There is a good reason that rock and gem hunters are willing to spend weeks on end scouring remote locations to find mineral deposits; some of these minerals can fetch an impressive profit! We’d definitely spend hours panning through a cold river if it meant hopefully finding a mineral worth a couple thousand per carat!
Here’s our list of the 7 most expensive minerals in the world:
Blue Garnet – $1.5 Million Per Carat
Garnets have been used since the Bronze Age as an adornment and abrasive, but it wasn’t until 1990 that the extremely rare blue garnet was unearthed in Madagascar! While this expensive mineral has since been found in small quantities in the US, Kenya, Russia, Turkey, and Tanzania, it is still the rarest form of garnet, and its price reflects this.
Serendibite – $1.8 Million Per Carat
Costing $1.8 million per carat, serendibite has more than earned its place as one of the most expensive minerals in the world. First discovered in 1902 in Sri Lanka, serendibite is most commonly found in hard metamorphic rock and has a green-blue or violet-blue hue, which helps identify them.
However, serendibite specimens have also been found in Burma, where they can appear darker green to almost black. If you’re ever lucky enough to come across a gem-quality sample of serendibite, you’re definitely not going to want to pass it up.
Lithium – $N/A
Discovered in the 1800s, the lithium industry has boomed in recent years to be worth well over a billion dollars. Despite lithium being rich in the Earth’s crust, the price of this mineral is often in flux due to its demand and as we grow more dependent on electronics and rechargeable batteries, this is only likely to increase. In 2020, lithium was added to the list of critical global elements as a critical metal, and it is poised to become one of the leading drivers of the fourth industrial revolution.
Painite – $55,000 Per Carat
This borate mineral was first dug up in Myanmar, where it was mistaken for a ruby at first, before being confirmed as a new mineral formation. Although this gem is remarkably resistant to scratching, making it great for jewelry, you’re definitely going to be paying big, since the average price for a single carat can be up to $55,000 and, in some cases, $60,000.
Gold – $1,727 Per Ounce
Some of the most expensive coins in the world have been made from gold, not to mention all of the highest-quality jewelry. Gold is commonly found as nuggets, inside rocks, in veins, or in alluvial deposits. It is deposits washed up in these deposits that led to the California Gold Rush, which caused thousands of people to stake out riverbeds and streams trying to make their fortunes via panning.
Jadeite – $3 Million Per Carat
You’re probably familiar with jade, but jadeite gemstones are the rarest and purest form of the mineral. Jadeite gemstones range in color from light green to blue-green, with some even appearing purple-blue. This expensive mineral is definitely going to set you back, and the most expensive jadeite necklace even sold for more than some of the most expensive cars in the world, at a whopping $27.44 million.
Diamond – $1,800 Per Carat
Today, De Beers has become the world’s largest diamond mining company, and it has been producing diamonds since its founding in 1888. While we are all familiar with white diamonds, some of the most expensive to ever be sold are the red diamond and pink diamond, two variations of fancy colored diamonds that are even rarer than their white counterparts.