Top 17 Most Expensive Elements on Earth

Top 17 Most Expensive Elements on Earth

Gems, precious metals, and works of art are often what come to mind when we think of the most expensive elements on Earth.

But have you ever thought of the elements in the periodic table as expensive gems? There are elements in the interesting field of chemistry that are so rare and valuable that they sell for astronomical amounts of money.

Most Expensive Elements on Earth (Per Gram)

Elements, like curium and californium, are man-made. This piece will talk about rare and most valuable earth items.

Each one has its own special properties and a high market demand, which makes them some of the most expensive substances in the world.

1. Antimatter – $80 Trillion Per Gram

Antimatter is one of the most expensive elements in the world. There is currently no way to store them, even though very small amounts have been made in the past.

A lot of very advanced technology, like that found at CERN, is needed to even think about “making it.” If you could get a gram of antimatter today, it would be worth about $80 trillion.

2. Francium – $1 Billion Per Gram

Because its half-life is so short—about 22 minutes—no one has ever seen a single gram of francium. However, this very unstable metal makes people curious.

It took more than 300,000 atoms to make the most francium that was ever made in a lab. Someone would have to be ready to pay a very large amount of money, probably billions of dollars, in order to buy one gram of francium.

But because it only exists for a short time and can’t be used in real life, such a buy is still just an idea.

3. Californianium – $27 Million Per Gram

Californianium is still a very rare element even though it was first made in 1950. Since it was found, only a few grams have been made. Californianium is among the rarest and the most expensive elements on earth.

One gram of Californianium is thought to be worth about $27 million, which shows how rare it is—the world only makes about half a gram of it every year.

4. Endohedral Fullerenes – $165 Million Per Gram

Endohedral fullerenes are regular fullerenes that have extra atoms, ions, or groups inside the inner spheres. In 1985, the very first lanthanum complex was made.

In essence, it is a cage made of carbon atoms that holds a nitrogen atom. It might be useful for making very reliable atomic clocks.  There are two types right now: endohedral metallofullerenes and non-metal doped fullerenes.

High-energy particles are used to make tritium in nuclear reactors. These particles hit lithium metal or ceramic pieces that contain lithium. It’s also one of the most expensive elements in the world.

5. Painite – $250,000 Per Gram

Another very pricey stone that you may not have heard of is called Painite. In the 1950s, it was recognized as a new gemstone.

British mineralogist and gem dealer Arthur C.D. Pain found it in Myanmar, but he thought it was ruby at first. The mineral was given a name after it was found to be a 100% new species of mineral. Because it is so rare, Painite can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 per carat.

6. Diamond – $65,000 Per Gram

It is one of the most common elements, but when its atoms are ordered in a certain way, its value can go through the roof. Yet due to its wide availability still diamonds are one of the most expensive elements on earth to buy.

When carbon is shaped like a diamond, it can fetch as much as $65,000 per gram. This shows how important structure is in figuring out how much something is worth.

7. Tritium – $30,000 Per Gram

Tritium is also an important part of some nuclear bombs that are used to power them. People use it to make “glow in the dark” things like watch hands and as a tracer in academic and biomedical study.

Don’t worry, though; the beta rays it gives off are very weak and can’t reach people. Tritium is also not very bad for you if you eat it, but if you do it all the time, you might want to change your life.

8. Taaffeite – $20,000 Per Gram

Taaffeite is a very rare gem that buyers have only recently become interested in. It can be red, purple, or any color in between.

The rarest red ones are thought to be less than ten in the world. Tanzania is where most of these gems come from. Some sources say that all the ones that have been found would fill up half a cup because this diamond is so rare.

9. Grandidierite – $20,000 Per Gram

Grandidierite was first discovered in 1902 in the southern part of Madagascar. The mineral is named after Alfred Grandidier, a French traveler who lived from 1836 to 1922 and studied Madagascar’s natural history.

Grandidierite turns bluer when it has more iron (Fe) in it. The newly found gem blue ominelite (Mg, Fe) is a Fe-analogue (Fe, Mg) of grandidierite. It can show one of three colors, depending on the point of view: dark blue-green, colorless (sometimes a very pale yellow), or dark green.

10. Emeralds – $20,000 Per Gram

Emeralds are another well-known and expensive gem, like diamonds. Some say that the word “emerald” comes from the Latin words “esmaralda” or “esmaraldus” and their Greek roots, both of which mean “green diamond.” The word first appeared in English around the 1400s.

The four basic factors that are used to grade emeralds are color, clarity, cut, and carat (weight). Color is usually by far the most important thing when rating colored gemstones.

When it comes to emeralds, however, clarity comes in a close second. Along with being a pure, verdant green color, an emerald must be very clear in order to be considered a top jewel.

11. Plutonium – $4,000 Per Gram

Plutonium is well known for being used in nuclear reactors and explosives. It is possible for a nuclear chain reaction to continue with both plutonium-239 and plutonium-241.

Because it is so radioactive, it is very dangerous to touch. But people who are brave enough to get this element will have to pay at least $4,000 per gram.

12. Scandium – $270 Per Gram

Because it is so rare, scandium, another rare earth metal, is very expensive. Researchers made a big finding about it in the 1970s when they found that it made aluminum alloys stronger.

Even now, these metals are where it is mostly used. About 10 tonnes of scandium oxide are traded around the world every year, and each gram costs at least $270.

13. Lutetium – $69 Per Gram

Lutetium is another rare earth metal that isn’t used much in industry. In refineries, stable lutetium can be used as a catalyst in the cracking of oil. It can also be used in alkylation, hydrogenation, and polymerization processes.

14. Lanthanum – $64 Per Gram

Lanthanum is a metallic element that is silvery white and has special qualities. One can cut it with a knife because it is so soft. It is a rare earth metal. Lanthanum may not be very useful on its own, but its derivatives are used in many different fields.

Its relatively high price comes from the fact that it is used as a catalyst, in carbon arc lamps for studio lighting and projectors, as a burning element in lighters and torches, and in many other ways.

15. Platinum – $60 Per Gram

Another metal with low reactivity is platinum, which is very resistant to rust, even at high temperatures. Its yearly production is still very low, at only a few hundred tonnes.

In addition to being used in jewelry, platinum is useful in many other areas, such as health, dentistry, and cars.

16. Rhodium – $58 Per gram

Rhodium’s main use is as a catalyst in three-way catalytic converters, which are used in manufacturing cars. Its amazing resistance to rust and harsh chemicals is one of the things that makes it stand out.

Rhodium is also used in jewelry. It is often added as a thin layer to white gold to make it look better, and it makes sterling silver less likely to tarnish.

17. Gold – $56 Per Gram

Gold is without a doubt one of the most famous and widely used elements in the world. It is mostly associated with jewelry. Throughout history, people from different cultures have valued this valuable metal.

Gold is beautiful, but it also has properties that make it useful in electronics. However, its high price means that cheaper options are often used instead.

When gold is at its best, it is a bright, slightly reddish metal that is soft, malleable, and springy. Because it is so rare and in high demand, it is one of the ten most expensive elements in the world.


To sum up, these uncommon and most expensive elements on earth, each with its own traits and uses, show how interesting the field of chemistry is and how rarity often means high value.

Also Read: Most Expensive Cosmetic Products in the World

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