of color.
Fire Opal Origin and Gemstone Sources
Fire opal is associated particularly with Mexico and is mined in the Mexican states of Queretaro, Hidalgo, Guerrero, Michoacan, Julisio, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi. The most important mines in Queretaro were discovered in 1835 and are still producing today. Some opal from Mexico exhibits a bluish or golden internal sheen; this is known as Mexican water opal or hydrophanous opal, rather than as Mexican fire opal.
Small quantities of fire opal can also be found in Oregon, USA, Guatemala, Australia and British Columbia, Canada. Significant deposits of fire opal have also more recently been found in Northeast Brazil.
2…DEMATOID GREEN GARNET
The demantoid is one of the most brilliant gemstones that exist, yet until recently it was little known except among collectors and gemstone lovers. Strictly speaking it is a green garnet, or rather the star of the green garnets. Not without reason does it bear a name which means ‘diamond-like’. The name comes from the Dutch and makes reference to the outstanding quality of this gem, its incomparable brilliance and fire. Some gemstone lovers claim that a demantoid will continue to glow even in the shade.
The demantoid belongs to the large gemstone family of the garnets, and is actually a variety of the garnet mineral andradite. But it is more than that: it is the most expensive kind of garnet and one of the most precious of all gemstones. It is highly esteemed on account of its rarity coupled with that incredible luminosity. For the latter, at least, there is a plausible explanation: the demantoid has an extremely high refraction (refractive index 1.880 to 1.889). Yet its high dispersion is also remarkable, in other words its ability to split the light which comes in through the facets and break it down into all the colours of the rainbow. The demantoid is a master of this, and does it even better than the diamond.
The spectrum of its colours includes many shades of green, from a slightly yellowish green to a brownish green with a golden glow. Particularly precious is a deep emerald green, though this only occurs very rarely indeed. It is not only fine and unusual, but the specimens are also mostly small, large ones being extremely rare. Once cut, only a few stones weigh more than two carats, and most of them hardly exceed one. And even if you come across one set in a piece of jewellery, it is always likely to be a small stone.
Originally thought to be spinel, Taaffeite was unknown to the world of gemology until a relatively recent discovery. The first sample was located accidentally in a small jewel’s shop in Dublin, Ireland. In 1946, Count Richard Taaffe, the man to which the gem owes its namesake, found the stone already cut and up for sale in this shop. However, Taaffe noticed that despite the similar appearance to spinel, the different properties of the gem hinted that it was another mineral entirely. Wanting to investigate further, Taaffe sent the gem to Laboratory of the London Chamber of Commerce and later to the Natural History Museum for testing.
. After being analyzed, it was determined that the sample that Taaffe had sent in was truly distinct from spinel, and as such was given a new name.
Taaffeite is a light mauve stone that ranges in color from green, pink, lilac, blue, violet, red to sometimes colorless. Known in the trade as Magnesiotaaffeite, the gem has a few unique properties that set it apart from stones similar in appearance. Unlike spinel which is only singly refractive, Taaffeite is doubly refractive. The essential components of Taaffeite consist of beryllium, magnesium and aluminum, making it a transparent gem with a vitreous luster. Due to its incredible rarity, taaffeite is used exclusively as a gemstone.
Where does Taaffeite come from?
Although the first sample was discovered in Ireland, Taaffeite is found around the world. Reports indicate that Taaffeite is most commonly found in Sri Lanka, alongside other carbonate rocks such as fluorite and spinel. There have also been findings of Taaffeite in southern Tanzania. In certain Russian territories and China, lower grade taaffeite gems have been found in rolled pebbles and limestone deposits. Taaffeite is still being discovered in new places, with samples being discovered in South Australia and Myanmar within the past decade.
Until the 1980s, only three pieces of taaffeite were known to be in circulation. However, in 2002 it was determined that there was a little more than 50 gems being circulated. The first taaffeite discovered was 1.4 cts, but in 1999 a 13.5 carat gem was sold at auction. This is the largest known sample of taaffeite, but there have also been reports of a few gems ranging in the 7 – 9 ct range being circulated. A Sri Lankan collector also owns the only known flawless gem: a 10.33 ct mauve oval.
Benitoite (BaTiSi3O9) is a bright blue gemstone made up of barium, titanium, and silica. Benitoite is formed during the late stage cooling of a hydrothermally altered serpentinite. This rare gemstone is found in San Benito County, California where it got its name. Benitoite will give off strong fluorescence and shines a bright blue color.
Poudretteite (KNa2B3Si12O30) was originally discovered in Mont St. Hilaire Quebec, Canada in the 1960s by the Poudrette family. The gem is naturally pink in color and has a Mohs hardness of 5. It wasn’t until 2000 until the first gem quality poudretteite was found in Mogok, Burma at an amazing 9.41 carats.
One has to be fair, & have to talk about musgravite, which is a member of the taaffeite family. The dull coloring of this greenish-gray to purple gemstone is not necessarily the most attractive, but I cannot deny its rarity. It originally appeared in Australia and then later surfaced in Iceland and Greenland. Musgravite goes for a bank-breaking $35,000 per carat.
