Marilyn Monroe famously sang ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. Without a doubt, some of the world’s most stunning gems are diamonds, of all colors, beautiful in cut and clarity.
Though, Ms. Monroe may have reconsidered her famous tune if she’d knew of the large scale at which diamonds are available nowadays, some may feel less special.
What most of us don’t know about, is the whole business behind precious stones. Stones such as diamonds, rubies and emeralds, and more importantly, the places where they are found, are in the hands of a few in the world. As such, these companies are able to limit the quantity in the market, driving up the rarity, demand and price tags for these stones.
In the precious gem business, not very stone has the same value and the value changes along the process from finding to market them. The phrase “Diamond in the rough” has many meanings. A rough diamond, found in the nature, needs human processing before the its true value can be established. This measurement is based upon its physical attributes (the famous 4 Cs), such as color, cut, clarity and carat, but often as well on how many there are in the world at that moment in time. When we define precious gemstones, only diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are classified in this category whereas most other stones are considered as semi-precious. (Check out this site to see who owns the most expensive diamond in the world)
The law of supply and demand is a basic economics principle wherein rarity creates desire. In the case of truly rare gems it proposes a delicate economic balance. Stones need to be rare enough to trigger desire, yet they can’t be ‘that’ rare, so jewelers can develop a business from it. Some stones like the Grandidierite (Ever heard of it?) are found only in a single place on earth, in this case in southern Madagascar. Their unique composition was only able to form at a particular place under even more particular geologic conditions. A jewel like this is found so seldom, that most of its kind end up in mineral collections of gemologist societies rather than in jewelry settings.
Stone dealers are often faced with the challenge of how to price these treasures as benchmarks are lacking. Whereas stones like diamonds have global prices, which are based on demand and the attributes of each stone, how to evaluate a stone, which is only found in one place in the world and not more than a handful exist? Beyond pricing these rarities, think about marketing costs involved, as most have never even heard of these stones.
Apart from all their unique features, most gemstones have one thing in common: they were discovered by accident. If not someone would have stumbled over some dusty rocks in the desert of Utah or reached for a clump of mud in an Indian riverbed, some of the world’s most famous jewels would have never been known to mankind.
If you’re thrilled by the truly unique, unknown to most, check out these three gemstones. All are amongst the rarest gems known to man.
This beautiful, translucent blue-green colored gem was discovered in 1902 by Frenchman Alfred Grandidier, after whom is was subsequently named. Until the present day, the stone has been found only in a specific mine in the south of the island of Madagascar.
Gemologists and jewel enthusiasts alike around the world have been searching for this stone across gem fairs and trade hubs, resulting in incredible prices paid for this rare treasure.
2. Red Beryl
This bright red stone is often called ‘Red Emerald’, yet compared to its far more famous green relative, red beryl is 10 times rarer. The stone was accidently discovered when miners were searching for Uranium in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah.
The mine remained the only place where Red Beryl gems were found until it closed in 2001. Today, experts assume there are less than 30,000 cut stones and even only 300 carat-sized Red Beryls in the world.
This quartz is not only rare; it is uniquely bicolored. It combines a purple amethyst with an orange-colored citrine. Nowadays, ametrines are often synthetically made hence they are no longer rare in the market, but they remain extremely rare in nature. The only known place where they were found is the Anahí Mine in Bolivia.
The unusual formation of this gem, combining two stones together, embodies the mystery of these stones. Imagine the unique constellation of place, condition and time, that made it possible for stones like the Ametrine to form.
All these stones are created by nature. Some, like the Ametrine, can be grown in a manmade laboratory environment. While looking the part, these synthetic beauties may always lack of the magic a natural stone possesses.
For MYKU, our constant quest is to source natural stones through responsible suppliers around the world to find the right stones for our watches. Each stone is carefully examined and cut by our craftsmen in order to bring out their finest character in each watch dial.
We are proud to celebrate nature’s uniqueness combined with MYKU’s timeless design in each of our timepieces. Discover the Lapis Lazuli collection here.