The 10 Most Expensive Crystals in the World and Why


The-10-Most-Expensive-Crystals-in-the-World

On Wednesday, April 27th, 2022, the world’s largest blue diamond nearly broke a world record when it sold at auction for $57.5 million. The stone, called “The De Beers Cullinan Blue,” is a 15.1-carat crystal. It exceeded its anticipated price tag by $9.5 million.

The most expensive crystals in the world often have price tags in the millions because of The Four C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat. Gemologists grade the world’s most beautiful crystals on a scale of perfection. Only the most flawless specimens, like the blue diamond, will fetch extravagantly high prices and go on to break world records.

Some expensive gemstones fetch high price tags because of their relative rarity. After all, these are naturally formed organic constructs. They only form under near-impossible, perfect conditions, sometimes over the course of millions of years.

While all crystals and gemstones are beautiful, some are objectively more perfect and rare than others. These are the top ten most expensive gemstones and crystals on earth, ranked by their price.

  1. The CTF Pink Star Diamond
  2. The De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond
  3. The Sunrise Ruby
  4. The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite
  5. The Rockefeller Emerald
  6. The Enigma Diamond
  7. The Whitney Alexandrite
  8. Arkansas Quartz
  9. Tanzanite
  10. The Royal One Black Opal

10. The Royal One – $3,000,000

The-Royal-One
photo source: Luxatic

The tenth most expensive crystal in the world is The Royal One, a 306-carat black opal. It sold for $3 million in 2013. It was granted this name by Australian jewelry designer Katherine Jetter.

Why It’s Expensive

The Royal One is an incredibly rare stone of unusual size. The second-largest black opal ever mined is half its size.

A local miner discovered the opal in Australia in 1999, on his last day in the profession. Apocryphally, the miner had come on hard times and had to sell his mining equipment. The rare crystal was in his final bucket of stones, and he kept it a secret from the world for fourteen years.

Black opal is rare, and individuals cannot determine its final value until they have polished it. After professionals polished and evaluated the stone, The Royal One sold for $3 million.

9. Tanzanite – $3,350,000

the-largest-tanzanite-stones
photo source: CNN

The ninth most expensive crystal in the world is a piece of Tanzanite discovered by a cow farmer in 2020. The Tanzanian government purchased it for $3,350,000.

Tanzanite is a dark purple gemstone found only in Tanzania. The large stone that fetched the high price tag weighed 20.43 pounds.

Why It’s Expensive

Tanzanite is exclusively found in a small, remote region of Northern Tanzania. People have only ever discovered Tanzanite in a four-kilometer-wide region beneath the mountains.

Geologists suggest that the circumstances that caused the crystal to form were so rare that the odds of it occurring anywhere else on earth are about one in one million. Tanzanite is one thousand times rarer than diamonds.

The global supply of the crystal is finite and will likely be gone within the next twenty-five years, so every last piece is precious. Some call this stone “the gemstone of a generation.” No other generation will be able to purchase the crystal from the primary market.

8. Arkansas Quartz – $4,000,000

Giant-Arkansas-Quartz
photo source: nine.com.au

The eighth most expensive crystal in the world is a piece of quartz discovered in Arkansas in 2016, valued at $4 million. This giant crystal is one of the largest ever discovered and took four days to excavate. The crystal weighs 900 kilograms, which is nearly two tons.

Why It’s Expensive

Unlike many expensive crystals, quartz isn’t known for being rare. Even so, a large, continuous piece of quartz can fetch a high price tag. That price only increases if the piece is as clear and intact as the Arkansas quartz.

This superlative specimen is noteworthy for its size. Most believe that it has attracted attention because of the rising popularity of gemstone collecting in America. Those who believe in the power of crystals regard quartz as a valuable stone with the ability to heal, create balance, and mend interpersonal relationships.

7. The Whitney Alexandrite – $4,000,000

The-Whitney-Alexandrite
photo source: Smithsonian Institution

The seventh most expensive crystal in the world is the Whitney Alexandrite, which is on display in the National Museum of Natural History. It is a 17.08 carat stone mined in Russia in 1830. The piece has a value of $4 million.

