The value of gemstones, how much gemstones cost, depends on various factors. In addition to the type of stone, features such as size, purity and color also play an important role in determining the price. Therefore, the question “What do precious stones cost?” can not be asked as a generalized question.
Examples of gemstone costs
As mentioned before, the value and price of gemstones can vary greatly. Here are some examples of the prices of gemstones:
- Alexandrite: about $450 to $60,000 per carat
- Emerald: about $350 to $50,000 per carat
- Sapphire: $200 to $20,000 per carat
- Ruby: $100 to several thousand dollars per carat
As you can see, the price range is quite wide, making it hard to generalize an answer. However, as a rule of thumb, a gem is especially valuable if:
- the piece is especially big
- the color is intense and evenly distributed
- the stone has few inclusions or damage
- it is a rare or coveted gem
Rare gem examples: Charoite, Fingerite, Gottlobite, Larimar, Tanzanite
Valuable stones are for example: Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, Tsavorite, Spinel, Alexandrite, and Tanzanite
Inexpensive gems are for example: Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Blue Topaz and many of the more common red ones, like Garnet.
Furthermore, the processing of the stone plays a role in the value and price. If the cut has been executed particularly well, this can raise the price significantly. In jewelry, the complementary materials used, such as quality gold, can render a higher price.
If you want to know how much a particular gemstone costs, check out our gem list from A to Z. Note, however, that it is not possible to list exact prices for each gem, as prices per carat vary too greatly.
Size and price
Large, high quality gems are very rare
Gemstone price per carat is dependent on the size of the gemstone. Furthermore, a 1 carat gemstone fetches a higher price per carat than a 0.5 carat gemstone. Gems of high quality, which are relatively large are very rare.
Alexandrite as an example:
Alexandrite (of G 5/2 and R or slpR 5/3*) has the following prices per carat depending on its size:
- up to 0,5 carat: 2,200 $ to 5,400 $ per carat
- 0,5 to 1 carat: 4,500 $ to 13,400 $ per carat
- Over 1 carat: to 62,000 $ per carat
(* = A guide with more information on color saturation tone rating will follow soon)
What are gems worth?
The composition of the material, the crystal system, the type of crystal lattice, and the shape are essential for setting the price of gemstones. There are further factors such as:
Inexpensive gemstone jewelry
Depending on the type of gemstone and the carat weight, gems can be quite inexpensive. More affordable gem types are, for example, Quartz, Topaz or Garnet. Of course, man-made stones are much cheaper than natural ones.
Examples: pale Amethysts or Tanzanites, brownish Garnets or Peridote, and blackish Garnets or Sapphires.
|Beware! If the term Cubic Zirconia appears in the description, then it is a synthetic gemstone.|
Synthetic gemstones have pros and cons. Often they can barely be distinguished from natural gems when viewed with the naked eye. However, natural gemstones are valuable for good reason. They have completely different properties than their man-made counterfeits.
High quality gemstone jewelry
Currently (as of 2018), a blue Diamond worth nearly $ 4 million per carat is one of the world’s most expensive gemstones. Previously, the so-called “Pink Star”, a pink Diamond, was the world’s most valuable gem.
The most expensive and precious gemstones include:
- Blue Diamond (about $ 3.93 per carat)
- Musgravite (about $ 35,000 per carat)
- Jadeite (about $ 20,000 per carat)
- Alexandrite (about $ 12,000 per carat)
|Warning! If you want to buy high quality gems weighing more than 1 carat, make sure your purchase includes an independent certificate.|
Especially with high value gemstones, it is advisable to acquire an independent certificate so you can be sure that it is an authentic gem.
For more information about the certificate, please visit our Buying guide.
Gemstone geodes and druses
The price and value of geodes and druses depend mainly on the size of the gemstone piece. They can be a few inches to several feet tall. In addition, the nature of the mineral plays a role, where Agate or Amethyst geodes or druses are concerned. Small druses and geodes are available at very low cost, while larger pieces can cost several thousand dollars.