25 Astonishing Facts about Gemstones

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1 Cullinan Diamond

Cullinan Diamond

When the world’s largest diamond (Cullinan Diamond) was transported from Africa to England, an elaborate and secure journey by sea was publicized – as a rouse. The real diamond was simply posted by mail.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

6 Ruby and Sapphire

Ruby and Sapphire

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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11 Empress of Uruguay

Empress of Uruguay

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

12. Olympic Australis is the largest opal ever found. It is valued at AUD $2,500,000. It weighs around 7.6 pounds and it consists of 99% gem opal.

13. The El-Dorado Topaz, which weighs a whopping 31,000 carats (6.2 kg or 13.67 lbs) currently holds the crown as the largest faceted gemstone in the world. Originally discovered in 1984 in mineral-rich Minas Gerais, Brazil, the pre-cut El-Dorado crystal tipped the scales at a mind-boggling 37 kg (81.6 lbs). It belongs to the British Royal Collection.

14. There is a gemstone called Alexandrite, that will change colors, usually from green to red, based on whether it’s viewed under natural or artificial light.

15. Ammolite is an opal-like gemstone that can be found in an infinite array of colors and is one of a few known biogenic gemstones. It is formed from the fossilized shells of Ammonites (a pre-historic squid-like creature).

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16 Black onyx

Black onyx

Black onyx stones are actually never completely black. The ones you can buy in-store have instead either been treated to become much darker or are various other types of the gemstone made to look like onyx stones.

17. The garnet gemstone was named after the seeds of a pomegranate, a plant whose fruits contain abundant and vivid red seeds, which are similar in shape, size, and color to these garnet crystals.

18. Peridot was Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone.

19. The Graff Pink Diamond is the most expensive single jewel ever sold at auction. The diamond is 24.78 carats and was sold for $46 million.

20. One of the largest sapphires is known as the Star of Asia, which is currently housed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It is said to once have belonged to the Maharaja of Jodhpur (India).

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21 Crazy Lace agate

Crazy Lace agate

Crazy Lace agate is mined only in Mexico and because of this it is often called Mexican Lace Agate. This stone is found exclusively within the area known as Chihuahua, in Northern Mexico. Crazy lace agate is believed to have been created in the cretaceous period, about 65-90 million years ago.

22. In the Middle Ages, women would wear Opals in order to protect the color of their blonde hair.

23. Once Amethyst Gemstones were considered to be one of the most valuable gemstones on the earth, but the equation changed overnight when huge reserves of it was found in Brazil.

24. Amber is considered to be the softest and lightest gemstone on the face of the earth. This beautiful gemstone is so light that it floats in saltwater.

25. The invention of cultured pearls largely destroyed the economy of Kuwait due to their reliance on pearl diving.

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