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The Most Valuable Substance On Earth Isn’t What People Think

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Planet Earth is chock-full of amazing natural elements and materials. From platinum and gold to saffron and (gasp!) cocaine, there’s no shortage of valuable (and often illegal) substances available to prospective buyers.

Nevertheless, those in high demand tend to cost a pretty penny for people interested in acquiring them. While you might assume that the most expensive among them would be a precious jewel or diamond, that isn’t necessarily the case…

Here, we’ve collected the 17 most expensive materials found around the world. If you manage to get your hands on any of them, it’s important to just how lucky you are!

17. Saffron: $11 per gram. Not only is it a unique spice, but it’s also quite tasty and healthy. While it takes a great deal of time and effort to produce, it is nevertheless, coveted by people around the world for its unparalleled healing capabilities.

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16. Gold: $56 per gram. Far and away the most widely recognized expensive material on this list, gold is the go-to precious metal worn by people around the world. While relatively common, it does come at a high cost.

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15. Rhodium: $58 per gram. A metal stemming from the platinum group, rhodium is renowned for its extremely rare quality. In fact, it’s so rare that the earth’s crust is said to contain only one-thousandth of a gram of the stuff!

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14. Platinum: $60 per gram. A very rare precious metal, platinum is similar to gold in that it is resistant to several alkalis, acids, and many other compounds. It’s most widely recognized for its beautiful steel-like sheen.

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13. Methamphetamine: $60 per gram. It’s important to note that, while an expensive material, meth is an illegal drug. It gained even more notoriety when it became Walter White’s income source on the AMC program Breaking Bad.

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12. Rhinoceros horns: $110 per gram. Sadly, the poaching of rhinos has lead to the animal making an unfortunate appearance on the endangered species list. Their horns are coveted for their supposed medicinal qualities, but little evidence exists to support these benefits.

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11. Heroin: $130 per gram. This illegal opiate is noted for its abilities to drastically change a person’s perception of the world around them. Because of its illegal status, this extremely fatal drug is also very hard to find in a pure form.

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10. Cocaine: $220 per gram. Cocaine is one of the most expensive illegal drugs to be found worldwide, most likely because of its overall purity when compared to other substances. Nevertheless, it’s illegal for a reason…

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9. LSD: $3,000 per gram. A mood-changing, psychedelic drug, LSD (commonly known as acid) is made from lysergic acid. The reason this drug is so expensive for its semi-synthetic nature and because it’s extremely difficult to produce.

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8. Plutonium: $4,000 per gram. This extremely rare radioactive metal is most commonly used in nuclear weaponry as well as to fuel outward spacecrafts. When oxidized, it forms a dull coating; when exposed to air, it vanishes.

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7. Painite: $9,000 per gram. A mixture of orange and red-brown hues, this stone is so rare that there are only a couple hundred of them in existence. That could possibly help explain why most people have never even heard of it before!

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6. Taaffeite: $20,000 per gram. When it comes to rare stones, you can pretty much bet this this pinkish-violet beauty might be the most elusive. It’s so hard to find, in fact, that researchers say it’s a million times more rare than diamonds—hence the hefty price tag.

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5. Tritium: $30,000 per gram. This rare gas is used in some lighting fixtures, though not the ones in your home. You probably wouldn’t want to pay the cool $15 million that it takes to accumulate a pound of the stuff!

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4. Diamonds: $55,000 per gram. While easily the most widely recognized precious stone on the planet, diamonds are still extremely expensive. That’s why it still takes a lot of saving to be able to purchase one.

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3. Californium: $25-27 million per gram. This synthesized element was discovered during the 1950s and is the most expensive chemical element known to man. Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’ll probably never own any.

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2. Jade: $170 million per gram. Weighing approximately 200 tons, this jade stone—the world’s largest—was discovered in Myanmar mine. You have to imagine that, when it’s cut up into small gems for jewelry, those who found it stand to earn some serious cash.

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1. Antimatter: $62.5 trillion per gram. Scientists hope to one day use the Earth’s most expensive substance to fuel spacecrafts. Though, to produce a gram of this stuff would take an insurmountable amount of work. Even just one milligram would cost $25 million. Wow!

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We don’t often consider how many rare materials exist around us every day, but this is definitely going to inspire more people to pay attention.

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