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What is the 3 rarest birthstone?

What is the 3 rarest birthstone?

Birthstones are gemstones that correspond to a person’s birth month. They are thought to bring good luck and have mystical powers. Most birthstones are relatively common gems that can be found in jewelry stores. However, some birthstones are incredibly rare, especially in larger sizes. These rare gems can command extremely high prices, with record-breaking auction sales in the millions. For collectors of fine jewelry or gemstones, the rarest birthstones are the most coveted.

What Makes a Gemstone Rare?

There are a few key factors that make a gemstone rare:

– Limited supply – Some gems are only found in a few locations worldwide, and the supply is very limited. This scarcity drives up prices.

– Difficult to cut – The physical characteristics of some gems make them incredibly difficult to cut and polish. Therefore, gem-quality stones are challenging to produce.

– Small mining output – For some rare gems, the total carats mined each year globally are very small, sometimes only a few thousand carats. This severely limits availability.

– High demand – The rarest gems are highly coveted by collectors and investors. Strong demand further increases limited supply.

– Record-setting prices – When rare gems sell for record prices at auction, it creates more demand and higher prices. This cycle continually raises the value of scarce stones.

The 3 Rarest Birthstones

After analyzing the factors that make gemstones rare, we can determine the 3 rarest modern birthstones:

1. Red beryl – January birthstone

2. Painite – December birthstone

3. Alexandrite – June birthstone

Next, we’ll look at each of these incredibly scarce birthstones in more detail.

#1 Red Beryl

Red beryl is the rarest and most expensive birthstone for January. This exquisite red gemstone is very sought-after for its raspberry-red color and brilliant clarity.

What makes it so rare?

– Only found in Utah – Red beryl is exclusively mined in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. Nowhere else on Earth produces gem-quality red beryl.

– Extremely small mining output – Worldwide production is only 1500 carats per year. To put that in perspective, a one-carat red beryl gemstone would be considered large. Most are under half a carat.

– Unique red color – The vibrant pure red color is unlike any other beryl variety and drives demand.

– High clarity – Most red beryl is “eye-clean”, meaning no visible inclusions to the naked eye, which boosts value.

– Small crystal formation – The hexagonal crystals that form red beryl are quite small, limiting the sizes of cut gemstones.


Due to its extreme rarity, red beryl demands very high prices:

– 1 carat – $10,000 to $15,000 per carat

– 5 carats – Over $50,000 per carat

The largest known faceted red beryl is 8.8 carats. Large crystals over 5 carats are almost never found, making sizable gems unobtainable.

#2 Painite

Discovered in the 1950s, painite is one of the rarest gem minerals on Earth. This makes it a fitting choice as the modern birthstone for December.

What makes it so rare?

– Extensively mined but still scarce – For decades, painite has been mined heavily in Myanmar. Yet it is still exceptionally rare.

– Only two source countries – Gem-quality painite is found mainly in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

– Very few crystals large enough to cut – Most painite crystals are small nodules less than half a carat. Only about 1% of painite mined is suitable for cutting into gems.

– Difficult cutting process – The physical properties of painite make it challenging to cut. Most painite is not cut as gemstones.

– Discovered recently – Painite was unknown before the 1950s, so there were no historical specimens.


Due to painite’s extreme rarity, it has skyrocketed in price recently:

– 1 carat – $3,000 to $6,000 on average

– 5 carats – Over $50,000 per carat, sometimes exceeding $100,000 per carat

The largest known faceted painite is 198.6 carats. Pieces over 5 carats are exceptionally rare and valuable.

#3 Alexandrite

Alexandrite is one of the rarest, most expensive gemstones of any kind. It is the primary birthstone for the month of June.

What makes it so rare?

– Extremely scarce source locations – Gem-quality alexandrite is mainly found in Russia’s Ural Mountains and a few locations in Sri Lanka. Other deposits rarely produce fine alexandrite.

– Very small mining output – Only about 50,000 carats of alexandrite are mined per year. Of that, only a tiny fraction is top-quality gem material.

– Challenging cutting process – The hardness, strong pleochroism, and tendency toward inclusions make alexandrite very difficult to cut into fine gems. Much rough is lost in the process.

– Unique color change – Alexandrite’s ability to change from green to red-purple is highly desirable. This color change is rare in other gemstones.

– High demand – The scarcity and special traits of alexandrite drive high demand, especially for fine gems over 2 carats. This further raises prices.


Due to its rarity and allure, alexandrite commands exceptionally high prices:

– 1 carat – $12,000 per carat on average

– 5 carats – $50,000 to $70,000 per carat, sometimes more

Fine alexandrites over 5 carats are world-class rarities worth millions. The largest known alexandrite gem is 66 carats.

Rarest Birthstones Chart

Birthstone Price Per Carat – 1 carat Price Per Carat – 5 carat
Red beryl $10,000 to $15,000 Over $50,000
Painite $3,000 to $6,000 Over $50,000
Alexandrite $12,000 $50,000 to $70,000


The rarest birthstones – red beryl, painite, and alexandrite – are prized for their extremely limited supply, challenge to cut, and record-setting auction prices. Their prices per carat skyrocket for larger stones over 5 carats. For gem collectors, the opportunity to own one of these scarce birthstones is the pinnacle. Even a single carat holds great value, both monetary and in its meaning and beauty as a birthstone treasure.