Hello Gnees Army,
Over the times, Humans and their belongings have decorated themselves with attractive stones. This attractive and precious stones like Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are differentiated from their value on the basis of rarity.
But what makes a stone a gem? It mainly depends upon the twos– beauty and durability. And rarity makes a gem even more special. That’s why the rarest gem on earth – Painitie makes its special place! Are you ready to know about it? Here we go…
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Now, let’s know a little bit what is Gem?
To become a gem for any stone, it has to have beauty (in the eyes of enough observers) and be durable enough to retain that beauty through the years!
Durability usually indicates that the stone is hard enough to resist eruption from airborne sand and dust. Also, it has to be hard enough to secure its structure. For instance, let’s take the example of a Diamond.
Diamond, the hardest known material on earth, certainly enough to resist eruption by dust. A diamond crystal does have four orientations of cleavage plane on which it can be split easily. The cleavage is used as a short cut in the early stages of shaping, cutting, and polishing this extraordinarily hard material, which is otherwise a slow and painstaking business.
The main valuation criteria for gems such as diamonds are often summarised as the 4 Cs: Carats, Colour, Clarity, and Cut.
One carat (0.2 g) is the traditional unit of weight for a gemstone – but larger stones are disproportionately rare in nature and more expensive in weightage than smaller ones.
Now comes to the rare gem – Painite!
Painite is a very rare borate mineral. It was first found in Myanmar by British mineralogist and gem dealer Arthur C.D. Pain who misidentified it as ruby until it was discovered as a new gemstone in the 1950s. When it was confirmed as a new mineral species, the mineral was named after him. Due to its rarity, painite can cost in the range of between US$50,000 to $60,000 per carat (0.2 gram).
The chemical makeup of the painite contains calcium, zirconium, boron, aluminum, and oxygen. Painite chemical formula is CaZrAl9O15(BO3). It also contains a little bit of chromium and vanadium, which makes Painite’s colour varies from dark red to orange-red and brownish. Though there are no cut gems for Painite its color and density closely matches to Garnet means there may be cut gems that exist but they have been misidentified as ruby or garnet!!! 😕 The crystals are naturally hexagonal in shape.
The first painite was recognized as a new mineral, was a sample discovered in Burma (Myanmar) in the early 1950s. For many years only two crystals of this hexagonal mineral were known to exist.
In 1957, two deep red stones from a batch donated to the Natural History Museum in London which was completely new to science. A tiny slice (weighing 1.7 grams) from one crystal was used for research, and the new mineral was named “painite” after the original donor C.D. Arthur Pain.
An earlier painite sample was discovered in the British Museum having been misidentified as brown tourmaline with rubies from Mogok, Burma. This sample was found to be painite by electron microprobe analysis in late 2007. A dark, 2.118-gram painite known as Painite #2 is currently on public display in the British Museum.
Why it’s so rare and expensive?
For decades, only two crystals of this ultra-rare mineral were known to exist. Painite’s extreme rarity is due to it containing the chemical elements zirconium and boron, which do not normally associate with each other and don’t occur together in any other mineral.