10. Red Beryl ($10,000 / gram)
Red beryl (formerly known as “bixbite” and marketed as “red emerald” or “scarlet emerald”) is a red variety of beryl. It was first described in 1904 for an occurrence, itstype locality, at Maynard’s Claim (Pismire Knolls), Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah. The old synonym “bixbite” is deprecated from the CIBJO, because of the risk of confusion with the mineral bixbyite (also named after the mineralogist Maynard Bixby). The dark red color is attributed to Mn3+ ions.
Red beryl is very rare and has been reported only from a handful of locations including: Wah Wah Mountains, Beaver County, Utah; Paramount Canyon and Round Mountain, Sierra County, New Mexico, although the latter locality does not often produce gem grade stones; and Juab County, Utah. The greatest concentration of gem-grade red beryl comes from the Ruby-Violet Claim in the Wah Wah Mountains of the Thomas range of mid-western Utah, discovered in 1958 by Lamar Hodges, ofFillmore, Utah, while he was prospecting for uranium. Red beryl has been known to be confused with pezzottaite, a caesium analog of beryl, that has been found in Madagascar and more recently Afghanistan; cut gems of the two varieties can be distinguished from their difference in refractive index, and rough crystals can be easily distinguished by differing crystal systems (pezzottaite trigonal, red beryl hexagonal). Synthetic red beryl is also produced.
While gem beryls are ordinarily found in pegmatites and certain metamorphic stones, red beryl occurs in topaz-bearing rhyolites. It is formed by crystallizing under low pressure and high temperature from a pneumatolytic phase along fractures or within near-surface miarolitic cavities of the rhyolite. Associated minerals include bixbyite, quartz, orthoclase, topaz, spessartine,pseudobrookite and hematite.
9. Taaffeite ($20,000 / gram)
Taaffeite (/ˈtɑːfaɪt/; BeMgAl4O8) is a mineral, named after its discoverer Richard Taaffe (1898–1967) who found the first sample, a cut and polished gem, in October 1945 in a jeweler’s shop in Dublin, Ireland. As such, it is the only gemstone to have been initially identified from a faceted stone. Most pieces of the gem, prior to Taaffe, had been misidentified as spinel. For many years afterwards, it was known only in a few samples, and is still one of the rarest gemstone minerals in the world.
Since 2002, the International Mineralogical Association-approved name for taaffeite as a mineral is magnesiotaaffeite-2N’2S.
8. Soliris ($22,750 / gram)
Eculizumab (INN and USAN; trade name Soliris) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that is a terminal complement inhibitor. In people with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) it improves quality of life but does not appear to affect the risk of death. Its safety is unclear as of 2014. It is the first approved therapy for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Eculizumab is also the first agent approved treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) with likely benefit based on two small trials.
Eculizumab was developed and is manufactured and marketed by Connecticut-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals. It was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 16, 2007 for the treatment of PNH, and on September 23, 2011 for the treatment of aHUS. It was approved by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of PNH on June 20, 2007, and on November 24, 2011 for the treatment of aHUS. Eculizumab is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for other rare disorders. Eculizumab has exclusivity rights until 2017 which protects it from competition from biosimilar applications until 2017.:6
In 2010 Soliris was the most expensive drug in the world. It costs £340,200 (approximately €430,000) per year for ongoing treatment in the UK and $500,000 a year in Canada. and US$409,500 a year in the United States (2010). In the case of the rarest diseases that afflict fewer than 10,000 people, biotech companies who own the only approved drugs to treat those diseases “can charge pretty much whatever they want.” “Before testing Soliris for PNH, Alexion tested the drug for rheumatoid arthritis, which afflicts 1 million Americans. The trials failed. But if it had worked for arthritis, Alexion would likely have had to charge a much lower price for this use, as it would have to compete against drugs that cost a mere $20,000.” Alexion started selling Soliris in 2008 making $295 million in 2007 with its stock price rising 130% in 2010.
