Precious Gemstones Worth Investing In: More Than Rubies, Sapphires And Emeralds


Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur or someone building their gemstone collection for the first time, the allure and value of gemstones are undeniable. Precious gems are not only beautiful, but they are also wearable forms of investment. In the dazzling world of precious gemstones, the holy trinity of Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds usually take center stage. However, there exist lesser-known, rarer, and arguably more precious gemstones, that deserve just as much attention. 


Here we discuss:

  • Three rare, alternative gemstones that keep rising in value
    • Alexandrite
    • Spinel 
    • Paraiba
  • The history of these gems and where to find them
  • Why these gems make worthy investments


3 stones that keep rising in value

1. Alexandrite

What are Alexandrites?

“Emerald by day, Ruby by night,” Alexandrite is a gemstone that was first discovered in the Ural Mountain mines in Russia in the 1830s, and allegedly named in honor of Tsar Alexander II. Alexandrite is a species of Chrysoberyl and it is famous for displaying one of the most extraordinary color changes in the gem world: green in sunlight and red in incandescent light. Alexandrite contains both beryllium (Be), and chromium (Cr) in its chemical composition – two elements that are also found in Emeralds. However, Be and Cr are rarely present in the same rocks or geological conditions where they interact, which is what makes Alexandrite so rare. 

Where are Alexandrites found?

The original source of Alexandrite was almost exhausted after only a few decades of mining. Alexandrites were first mined in the Ural Mountain in Russia, and were thought to occur only in that mine. However, since the 1980s, different sources have been discovered. Other deposits are located in India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.  Regardless, Alexandrite remains one of the rarest gemstones in the world, and the specimens from the original Ural Mountain mine can fetch the more attractive prices compared to similar grade stones from newer mines.

What makes Alexandrites a good investment?

Natural Alexandrites are so rare and expensive that few people have seen or held one in person. Chrysoberyls are also well-known for its  “cat’s eye” effect when cut as a cabochon. Alexandrites can show a cat’s eye effect, but these gems are even rarer than normal Alexandrites. This variety of gem-quality Chrysoberyl makes an excellent investment or a piece of jewelry (if you can acquire one).

The value of Alexandrites is determined primarily by two factors: the closer the colors are to pure green and red, and the more distinct the color change, the higher the value. Alexandrites can exhibit everything from complete to just partial color change. Thus, the most valuable gems would have a 100% color change from pure green to pure red. Other color combinations are less valuable on the market. If you would like to learn more on Alexandrites, we’ve compiled a gemstone guide to help you select the most suitable gemstone for your collection.

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2. Spinel

What are Spinels?

Known as the most (in)famous “Ruby” in history, Spinels are some of the greatest impostors in the world of gemstones. Some Spinels are among the most famous gemstones such as the Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby from the British and French Crown Jewels. Before modern science, Spinels were often thought to be Rubies or Sapphires. Especially since Spinels occur in similar colors, and are often found in the same deposits as Rubies and Sapphires. 

Where are Spinels found?

Spinels are found in many geographical locations. The most valuable Ruby-red varieties are found in Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Spinels are also mined in Australia, Afghanistan, Madagascar, and Nigeria. Spinels are often found close to, or in the same deposits as Rubies and Sapphires, and the most valuable Spinels come from the mines in Burma, similar to how the most valuable Rubies are Burmese Rubies. 


What makes Spinel a good investment?

Gem-quality red and blue Spinels are very rare, even rarer than Rubies and Sapphires of similar quality and color. However, even though similar quality Spinels are rarer, their prices are much lower than Rubies and Sapphires because they are not as popular or well known. Spinel hasn’t been as promoted by the gem and jewelry industry as Sapphires and Rubies because its supply is limited and unreliable. This might prove to be a valuable opportunity to invest in Spinels today in anticipation of increased prices in the future. For more on selecting a Spinel to add to your collection, checkout our gemstone guide on Spinels. 

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3. Paraiba Tourmaline

What are Paraiba Tourmalines?

This hypnotic gemstone was seemingly lost in obscurity until just a few years ago when it exploded in popularity, appearing on every gem collectors’ list. First discovered in the 1980s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa in the Brazilian state of Paraíba, this neon beauty completely changed the game for the international jewelry and gemstone industry. Also known as cuprian elbaite, Paraibas contain the trace element copper, and colors range from sparkling turquoise to rich blue-green, but it is the otherworldly neon glow lighting up the stone from within that separates the Paraiba from any other gem. 

Where are Paraibas found?

Paraiba Tourmalines used to only be found in mines from Brazil, but now they can also be found in Nigeria and Mozambique. Specimens from Brazil are still more favored in the market, because that’s where they were first discovered, and many consider the mesmerizing vivid glow to be a stronger feature that distinguishes Brazilian Paraiba from the rest. 

What makes Paraiba a good investment?

Characterized by its electric neon color, the most valuable Paraibas are the neon blue specimens from Brazil. Paraibas from Brazil sell for much more than those from Nigeria or Mozambique. However, distinguishing the origins of Paraibas is difficult. As a result, certified, good quality and Brazilian stones weighing 1 carat and above have increased in price exponentially. Since the original deposits are practically exhausted, Paraibas from Brazil are almost only available now on the secondary market where they regularly break auction records. Make sure you are provided with a reliable lab report for any Paraiba especially those identified as Brazilian before you purchase the gem. Be sure to check out our guide to help you make an informed choice when you select a Paraiba suitable for your needs.

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The Verdict

The world of precious gemstones often leads you on a kaleidoscopic journey where new and dazzling discoveries are being made. Besides adding some extra rare sparkle to your collection, precious gemstones also make great investments. Over the last couple of decades, the prices of precious gemstones have risen steadily with the increased market demand for the rarest, most beautiful natural gemstones. As a result, more and more investors are looking to precious gemstones as an alternative store of value. 

Beyond the usual culprits, the three aforementioned precious gemstones make exceptional investments that increase in value over time. If you’d like to build your collection of investment quality gemstones, check out the selection we have available.

Gemdaia only provides natural gemstones that have been certified by recognized laboratories across the world such as GIA or GRS. 

To book a consultation to help you select the perfect gemstone for a unique piece of jewelry, visit our online bespoke jewelry creation tool where we accompany you every step of the way in your custom made jewelry journey.