The rarest mineral on Earth found in Myanmar

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 The rarest mineral on Earth found in Myanmar

The rarest mineral on Earth – kyauthuit. Only one crystal is known to exist, found in the Mogok region of Myanmar. The Caltech Mineral Database describes it as a small (1.61 carat) deep orange gemstone that was officially recognized by the International Mineralogical Association in 2015.

Several specimens of the second rarest mineral, painite, have also been discovered in Myanmar, which appear as dark red hexagonal crystals (although there are pinkish exceptions). Although now easier to find than before, this mineral is still found rare, and its chemical structure makes it something of a scientific puzzle.

What makes painite so rare? First, it is only found in Myanmar, but the real reason lies in its formation.Painite — it is a borate crystal, which means it contains boron. It also contains zirconium. Boron is not known to bond well with zirconium. In fact, painite — the only mineral in which the two have been found bound in nature.

Painite and many other gemstones such as kiawtuite are found most commonly in Myanmar, or only there. When the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana began to crack about 180 million years ago, scientists say, India crept north and collided with what is now South Asia. The pressure and heat from the collision created a treasure trove of rocks, many of which are gems.

The cost of painite reaches 60,000 dollars per carat. Most of the crystals of painite are found in Myanmar's Wet Loo and Terane Taung regions. Myanmar is also known for other gems and specimens of tiny prehistoric creatures trapped in amber.

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