What Is The Most Expensive Gemstone? Your Complete Guide To Gemstone Pricing

The fascinating world of gemstones has intrigued humanity for centuries, serving as objects of beauty and luxury and as carriers of meaning and value. From the royal courts of yesteryears to today's high-end jewellery boutiques, gemstones continue to symbolise status, wealth, and a deep appreciation for the beauty and mysteries of the natural world. Let's delve into the most expensive gemstone and some other precious stones.

Purple gemstone diamond ring

The Value Of Gemstones

Gemstones, characterised by their rarity, durability, and beauty, have been valued throughout history for various reasons. Beyond their captivating aesthetics, they have traditionally been associated with multiple symbolic meanings and healing properties, rendering them central to numerous cultures.

The intrinsic value of gemstones is also notably determined by colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight, contributing to their desirability and price. Additionally, gemstones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds have been instrumental in adorning royal crowns, signifying wealth and power, thus embedding them deeply in the tapestry of human history and heritage.

The investment aspect is another dimension to their value, as certain gemstones have proven to appreciate over time, providing financial returns. In essence, the value of gems transcends their physical attributes, encapsulating a rich blend of cultural, historical, and economic significance.

Learn more on: The Big Three – Why Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald are the most sought after gemstones

Pink gemstone on a gold diamond ring

What Are The 4 Expensive Gemstones?

The quartet of gemstones renowned for their high value includes diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. The value of these stones is meticulously determined by assessing their colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Historically, they have been integral to royal treasures, adorned by monarchs and nobility alike. Due to their enduring allure and rarity, they continue to fetch high prices in today's market.

Carat Diamond

Carat Diamonds, the epitome of luxury and elegance, are among the most sought-after gemstones in the world. The value of these sparkling beauties escalates with the carat weight, making larger diamonds significantly more valuable. Commonly, they are used in special jewellery such as engagement rings and other beautiful diamond jewellery.

Their brilliance, rarity, and enduring appeal contribute to their high price tags, making them a coveted possession and a symbol of luxury.

Red Rubies

Rubies are celebrated for their vibrant, fiery red colour and are symbols of passion and love. The value of a ruby is primarily determined by its colour, with the most sought-after shade being "pigeon's blood" red. Their captivating colour, hardness, and scarcity make red rubies one of the world's most expensive and desirable gemstones.


Sapphires are revered for their striking colours and hardness, second only to diamonds. The most valuable sapphires boast a rich blue hue, although they are found in a plethora of colours, excluding red. The rarity and demand for high-quality sapphires contribute to their esteemed status and high market value, making them a sought-after gemstone for jewellery lovers.

Sapphires are also quite famous for their use in engagement rings. Sapphire engagement rings can make a beautiful and unique statement piece for loved ones to cherish and gift. The engagement ring adorned with the world's most renowned sapphire was once the possession of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and is presently worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.


With their vibrant and enchanting green hues, Emeralds are prized for their unique beauty and are considered one of the most valuable gemstones. Their colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight determine their value. The presence of few inclusions and a deep, rich green colour can significantly increase the value of an emerald, making it a treasured piece in any collection.

Related: Why Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald Are the Most Sought-After Gemstones

Big blue gemstone sapphire ring

Most Expensive Gemstones In The World - Most Valuable Gemstones

The distinction of being amongst the most valuable gemstones in the world is often bestowed upon the Blue Moon Diamond, the Oppenheimer Blue, and the Graff Pink, for example. These gemstones have achieved record-breaking prices at auctions, measuring their worth in tens of millions of pounds. The Pink Star Diamond, for instance, was auctioned for a staggering £57 million, making headlines worldwide. With their exceptional quality and unique characteristics, these extraordinary gemstones have etched their names in the annals of gemological history.

Paraiba Tourmaline

Discovered in the 1980s in Brazil, the Paraiba Tourmaline is famed for its vivid and radiant neon blue and green hues, a result of the presence of manganese and copper. This gemstone's electric colours and scarcity, especially in larger sizes, significantly contribute to its high value.

Pink Diamond

Red and Pink Diamonds are extraordinarily rare and highly prized for their stunning hues and brilliance. Their value per carat is among the highest of all gemstones, with the Pink Star Diamond setting auction records.

The Blue Diamond

There are two precious blue diamonds; the Blue Moon Diamond and the Blue Oppenheimer Diamond are distinct and immensely valuable diamonds celebrated for their extraordinary characteristics but differ in several aspects.

Blue Moon Diamond:

The Blue Moon Diamond is renowned for its exquisite colour and impeccable clarity. It weighs approximately 12 carats and is classified as a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, a title reserved for diamonds with highly saturated hues. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) awarded it an Internally Flawless clarity grade, signifying the absence of inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification. The Blue Moon Diamond was discovered in January 2014 in South Africa's Cullinan Mine.

Blue Oppenheimer Diamond:

The Blue Oppenheimer Diamond is another masterpiece of nature, distinguished by its rare Fancy Vivid Blue colour. This diamond weighs approximately 14.62 carats, making it more significant than the Blue Moon Diamond. Named after its former owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, this diamond has a storied history and was once part of the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection. In 2016, it fetched a remarkable price of over $50.6 million at auction, setting a world record for the most expensive jewel ever sold at that time.

