23 Shiny Facts About Precious Stones You Should Know

1Bahia Emerald

There is a 752-pound emerald (Bahia Emerald) valued at $500 million - $1 billion sitting in the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department vault because of contested ownership.

2Opal Belemnite

There is a very rare and special type of gemstone that can only be found and formed in fossils of extinct species of cephalopods over the process of hundreds of millions of years. The most expensive opal (Opal Belemnite) in the world is one of these, being an opalized fossil valued at over $1,000,000.


Helenite is a green obsidian-like gemstone that was created accidentally after the Mount St. Helens explosion. Local timber workers were using acetylene torches to free equipment when they noticed that the heat was transforming the volcanic ash and rock into an alluring green compound.

4Night Pearls

Night Pearls are a rare form of fluorite that is naturally luminescent, almost as tough as diamonds, and feature prominently in Chinese legends.

5Ruby and Sapphire

Rubies and Sapphires are the same minerals, Corundum. They differ with color due to small imperfections in the mineral.

6Blue topaz

Most blue topaz is created by taking natural topaz and exposing it to radiation, such as from a nuclear reactor, which changes its color to blue.

7Anthill Garnet

There is a type of garnet (a mineral used as a gemstone) called the "Anthill Garnet." Ants carry these gems up through their tunnels and deposit them at the top of the ground.

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8Liberty Bell Ruby

The Liberty Bell Ruby is a sculpture crafted from the world's largest mined ruby, discovered in east Africa in the 1950s. It weighs 4 pounds, is eight and a half thousand carats, and is sculpted into a miniature form of the Liberty Bell. It has 50 diamonds set in it and is valued at $2 million. It was stolen in 2011 and never recovered.


Painite is a gem mineral that is found only in Myanmar. It is so rare that until 2004 only two of them were ever cut into faceted gemstones.

10Empress of Uruguay

The biggest amethyst geode, called the "Empress of Uruguay" is 3 meters tall and weighs more than 2 tons.


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