Why It’s Expensive

Alexandrite is a rare crystal that is well-known for its tendency for changing colors under different lighting conditions. According to gemologists, any Alexandrite stone larger than 5 carats is extremely rare. The Whitney Alexandrite, at over 17 carats, is essentially unprecedented.

6. The Enigma Diamond – $4,280,000

The-Enigma-Black-Diamond
photo source: Sotheby’s

The sixth most expensive crystal in the world is The Enigma Diamond, which sold for $4.3 million. The stone is a 555.55-carat black diamond with unknown origins. It is a rare carbonado diamond, and some theorize that it fell from outer space.

Why It’s Expensive

Carbonado diamonds all formed approximately three million years ago, and miners have only found them in Brazil and the Central African Republic.

Carbonados are harder than traditional diamonds due to their unique, fortified crystal structure. Because they are so hard, they take incredible skill, finesse, and highly specialized tools to cut.

Experts cut The Enigma so it would have 55 facets, to resemble a Hamsa symbol. The process took three full years to accomplish.

This specific diamond was extra expensive because it comes with a mystery. Scientists can’t determine where it came from because it is so unlike any other carbonado specimen on earth. Some scientists theories that it has origins beyond our planet and may have once been part of a meteorite.

It’s full of rare, exotic metals, among other chemical curiosities. Regardless of its origins, it predates most complex life on earth. Its age is a large part of its appeal.

5. The Rockefeller Emerald – $5,511,500

The-Rockefeller-Emerald
photo source: Christie’s

The fifth most expensive crystal in the world is the Rockefeller Emerald, once owned by the wife of John D. Rockefeller. It is an 18.5 carat emerald with a distinct green saturation. The GIA has given the $5.5 million stone a rating of “exceptional.”

Why It’s Expensive

Gemologists suggest that the most common emerald is twenty times rarer than diamonds. The Rockefeller Emerald is far from the most common stone, with superlative characteristics rarely found in nature. Both the size and quality of the crystal make it an outlier, adding to its inherent desirability.

An emerald’s crystallization process can cause gasses, liquids, and minerals to become trapped in the stone during its formation. Almost every emerald ever sold has at least one notable inclusion. The clarity of The Rockefeller Emerald makes it an outlier among outliers.

4. Jadeite – $27,440,000

the-Hutton-Mdivani-Jadeite-Necklace
photo source: Sotheby’s

The fourth most expensive crystal in the world is Jadeite – specifically the jadeite beads that make up the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace. These rare crystal stones fetch a price of approximately $3 million per carat. The necklace, sold at auction in 2014, features 27 of them, and they’re all flawless.

Why It’s Expensive

Jadeite boulders are some of the rarest naturally forming crystals on earth. They are so scarce that almost no jadeite beads over 10mm in diameter exist. Not only does the Hutton-Mdivani necklace feature 27 beads, but they are all larger than 15mm in size.

Jadeite boulders are so rare that jadeite necklaces are usually made of beads cut from multiple boulders. The Hutton-Mdivani is once again an outlier, as all of the beads came from a single boulder.

The necklace once belonged to American Heiress Barbara Hutton, whose grandfather was Frank W. Woolworth. It was a wedding present preceding her marriage to Alexis Mdivani, a Georgian prince. The necklace is valuable because of the rarity of the jadeite, as well as for its historical significance.

3. The Sunrise Ruby – $30,420,000

The-Sunrise-Ruby
photo source: Sotheby’s

The third most expensive crystal in the world is the $30,420,000 Sunrise Ruby. Naturally occurring red stones are some of the rarest crystal gemstones on earth. The Sunrise Ruby is both the most expensive ruby and most expensive colored gemstone ever sold.

Large, vivid rubies with no imperfections, such as the Sunrise Ruby, fetch a price of approximately one million dollars per carat. The Sunrise Ruby is a 25.59 carat stone.

Why It’s Expensive

Overall, rubies are rarer than diamonds. They are often mined in some of the most remote and hard-to-reach mines on earth. The majority of rubies come from mines in Myanmar, formerly Burma.

