The rarest Australian gemstones
Australia has a reputation as a robust gemstone market and Australians are known for their love of gems, both imported and home-grown. However, some of the world’s most special and precious stones are mined in Australia. Among the increasingly rare and unusual are:
The pink diamond
Pink diamonds are found in the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia. The diamonds come in various hues of pink and, as supplies are beginning to run out and they are incomparable, the prices continue to increase.
A very few of these diamonds are actually red, and they make millions of dollars at auction.
Sapphires, the gem quality form of corundum, have been mined in Australia since the 1850s, mainly in Anakie in Queensland and the New England District of New South Wales, where the deposits are extracted with backhoes and bulldozers. The crystals weigh about 3 carats.
The Black Opal
The opal is world famous. Opals are mined in several countries, including Turkey, Brazil and Ethiopia. However, if you want a truly scarce Australian gem, then the black opal is one of the finest.
The black opal is mined in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, and it is famed for its blend of eye-catching colours. Black opals are so rare that they can cost as much as $2,335 per carat.
Chrysoprase, a gemstone variety of chalcedony, is usually apple green, but can be a deeper green too. The colour is distinctive and comes from its nickel content. Western Australia and Queensland are two of the best sources, although chrysoprase can be found on other continents too.
Australians are known for their high standard of living and love of luxury, so precious stones are often imported from Asia. However, Australia is a ready source of gems including pearls, diamonds and opals, as well as other rare stones.
For a bespoke piece of jewellery made from your favourite gems, contact Diamonds by Design and speak to our expert gemmologist.