As Elizabeth Taylor once said: "I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can't possess radiance, you can only admire it."
It's a good philosophy, because when it comes to the world's biggest, rarest and most extraordinary gemstone discoveries, no one—not even billionaire President Donald Trump—could afford the possession.
We're not talking about the average diamond engagement ring that sets you back $4,000 and was probably grown in a lab. And we're not talking about the $3,000 ruby that was probably treated.
We're talking about the rarest gemstones in the world, like the ‘Guinness Emerald' that came out of Fura Gems' Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia, where excavation has only reached 10% and the next gem of the century is just waiting to be discovered.
Every year, the mining industry grows by hundreds of billions of dollars. The global economy is booming and demand for precious jewels, particularly colored gemstones, has never been higher.
That means that the greatest discoveries have yet to be made.
Here are just five examples of stones that broke all the records:
#1 "Star of Adam" Blue Star Sapphire—$100-300 Million
The world's largest blue sapphire was discovered in Sri Lanka in early 2016. Named the "Star of Adam," the massive stone weighs an incredible 1,404 carats.
The stone is a blue "star" sapphire, so named due to the bright six-pointed star that appears whenever light is reflected on the stone's surface.
Estimates of the stone's value range from the $100-$175 million range to as much as $300 million.
This single stone is worth the annual gem industry of Sri Lanka, which averages $103 million per year in exports.
Interest in blue stones increased worldwide after the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2011. Middleton wore a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring, piquing interest in the stones and sending demand upwards.
But the royal stone has nothing on the massive Star of Adam.
#2 Guinness Emerald—$500 million
Here's a stone so grand, it made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 1759-carat emerald was discovered at the Coscuez mine, owned by Fura Gems. It was for several years the largest un-cut emerald on earth.
Only 10 percent of the Coscuez mine has been explored, which means there could be several stones like the Guinness Record emerald locked underground.
Fura Gems recently announced its total take over of the Coscuez mine. For only $10 million, the company took possession of a mine that could yield hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of emeralds just like the Guinness Emerald.
The stone, in its un-cut form, could be worth $17 million, at a valuation of $9,800 per carat.
But once it's been cut, it could sell for a whole lot more. An 18-carat emerald ring, for example, sold at auction in June 2017 for ...