Precious Commodities Worth More Gold

Gold, diamonds, and oil. People often categorize these goods as of high value. Even in the past, people have fought and lost their heads in pursuit of these commodities. But there are also other seemingly benign commodities—whether it’s medicinal tea or stinky fungus—that have exerted power over us for centuries.

The saffron war of 1374 lasted 14 weeks driven by a notion that the spice could cure plague. It couldn’t, but people still lost their heads over it. To this day, saffron still holds high value. At it’s peak value in 2014, saffron was worth $8.24 per gram. One gram of gold at that time would be worth 5 grams of saffron.

White truffles, a type of fungus, was worth $3.35 per gram in 2008. One gram of gold can buy 9 grams of white truffles at this time. In recent years, we had a downpour of rain, causing an influx of supply and sank wholesale prices by 30 percent.

Beluga caviar is harvested from wild beluga in the Caspian Sea. As demand of caviar rises, the more enticing it is for local fishermen to hunt belugas for their eggs. The cost of beluga caviar is the highest it has been, at $10 per gram.

Rhino horn was prized in Asia for its supposed medicinal values. In 2012, it peaked at $100 per gram, around 1.7 grams of gold. After education on rhino horns and its lack of medicinal value, the demand dropped and so did its value.

Da Hong Pao tea is famous for curing a 14th-century Ming Dynasty emperor’s mother. The tea leaves grew in the Wuyi Mountains and used to have a value of over $2,000 per gram. The prices dropped after cultivators found a way to grow the tea tree off the mountains. The tea now sells at $1,400 per gram, or $10,000 per pot.