Learn English – What’s an alternative for “hidden gem”


Hidden gems is an idiom which means something which is extremely outstanding and not many people may know about; for example, Blame It on Rio by Stanley Donen is a good movie, but relatively unknown by the mainstream world, hence a hidden gem.

Hidden gem however does seem to be informal, is there an alternative phrase for this which I can use in a formal context?

It is also known as a diamond in the rough, which is defined as;

someone or something whose good qualities are hidden

Best Answer

I don't know if there is an idiom that covers everything, but you may find use in these:

few and far between (rare and difficult to find)

very few; few and widely scattered. Get some gasoline now. Service stations on this highway are few and far between.

Some people think that good movies are few and far between.


  1. Insufficient to meet a demand or requirement; short in supply: Fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought.
  2. Hard to find; absent or rare: Steel pennies are scarce now except in coin shops.

once in a blue moon (rare event)

Rarely, once in a very long time, as in We only see our daughter once in a blue moon. This term is something of a misnomer, because an actual blue moon-that is, the appearance of a second full moon in the same calendar month-occurs every 32 months or so. Further, the moon can appear blue in color at any time, depending on weather conditions. [Early 1800s]

hole in one (rare achievement)

A perfect achievement, as in Tim scored a hole in one on that test. The term alludes to a perfect stroke in golf, where one drives the ball from the tee into the hole with a single stroke. [c. 1900]