Red Beryl, the rarest gemstone on earth (worth 1000 times more than gold by weight); Photographed by Robert Weldon

Red Beryl, the rarest gemstone on earth (worth 1000 times more than gold by weight); Photographed by Robert Weldon

I think the beauty of gold speaks for itself. I wish there were a lot more of it on Earth. --Pia (Natural crystal forms of Gold)

I think the beauty of gold speaks for itself. I wish there were a lot more of it on Earth. --Pia (Natural crystal forms of Gold)

Osmium is both the densest and the rarest element that you can dig out of the Earth. It's so hard that it's used (as an alloy) in places with constant pressure and wear, like the tips of fountain pens. One single cubic inch of this stuff weighs nearly a pound, and were you to somehow get a cubic foot of it, it would weigh over 1,400 pounds. Good luck with that, though: last year, the entire U.S. osmium production was only 165 pounds.

Osmium is both the densest and the rarest element that you can dig out of the Earth. It's so hard that it's used (as an alloy) in places with constant pressure and wear, like the tips of fountain pens. One single cubic inch of this stuff weighs nearly a pound, and were you to somehow get a cubic foot of it, it would weigh over 1,400 pounds. Good luck with that, though: last year, the entire U.S. osmium production was only 165 pounds.

A fine example of golden Rutile sprays on metalic silver crystals of lustrous Hematite.

A fine example of golden Rutile sprays on metalic silver crystals of lustrous Hematite.

Pyrite replaces the original shell on this fossil ammonite showing that it was buried in sediments with lots of sulphur (S) and iron (Fe). Pyrite or "fool's gold" has the simple chemical formula of FeS.

Pyrite replaces the original shell on this fossil ammonite showing that it was buried in sediments with lots of sulphur (S) and iron (Fe). Pyrite or "fool's gold" has the simple chemical formula of FeS.

Wire Gold on Quartz. Rare formation. From Santa Elena, La Gran Sabana, Bolívar Venezuela

Wire Gold on Quartz. Rare formation. From Santa Elena, La Gran Sabana, Bolívar Venezuela

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