Their rarity makes them a limited resource, which is why high-quality rubies fetch such high prices. The larger and clearer the ruby, the more expensive it will be.

The Sunrise Ruby is expensive because of the combination of rare characteristics that make it a singular natural wonder. The Sunrise Ruby’s “pigeon blood” color is the rarest color rating for Burmese rubies and is the ideal.

2. The De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond – $57,471,960

The-De-Beers-Cullinan-Blue-Diamond
photo source: Sotheby’s

The second most expensive crystal in the world, based on its price per carat, is the De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond. It nearly broke a world record when it sold for $57,471,960 in 2022.

It is the first diamond in history to come to auction that exceeded fifteen carats. Gemologists have described it as a “once in a generation stone,” mined in South Africa in 2021.

Why It’s Expensive

Foremost, the diamond has received the top color grading for colored diamonds in its class. It’s a “fancy colored” diamond because it falls outside the Gemological Institute of America’s D-Z color scale. Fancy colored diamonds receive grades in order of the color’s intensity, from “faint,” up to “fancy vivid.”

According to the GIA, the Cullinan Blue diamond is “fancy vivid blue.” Diamonds with a fancy vivid color rating will always fetch the highest prices compared to less intense gemstones.

Next, the Cullinan Blue diamond has broken a record in terms of the number of carats it possesses. It is a 15.1-carat diamond. That makes the price per carat $3.93 million.

Naturally formed diamonds larger than 10 carats are exceedingly rare. Previously, the Oppenheimer Blue diamond held this record, clocking in at 14.62 carats. It sold for $70,000 less back in 2016.

The diamond is internally flawless, with the highest possible score for diamond clarity. The lack of flaws makes it more durable than more imperfect diamonds. It is a step-cut diamond, which boosts the intensity of its rare vivid blue color.

1. The CTF Pink Star Diamond – $83,187,381

The-CTF-Pink-Star-Diamond
photo source: Sotheby’s

The most expensive crystal in the world is the CTF Pink Star Diamond, formerly the Steinmetz Pink Diamond. It once sold for $83,187,381. The CTF Pink Star Diamond is the largest internally flawless fancy pink natural color diamond ever graded by the GIA.

The diamond is a 59.6-carat vivid pink diamond with an oval mixed cut. While it technically has a lower price per carat than the Cullinan Blue diamond, it holds the world record for overall value.

Why It’s Expensive

Before the CTF Pink Star’s discovery, there was only one mine in the world said to possess pink diamonds – the Argyle mine in Australia. The diamond comes from South Africa, where miners discovered it in 1999. This makes the diamond exceedingly rare, both for its color and its location of origin.

Pink diamonds and blue diamonds are equally rare in nature, but pink diamonds are more mysterious. Scientists have not yet determined what causes a pink diamond to form. Something is changing the diamond’s crystal structure to create the pink hue, but there is currently no scientific explanation.

The CTF Pink Star diamond has a fancy vivid color rating from the GIA, and it is the largest diamond in the world to have earned a vivid pink rating. Furthermore, it is internally flawless, meaning it is one of the most durable substances on planet earth.

It was such a valuable find that it took almost two years before gemologists were ready to cut the crystal. They took numerous casts and attempted dozens of trials to ensure that they would get it right. In the end, the oval mixed cut brought out the rare vivid pink hue in the giant stone.

As a general rule, the larger the diamond, the higher the price range. This goes double for colored diamonds.

The CTF Pink Star was 132.5 carats in the rough, and 59.6 carats at auction. It is one of the largest diamonds of this quality in existence.

The World’s Most Expensive Crystals

Crystals and gemstones are pure, organic gifts from the earth that surprise us with their clarity and beauty. It’s amazing how these shining stones have come to represent so much value. It might be that equity that makes the world’s most expensive crystals so compelling – theoretically, anyone could dig one up and completely transform their life overnight!

If you’d like to learn more about the world’s most expensive things, you can find more information by visiting the blog. Start with this post about the most expensive elements in the world.

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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