Q:

What is the rarest mineral on Earth?

A:

Painite is believed to be the rarest mineral on Earth. By 2005, only 25 specimens had been found worldwide, though thousands of specimens were discovered in 2012. The mineral was discovered in the 1950s in Myanmar by mineralogist Arthur Pain.

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Painite is a reddish to brownish mineral with a hardness of eight and a composition of calcium, zirconium, boron, aluminium and oxygen. It has hexagonal crystals and is believed to occur only in the Mogok region of Myanmar. The originally discovered specimens of painite can be found on display at the British Museum of Natural History, the Gemological Institute of America, California Institute of Technology and the Switzerland Gem Research Laboratory.

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