When choosing a gemstone, the biggest and most expensive aren’t always the best options. From its colour and cut to its setting and meaning, there are many factors that you have to consider when shopping for the perfect gemstone jewellery piece for you. That being said, there have been many impressive gemstone hauls that are well worth shouting about.
In this blog post, we take a closer look at the largest and most expensive gemstone discoveries in history.
The Sergio Diamond
Although the Sergio stone doesn’t have the traditional good looks of the diamonds we all know and love, its shade does make it exceedingly rare. Its weight also makes it the largest natural diamond ever found.
Here Cape Town Diamond Museum explains more about the Sergio Diamond’s history and incredible attributes:
“Even though, the Cullinan diamond is known for being one of the largest gemstones ever to be found, the black carbonado diamond named, Sergio is known for outweighing the stone in carat weight. The beautiful rare black diamond was found in Brazil, in 1893 and weighs 3167 carats in total.”
The Golden Jubilee Diamond
For a more traditional cut with a very untraditional colour, the Golden Jubilee Diamond takes the crown.
Discovered in 1985 in South Africa, this unique brown diamond originally weighed 755.5 carats in total and took approximately two years to cut. The finished product was an equally impressive 545.67 carats, which makes it the biggest cut diamond on the planet.
Despite its name, the Golden Jubilee Diamond is currently housed at the Royal Thai Palace, where it takes pride of place in their Crown Jewels collection.
The Neelanjali Ruby
As well as being an impressive 1,370 carats in weight, the Neelanjali Ruby is also classed as ‘double star’ which makes it extra special.
Double star rubies have a unique appearance with star-like inclusions visible within the stone. This irregularity is particularly unusual in natural gemstones. The Neelanjali Ruby features double-star inclusions on both of its sides making it even more remarkable. This ultra-rare gemstone has remained in the same family for generations with its exact origins shrouded in mystery.
The Rajaratna Ruby
The Neelanjali Ruby isn’t the only ruby to make it onto our list. Known as the ‘King of Rubies’, the Rajaratna Ruby is 2,475 carats in total making it the largest ruby in the world. The Rajaratna Ruby was only unveiled in 1985 after spending years locked away in a dusty cupboard by its owner who had been given the gemstone as a family heirloom.
Its history however is thought to date back to Medieval Times, with its very first known owners the Kings of Vijayanagar from Southern India.
The Lao Tsu Pearl
Not all gemstones are as hardy and well regarded as diamonds and rubies. The Lao Tsu Pearl is a beautiful gemstone in its own right and one of the world’s biggest. Discovered in 1934 by a local diver, the pearl weighs a staggering 1 stone and is worth over £2.9 million.
It is however not the most expensive pearl on record. The La Peregrina Pearl sold for $11 million (£7.1 million) in 2011 thanks to its famous previous owner, Elizabeth Taylor. The Beauty of Ocean Pearl, which weighs six tonnes and is five feet in height, is worth even more at an estimated $139 million.
The Olympic Australis
As the largest and most expensive opal gemstone, the Olympic Australis has both quality and size on its side. Weighing in at 17,000 carats and containing 99% pure gem versus just 1% host rock, this South Australian discovery is considered one of the most impressive, natural, organic gemstones in the world.
The Smithsonian Alexandrite
Lesser known gem alexandrite is a real show stopper. When the Smithsonian Alexandrite was unearthed in Sri Lanka, its 65.08 carat weight and stunning mix of red and green colours made it one of the rarest and most valuable stones on the planet.