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From gold to caviar: The most valuable substances in the world

GOBankingRates Logo By John Csiszar of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 27: Rare and precious items have always had a grip on the imagination of human beings. Since ancient times, beautiful, rare minerals like jade and gold have been revered, used in everything from jewelry for the wealthy to tombs for emperors. This fascination continues today. To a large degree, “value” is assigned to an object based on the long-standing economic principle of supply and demand. Namely, as demand increases and supply decreases, the price of an item will go up, and vice versa. However, sometimes other factors play a role. For example, the diamond industry has promulgated the idea that diamonds are extremely rare and valuable gems, and that every engagement ring should have a diamond. The reality is that diamonds are somewhat common. The DeBeers Corporation has played a major role in stockpiling diamonds and controlling their release to keep prices high, but this may change in the future if supply and demand catch up to the company’s marketing campaign. Rare and valuable, of course, are relative terms as well. Although all items on this list are considered expensive, the price ranges of these substances vary considerably. For example, To’Ak Chocolate is a luxury chocolate brand that is the most expensive in the world, charging $300 or more for a single bar. At $5 or more per gram, that’s quite pricey for chocolate. However, it’s not even in the same galaxy as antimatter, the most expensive item on the list. If you’re thinking of shelling out any of your hard-earned dollars for some of these legal and expensive substances, realize that their prices can fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. Before you invest, research which of these luxury items is most likely to retain its value. Last updated: June 23, 2020

A single gram of some substances can cost a mind-boggling sum

Rare and precious items have always had a grip on the imagination of human beings. Since ancient times, beautiful, rare minerals like jade and gold have been revered, used in everything from jewelry for the wealthy to tombs for emperors. This fascination continues today.

To a large degree, “value” is assigned to an object based on the long-standing economic principle of supply and demand. Namely, as demand increases and supply decreases, the price of an item will go up, and vice versa. However, sometimes other factors play a role.

For example, the diamond industry has promulgated the idea that diamonds are extremely rare and valuable gems, and that every engagement ring should have a diamond. The reality is that diamonds are somewhat common. The DeBeers Corporation has played a major role in stockpiling diamonds and controlling their release to keep prices high, but this may change in the future if supply and demand catch up to the company’s marketing campaign.

Rare and valuable, of course, are relative terms as well. Although all items on this list are considered expensive, the price ranges of these substances vary considerably. For example, To’Ak Chocolate is a luxury chocolate brand that is the most expensive in the world, charging $300 or more for a single bar. At $5 or more per gram, that’s quite pricey for chocolate. However, it’s not even in the same galaxy as antimatter, the most expensive item on the list.

If you’re thinking of shelling out any of your hard-earned dollars for some of these legal and expensive substances, realize that their prices can fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. Before you invest, research which of these luxury items is most likely to retain its value.

Click through the gallery above to see the most valuable substances in the world.

Last updated: June 23, 2020

© BlackJack3D / Getty Images/iStockphoto

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