Is there a formula that determines which mineral is highly valuable and which one is not? Or, are there certain laws that determine the value of these minerals?
Let’s satisfy the curiosity that’s burning within you.Some of the determinants, that determine the value of a mineral are:
Presence of Matrix
Treat the above mentioned determinants as a mere outline. By no means, is this a comprehensive answer to your question but it atleast gives you a starting point and a basis for you to further comprehend the information that this article contains.
Here is a list of some of the most expensive minerals with which we are blessed today:
Note: The prices of all the mentioned minerals keeps on fluctuating depending on the conditions of the world market. Hence, don’t strictly conform to the prices mentioned in this article.
10. Rhodium ($35,000/kg approx.)
The reason why rhodium commands such a high price in the market is due to it’s rarity primarily. It is a silvery-white metal that’s generally found, either as the free metal or alloyed with certain other similar metals. It was discovered way back in the year 1803. Today, it’s most often applications lie as a catalyst, for ornamental purposes and as an alloy agent of platinum and palladium.
9. Diamond ($1,400/carat approx.)
Diamond is one of the minerals on this list that needs no introduction. For centuries now, it has been a symbol of wealth in every country in the world. It is a mineral for which empires, or kings, have clashed with each other. Nobody can be truly certain about when human beings first came across this beautiful mineral. If one has to go by the original records, the Eureka Diamond that was found in South Africa in the year 1867, is the first diamond to have been found. But, if anybody has read the books of kings ruling over India, centuries ago, they will know that that’s not the truth. However, as the years have gone by, the one thing that hasn’t changed is this minerals commercial value.
8. Black Opal ($11,400/carat approx.)
Black Opal is a variation of the opal gemstone. As the name suggests, it’s basically a black colour opal. Fun fact: Opal is the national gemstone of Australia. Out of all the different hues in which the opal gemstone is found, the black opal is the rarest and commands the most price. Different opal gemstones are of different colours because of the different conditions in which each one is formed. Another important fact about the opal is that, by traditional definition it is not a mineral, rather, it is called a mineraloid.
7. Blue Garnet ($1500/carat approx.)
If one is to believe the rumoured cost of this mineral, it will surely surpass every other item on this planet. The blue garnet is a member of the garnet mineral, which is a silicate based mineral. It was first found sometime in the 1990’s, in Madagascar. What really makes this mineral extremely pleasing to the eye is its colour-changing behaviour. Depending on the temperature of the light, the mineral changes its colour. Examples of colour change would be: from blue-green to purple.
6. Platinum ($29,900/kg approx.)
Derived from the world “platina” that’s translates into ‘little silver’, platinum is one of the most expensive minerals in the world. It’s an extremely scarce metal that possesses some unique qualities, making it a highly valuable precious metal. As per written records, human beings first encountered this rare metal in the 16th century, however, it was only until 1748 that people really began looking into this mineral. Today, platinum has a wide range of applications. It’s application ranges from medical use to electrical use to ornamental use.
5. Gold ($40,000/kg approx.)
We all know what gold is. Most of us even possess certain articles made out of gold. Just like diamond, gold has been around for centuries. Gold was the currency of the kings, once upon a time. Over the years though, the quantity of gold available has reduced and as a result of which, demand is never being met. That fact has resulted in the high price of this mineral. As of today, China is the largest producer of this mineral Today people consume gold in three different ways: (a) in jewellery; (b) as an investment; (c) for industry purposes.
4. Rubies ($15,000/carat approx.)
A ruby is that red gem that you have red about in various stories. The most valuable ruby will be one of good size, lustrous, clean cuts and blood-red in colour. Like diamonds, nobody can be completely certain about the first ruby that existed. Even in the bible, there are certain chapters that refer to this mineral. So how old can they be? Well, the answer is just as good as any guess.
3. Painite ($55,000/carat approx.)
In mineral terms, painite is a relatively new mineral to the human race, being discovered sometime in the 1950’s. Its colour varies from being orange-red to brownish-red. The extremely rare mineral was first found in Myanmar and until 2004, very few attempts had been made to use this mineral for ornamental purposes.
2. Jadeite (N/A)
The origin of this mineral lies in the name itself. Jadeite is one of the minerals that’s found in the precious gemstone: jade. Predominantly, this mineral is green in colour although, the shades of green truly vary. Historians have found weapons of the neolithic era, wherein jadeite was used as the material for the axe heads. To give you just a glimpse into how valuable this mineral is today; a jadeite based jewellery item was sold for nearly $9.3 million in 1997!
1. Lithium (N/A)
Unlike most of the other minerals in this article, lithium is not primarily used for ornamental purposes. Its applications are far more diverse. Electronics, ceramics, nuclear and medicine are just some of the fields in which lithium plays an important role. Everyone will know lithium for it’s use in rechargeable batteries. It was first found sometime in the 1800’s and today, the entire lithium industry is worth more than billions of dollars.
Each mineral in this article has added something to man’s life. The problem however, has been with the way in which we have been using these scarce resources. Minerals are like many other natural resources. Once extinguished from the earth’s surface, it’s going to take years to replace. That being said, with reference to its relevance to this article, what it really means is that, the price of these minerals is only going to increase.