Honourable Mention: Red Diamond

Red Diamonds are arguably the rarest and most exclusive gemstones on the planet. Their mesmerising hue ranges from a modulated pink to a deep, robust red, with the intensity of colour contributing significantly to their value. Fewer than thirty red diamonds exist, making them an extraordinarily rare gemstone.

Blue gemstone sapphire ring

What Are the Other Rarest Gemstones?

Beyond the well-known precious stones, there exists a realm of incredibly rare gemstones that are lesser-known but equally fascinating. Amongst them are red diamonds, blue garnets, and black opals.

Carat Musgravite

Musgravite, discovered in the Musgrave Range of South Australia, is one of the newest and rarest gems in the world. Its scarcity is evident from the fact that only a handful of specimens are known to exist. Valued per carat, this gem exhibits a splendid range of colours and a truly captivating brilliance.

Carat Grandidierite

Originating from Madagascar, Grandidierite is a rare blue-green mineral revered for its trichroism and extreme rarity. The value of this rare gem increases with carat weight, and its unique appearance and scarcity make it a prized possession in the gemstone world.

Red Beryl

Red Beryl, often called 'scarlet emerald', is estimated to be worth thousands of dollars per carat due to its extreme rarity. Its vibrant red hue and scarcity make it one of the most valuable gemstones known to man.

Carat Black Opal

Black Opal, predominantly found in Australia, is celebrated for its vibrant play of colour against a dark body tone. Its rarity and beauty, especially in larger carat weights, have earned it the "Queen of Gems" title, making it one of the most valuable opals per carat.

Three Alexandrite gemstones

Additional Rare Gems


Known for its remarkable colour-changing ability, Alexandrite is a rare and valuable gemstone, with the value increasing significantly with carat size.


Found exclusively in Tanzania, Tanzanite is known for its vivid blue-violet colour and is a thousand times rarer than diamonds.


Once considered the rarest mineral in the world, Painite is a borate mineral discovered in Myanmar.

Gemstones At Alicia J. Diamonds

Alicia J was founded by Alison, who was inspired to establish the company after assisting a family friend in making a knowledgeable diamond purchase, highlighting the importance of quality over mere carat size.

Alison, a certified diamond and gemstone specialist from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), leveraged her expertise to form a friendly, tailored diamond jewellery concierge service focused on empowering buyers through education.

Alicia J. are dedicated to helping customers craft original and personalised designs, with a commitment to sourcing ethical, authentic diamonds at the best possible prices. The company has built a robust network of trusted suppliers and specialists, ensuring the delivery of exceptionally high-quality diamonds and gemstones for its valued clientele.

Silver and purple gemstone rings and pendant

Gemstones: A History.

Gemstones have woven a rich tapestry through human history, symbolising power, wealth, and beauty. From the crowns of royalty to the rings of the affluent, they have been revered and sought after for their intrinsic and symbolic values. Certain gemstones' rarity and unique characteristics have elevated their status, making them objects of fascination and desire. As we delve into the stories and legends surrounding these precious stones, we gain insight into their enduring appeal and significance. The history of gemstones is, in many ways, a reflection of humanity's quest for beauty, meaning, and value in the natural world.

You may also like: The Complete Guide to Gemstones

Gold diamond rings with multiple blue encrusted gemstones.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Most Valuable Gemstones:

Take a look at some of your FAQs about expensive gemstones:

Which Gemstones Are More Expensive Than Diamonds?

While diamonds are renowned for their high value, some gemstones surpass their rarity and price. Notable amongst these are red diamonds, blue garnets, and red beryl. Red diamonds are particularly scarce and are valued for their enchanting hue and brilliance. Blue garnets, known for their unique colour-changing properties, are another gemstone that can fetch higher prices than diamonds.

What Are The Big Four Most Expensive Gemstones?

The Big Four refers to diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. These gemstones have been revered across centuries, symbolising luxury and opulence. Characterised by their rarity, durability, and beauty, these gemstones have adorned the treasures of royalty and nobility. The value of these precious stones is assessed based on their colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight, contributing to their desirability and high market prices.

What Stone is Worth More Than Gold?

Red beryl, often referred to as the scarlet emerald, is worth more than gold. This exquisite red crystal is extremely rare, primarily found in specific locations in the United States. Red beryl's scarcity and unique beauty contribute to its high value, making it a sought-after gemstone by collectors and enthusiasts. It is estimated to be 1,000 times more valuable than gold, underscoring its significance in the gemstone market.

What Are The Rarest Birthstones?

Among the array of birthstones, some are notably rarer than others. Alexandrite, for instance, is a unique gemstone known for its colour-changing properties and is one of the rarest birthstones. Similarly, red diamonds and black opals are extremely rare birthstones, coveted for their unique characteristics and exceptional beauty. Tanzanite, found exclusively in Tanzania, is another rare birthstone celebrated for its vibrant blue hue. With their scarcity and distinctive attributes, these birthstones are particularly valued by those fortunate enough to call them their own.