Painite, considered the "Holy Grail" of rare gemstones, is one of the rarest minerals on earth. The Guinness Book of World Records has described painite as THE rarest gem mineral. A deep red to brownish red in color, it is very strongly pleochroic (showing different hues from different angles) and it fluoresces a lovely green under short-wave ultraviolet light. It also contains minor amounts of chromium and vanadium and traces of iron that contribute to the orange-red to brownish-red color of the mineral.
Named after its discoverer, British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain, it was found in Burma in the early 1950s. From 1956 until 1979, only three crystals of this mineral were known to exist! Twenty-two more specimens were discovered after 2001, all numbered and accounted for by researchers at Caltec University. Although it often appears in lists of gemstones, only two faceted gemstones have been reported as of 2004. The discovery of the source of the original stones near Ohngaing, and the very recent find of several new localities in the Mogok area of Myanmar, has led to the retrieval of only a small number of crystals and fragments. Complete crystals remain few in number and facet quality material remains even rarer. This is the first large find of painite crystals ever, a result of years of laborious detective work, long days of digging and mining the few hills, involving sorting each and every crystal and fragment by hand. Given its rarity and the labor intensiveness of its retrieval, it is doubtful that there will be any more painite discovered.
The present pear shaped stone is large, given the size of the rough that has been typically found. It exhibits a rich, deep reddish brown color, typical of its species. Weighing approximately 1.34 carats and measuring 8.05 x 5.42 x 4.31mm