This pinkish-orange member of the sapphire family is truly beautiful. It was originally discovered in Sri Lanka but has turned up in East Africa and Vietnam as well. High-quality Padparadscha can sell for as much as $30,000 per carat.
Named for Russian Tsar Alexander II, Alexandrite is a part of the emerald family. These rare stones can be reddish-purple or blueish green and, at $10,000 per carat, are quite valuable. Alexandrite was not discovered until 1830, when it was found in the Ural Mountains in Russia. Alexandrite will currently cost consumers around $10,000 per carat.
A ruby is a pink to blood-red coloured gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The color of a ruby is due to the element chromium.
The quality of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, and clarity, which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is usually pinker than garnet, although some rhodolite garnets have a similar pinkish hue to most rubies. The world’s most valuable ruby to be sold at auction is the Sunrise Ruby.
Rough diamonds refer to pieces of diamond that has not yet been engraved and refined. They are also categorized on attributes such as nature, dimension, colour, cut, and quality. The actual value of rough diamonds requires detailed knowledge and technical understanding it is quite a business in itself.
A diamond is totally made up of crystallized carbon atoms in a cubic arrangement. It has specific arrangements, which provide the diamond with its composition. Rough diamonds are typically produced as dodecahedron, octahedron, cube, and dodecahedron. All of the carbon atoms compromise with this diamond have the similar shape, and are arranged in a methodical pattern.
Serendibite is definitely one of my favorites, but it is so rare that most people should not plan on ever seeing it. Serendibite, taken from the Sanskrit word for Sri Lanka is either nearly colorless or black and was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1902. To this day, there are only three faceted Serendibites in existence. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to buy one of these elusive treasures, you had better have deep pockets; Serendibite sells for as much as $2 million per carat.
Jadeite is really the holy grail of gemstones. Unlike its counterpart nephrite (or just common jade), which anyone could buy pounds of for very little money, jadeite is elusive to the point where calling it rare is a gross understatement. Found in Burma, jadeite can be sold for up to $3 million.
In 1997, a handful of jadeite beads, which were no larger than five millimeters in diameter, were sold for more than $9 million! Also in 1997, a piece of jadeite jewelry, comprised of 27 beads approximately 15 millimeters in diameter, was sold in the United States for just under $10 million. It seems like a lot, but the buyer in this case, all things considered, got a great deal.
Grandidierite is undeniably beautiful. Its deep-green hues and hardness make it ideal for jewelry, but its pretty uncommon. Mined mostly in Madagascar, Grandidierite emits white, green and blue light, and there are only a few hundred known to exists. If anything exceeds Grandidierite’s beauty, it is probably its price tag; grandidierite commands as much as $100,000 per carat.
Before I started researching this list, I wasn’t aware that red diamonds even existed. In my defense, I am not the only one; only about 50 red diamonds are known to exist. One in particular, the Moussaieff Red, is reputed to be the most flawless in existence. in 2001, the 5.11 carat Moussaieff Red was sold for nearly $8 million, making its per-carat price around $1.6 million.
Another famous red diamond, the Hancock Red, which was less than one carat, was sold in 1987 for just under $900,000. Accounting for inflation, the Hancock Red would sell for considerably more today. In fact, the current rate of inflation is about 125%, so the Hancock Red would sell at over $2 million today. Please supportn the rockhound contributor of this & other articles here>> https://rockseeker.com/worlds-rarest-gemstones/
The Hope Diamond is the world’s most famous blue diamond. It weighs 45.52 carats and is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Hope Diamond has a Fancy Dark grayish blue color. This photograph shows the depth of the blue color. Photograph from the archives of the Smithsonian Institution.
Blue diamonds are diamonds with a blue bodycolor. Diamonds with a natural blue color are extremely rare, and they usually have very few mineral inclusions.  Their rare color and their high clarity make them extremely valuable gems.
Only a few mines produce blue diamonds, and those mines normally produce just a few blue diamonds in any given year. Their blue color is usually caused by trace amounts of boron in the diamond crystal lattice. The Hope diamond, in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, is the most famous example of a blue diamond.
Highly prized and sought after by kings, emperors, maharajas and sultans, the majestic opal has been desired throughout the ages. Its intrinsic beauty and ever-changing colours and patterns keep those who poses it spell bound. Many historic opals were crystal which tended to produce milky white colours not the bright flashes as the Black Opal above. The discovery of black opal in Australia in the late 1800’s with its bright colours changed the gemstone world. This new black opal became to be known as the ‘Queen of Gems’.
Lightning Ridge is the home of the beautiful black opal. It is nestled away among high ridges covered with scrub and pebbles. It is here that eons ago, nature hid the earth’s rarest gem, black opal. The beauty of the green trees, blue sky and red pebbles is reminiscent of the ever-changing colours of the magnificent opal found deep below. Unlike other gemstones no one opal is the same.
Emeralds come from all over the world, with the largest producer by far being Columbia. These powerful green gems fetch about $8,000 per carat if they are eye-clean. Eye-clean means free of inclusions to the unaided eye (which is rare with emeralds). Top ones have to be a pure luxuriant green hue and have a high grade of transparency.