Evernew Titanium Quartz is a very expensive material, with a price tag of $1,300 per kilogram.
But the mineral is in the minority of titanium crystals.
It is also one of the few rarest in the universe.
A new study shows it is one of only two rare minerals, along with rare earths, to have been discovered in an attempt to understand its evolution and origins.
The new research suggests that the material’s evolution may have occurred in the same place as the earliest known crystals, which were made by a supernova explosion.
The research has been published in the journal Nature.
“This study was really the first time we found this crystal of a very high-value mineral,” lead researcher Dr Simon Brown of the University of Adelaide said.
“It’s really the most expensive mineral on the planet.”
The study found that titanium, which is the fourth most common mineral in the earth’s crust, began to appear in the early days of Earth’s history when rocks were being formed.
These rocks, known as lithic rocks, contained a mineral called titanite.
This rock, which was a by-product of the collision of asteroids and comets, was made of a mixture of the elements silicate, a mineral known as garnet, and calcium carbonate.
The rock was first found in India in the 1980s.
However, the earliest evidence of titanium was found at the Kola meteorite in Indonesia, which contained a sample of a mineral that had previously been found at a site called Palu, which had been drilled by a Japanese team in the 1950s.
The Japanese team, led by Kazuaki Kobayashi, had found titanium in a rock sample that they had extracted from the meteorite, which later was sent to Japan for testing.
However the Japanese team also found traces of other minerals in the meteorites they had found, including titanium oxide and titanium carbonate, which the Japanese had mistaken for titanium.
“We were just looking at a few rocks and the Japanese scientists were saying ‘we can’t be sure that these minerals were the ones that were extracted’,” Dr Brown said.
In the years that followed, titanium became a major mineral in Japan.
The country’s mineral resource was a key factor in its success in building the world’s first nuclear power station, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
“It is a resource that can only be found in a very limited area,” Dr Brown explained.
“So the question is: why did it take so long for it to become an important mineral?”
One of the key factors in the discovery of the mineral, the researchers found, was the fact that it was first discovered in Japan, not in Indonesia.
Dr Brown and his team found titanium was present at the site of Palu when it was drilled by the Japanese.
However it was not until more than 20 years later that the mineral was found in Indonesia and Japan.
“The Japanese scientists found that they were right,” Dr Kibayashi said.
The discovery also gave scientists a clue about the origins of the ancient titanium.
Dr Kibo, who is also the chief scientist of the Japanese institute for mineralogy and geochemistry, has previously studied the mineral’s evolution.
“In the early 20th century, when it came to the development of the nuclear power industry, the Japanese started using it as a source of iron in the fuel rods,” he said.
This led to a new discovery in Japan: titanium oxide, a rare and precious mineral that was also present in other deposits in the rock.
This discovery allowed Dr Brown to conclude that titanium came from a meteorite impact in the late Miocene, when Earth’s crust was a little bit younger than today.
“At that time, the crust was very thin,” he explained.
This thin crust formed around a large asteroid that crashed into Earth’s core.
“You had a small impact on the crust, but it didn’t have any impact at all on the interior of the planet,” Dr Grew said.
It was this impact that allowed the mineral to be created.
“A lot of the titanium in the Earth’s mantle is titanium oxide.
Titanium is a pretty fragile mineral, so it’s very stable,” Dr Jia said.
However this stability does not guarantee that it is still there.
“Titanium is not an alloy, so the rocks are still changing,” Dr Miao said.
Titanium oxide is found in other rocks on Earth, and is also found in diamonds, though the amount is very small.
Dr Miu said titanium oxide would be extremely rare if it had not been discovered by the scientists.
“If there was no titanium in our rock, it wouldn’t be possible for us to see it,” she said.
Dr Greed said he was not surprised to find titanium at Palu.
“I always thought that it should be in the rocks, but the fact it was found there was just a surprise to me,” he told ABC Radio.