What’s the most unique gem in the world?

sherlock-and-other-things:

sherlock-and-other-things:

I guess that depends on your definition of unique. 

If you define unique as rare (and valuable), then gems such as alexandrite, grandidierite, jeremejevite, musgravite, and black opal are some of the most unique gems in the world, found in very specific, limited regions of the world. With these, finding them in a pure form is incredibly difficult, which is why they’re usually worth so much. Black opal is one of my favorites, since it looks like a rock swallowed a galaxy.

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If you define unique more subjectively – on uniqueness of appearance rather than rarity – then there are a few other gems that stand out. To list just a few that are my personal favorites:

Ammolite: this gem is similar to opal — both fossilized shell-making, silica-rich creatures but in this case made from fossilized ammonites (nautilus) rather than diatoms (which are a kind of plankton) — but you can find it as whole nautiloids that can then be made into gemstone pieces (though I kind of prefer it whole but that’s my inner paleontologist speaking)

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Fluorite: possibly my favorite gemstone mineral, fluorite is awesome for a couple of reasons – namely, it forms in near-perfect cubic crystals, is dazzlingly glowy under UV light, and comes in almost every color (usually clear, purple, and green, and occasionally a rare blue or impure yellow)

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Hackmanite: this gem is a particular kind of sodalite that actually changes color in response to light (it’s called tenebresence, and it’s the same concept as transition lenses in glasses – just natural and in a really pretty gem)  – when it’s mined, it’s usually purple, but over time, it turns white; if it’s put back in the dark, it’ll fade back to purple, and you can repeat this over and over and over

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Labradorite: with this gem, light reflects off the crystal structure in such a way that the rock has really strong blue-green iridescence, and it looks different every way you turn it – the light will hit it in one spot and the dull grey rock will suddenly explode with all this amazing blue color

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Pietersite: I love this gem because it can come in any color – from brown to yellow to red to blue to purple to grey – and I’ve never seen two pieces that look even close to identical. Technically, it’s a variation of quartz – a really, really awesome variation of tiger’s eye quartz that looks nothing like other quartz types

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These are just a few examples, and this is a really long and rambling answer to a very short question, but I think uniqueness can be defined objectively in terms of rarity and worth, or subjectively in terms of how freaking cool and special they are

all gems are freaking awesome

^ this is me on a geologic rampage that I thoroughly enjoyed