7. Tritium ($30,000 / gram)
Tritium (/ˈtrɪtiəm/ or /ˈtrɪʃiəm/; symbol T or 3H, also known as hydrogen-3) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The nucleus of tritium (sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of protium (by far the most abundant hydrogen isotope) contains one proton and no neutrons. Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare on Earth, where trace amounts are formed by the interaction of the atmosphere with cosmic rays. The name of this isotope is formed from the Greek word τρίτος (trítos) meaning “third”.
The emitted electrons from the radioactive decay of small amounts of tritium cause phosphors to glow so as to make self-powered lighting devices called betalights, which are now used in firearm night sights,watches, exit signs, map lights, knives and a variety of other devices. This takes the place of radium, which can cause bone cancer and has been banned in most countries for decades. Commercial demand for tritium is 400 grams per year and the cost is approximately US $30,000 per gram.
6. Glybera ($67,000 / gram)
Alipogene tiparvovec (marketed under the trade name Glybera) is a gene therapy treatment that compensates for lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD), a rare inherited disorder which can cause severe pancreatitis. In July 2012, the European Medicines Agency recommended it for approval, the first recommendation for a gene therapy treatment in either Europe or the United States. The recommendation was endorsed by the European Commission in November 2012.
5. Grandidierite ($100,000 / gram)
Grandidierite is an extremely rare mineral and gem that was first discovered in 1902 in southern Madagascar. The mineral was named in honor of French explorer Alfred Grandidier (1836–1912) who studied the natural history of Madagascar.
4. Red Diamond ($5,000,000 / gram)
A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality almost no gem-sized natural diamonds are absolutely perfect. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond’s coloration, a diamond’s color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable. Of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest.
3. Serendibite ($9,000,000 / gram)
Serendibite is an extremely rare mineral and gem that was first discovered in 1902 in Sri Lanka by Dunil Palitha Gunasekera and named after Serendib, the old Arabic name for Sri Lanka. It is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world.
2. Californium-252 ($27,000,000 / gram)
Californium (Cf) is an artificial element, and thus a standard atomic mass cannot be given. Like all artificial elements, it has no stable isotopes. The firstisotope to be synthesized was 245Cf in 1950. There are 20 known radioisotopes ranging from 237Cf to 256Cf and one nuclear isomer, 249mCf. The longest-lived isotope is 251Cf with a half-life of 900 years.
Californium-252 (Cf-252) undergoes spontaneous fission and is used in small sized neutron sources. Fission neutrons have an energy range of 0 to 13 MeV with a mean value of 2.3 MeV and a most probable value of 1 MeV.
The neutron sources produced from Cf-252 are most notably used in the start-up of nuclear reactors. Once a reactor is filled with nuclear fuel, the stable neutron emissions from the source material initiates the chain reaction known as fission.
The portable isotopic neutron spectroscopy (PINS) used by United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, employs the use of Cf-252 sources to detect hazardous contents found inside artillery projectiles, mortar projectiles, rockets, bombs,land mines, and improvised explosive devices (IED).
In the oil industry, Cf-252 neutron sources are used to find layers of petroleum and water in a well. Instrumentation is lowered into the well which bombards the formation with high energy neutrons to determine porosity, permeability, andhydrocarbon presence along the length of the borehole.
Californium-252 has also been used in the treatment of serious forms of cancer. In patients suffering from certain types of brain and cervical cancer, Cf-252 can be used as a more cost-effective substitute for radium.
1. Endohedral Fullerenes ($160,000,000 / gram)
Endohedral fullerenes, also called endofullerenes, are fullerenes that have additional atoms, ions, or clusters enclosed within their inner spheres. The first lanthanum C60 complex was synthesized in 1985 and called La@C60. The @ (at sign) in the name reflects the notion of a small molecule trapped inside a shell. Two types of endohedral complexes exist: endohedral metallofullerenes andnon-metal doped fullerenes.
Bonus: Antimatter (Estimated to be $62,000,000,000,000 / gram
Antimatter in the form of anti-atoms is one of the most difficult materials to produce. Antimatter in the form of individual anti-particles, however, is commonly produced by particle accelerators and in some types of radioactive decay. The nuclei of antihelium (both helium-3 and helium-4) have been artificially produced with difficulty. These are the most complex anti-nuclei so far observed.