What is the Most Expensive Substance on Earth?

Something is expensive when it is rare, beautiful and in demand. Others are expensive because of the criminal risk in selling and buying them. Here are some interesting comparisons.

Saffron = $11/gram             Beluga caviar = $30/gram            

Gold = $48/gram              

Rhino horn = $100/gram    

Cocaine = $140/gram           LSD = $2500/gram

Plutonium = $3,900/gram


Painite – $8500 per gram   Painite is a very rare borate mineral, orange-red to brownish red, found in Myanmar. Fewer than 30 known crystals.

Red Beryl – $9,000 per gram   Extremely rare. From Utah and New Mexico.

Taaffeite – $20,000 per gram . First discovered in 1945, in a jewellers shop in Dublin. Less than a dozen Taaffeite stones exist, colour from red to purple. Sizes between .02ct -1.0 carat.

Blue Diamond –  $13m per gram   A 5ct fancy vivid blue step cut diamonds was sold by Sotheby’s last year for $13 million = $13m per gram = R240million per gram.

Pink diamond – $13.2m/gram. A 19ct fancy vivid pink diamond known as The Pink Legacy was bought by Harry Winston in 2018 for US$50.2m.


Californium – $27 million per gram. A radioactive element which does not occur in nature. First made in a nuclear reactor at UCLA in 1950

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