As a Graduate Gemologist, I often get asked what the rarest gemstone is. There are so many gemstones most of us see regularly in jewelry, like Sapphire, Emerald, and Diamond, but there are quite a few that we don’t see very often. And, one of these gemstones is the rarest in all the land!
As you have read in a previous blog, www.angelacisneros.com/post/who-are-you , mineral gemstones differ in crystal structure and chemical composition. That is why not all blue stones are Sapphires or all green stones are Emeralds! That was an important distinction in gemstone history that came about in the late 1700’s. Prior to that, color was the only identifying factor.
A British mineralogist and gemologist, Arthur Charles Davy Pain discovered a crystal in Myanmar that he thought was Garnet. It was at first mistaken for a Garnet because of its brownish red color, but in 1957, it was identified as its own mineral through a series of gemstone tests. The mineral was named Painite after its discoverer. The reason Painite is considered the rarest gemstone is that until 2001, only 3 crystals had been found! (Wow! How is that for rare?!!) Since then, over a thousand crystals and pieces of crystals have been found with Myanmar being the only source, but most of it is not able to be faceted. Interestingly, the Natural History Museum of London had a specimen that was thought to be Tourmaline with Ruby in the host rock, but in 2007, the Tourmaline was identified as Painite. It makes me wonder if there are some gemstones out there that are actually Painite!
Although 64 years ago may sound like a long time, that is a relatively new discovery in the gemstone world. Most of the gemstones we know and love have been part of jewelry and culture for thousands of years so 64 years ago is nothing! It is a great reminder that we still have so much to learn and discover about our world, and we can even extrapolate that down to ourselves.
March 20th marked the first day of Spring, a time to celebrate new growth, new opportunities, and new gemstones! I would love to help you with your special purchase or custom design! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:
One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)
Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)
Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 23 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)
Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment
*Photo credit: gemsociety.org