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Four Gemstones Rarer Than Diamond

Diamonds are well known for their rarity, but did you know there are other rare gemstones? Get ready to learn some interesting facts on four gems rarer than diamond.


Tanzanite is a stunning blue and purple variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one area of the world, Tanzania, a small country in East Africa. When viewed from different angles, tanzanite can display various colors like violet, green-yellow, and even brown. Though most tanzanite goes through heat treatment to produce its attractive blue hues, this treatment produces a stable color that makes this gem desirable.

Lika Behar Collection
Tanzanite Bead Necklace by Lika Behar.
Tanzanite and Diamond Ring by United Color Gems.


Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that has color-changing abilities. Due to trace amounts of chromium in the structure, this gem can vary from bluish-green in daylight to purplish-red under incandescent light. Though the discovery of alexandrite in Brazil and various other locations has expanded its availability, it still remains rarer than other gemstones, like diamonds.

Alexandrite and Diamond ring by AG Gems.

Paraíba Tourmaline

Paraíba tourmaline is easily recognizable because of its brightly saturated blue/green hues. Although it was first discovered in Brazil, it has also been found in Mozambique and Nigeria in larger sizes. The gemstone is rare and pricey, because of how difficult it is to excavate. They are found in pencil-thin veins deep below the Earth’s surface in very small sizes.

Brazilian Paraíba Tourmaline and Diamond Pendant by Erica Courtney.
Paraíba tourmaline and diamond earrings by Samuel Sylvio Designs.

Jadeite – Jade

Although the names “jade” and “jadeite” sound similar, they have different chemical, optical, and physical properties, with jadeite being the more valuable of the two. The most valuable jadeites are pure “imperial” green, which equals the intensity of emeralds. Jadeite can have many different hues, including lavender, yellow, orange-red, blue, black, and colorless. As a highly-prized gemstone in Chinese, Mayan, and Maori cultures, this stone has an immense body of folklore. Throughout Chinese history, it was believed to bring good fortune and happiness.
Loose Jadeite – Jade gemstone by Stuller.

If you are in search of timeless jewelry designs featuring rare gemstones, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you!

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