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