Alexandrite Sources and Markets
If you love alexandrite rings, estate necklaces and vintage bracelets you’ll want to know a little something about alexandrite itself. There is nothing like the color changing alexandrite found 200 years ago in the Ural Mountains. Those fine stones can be found in estate jewelry, museums and with private collectors. Now, Sri Lanka is one of the major sources of alexandrite and can be larger in size than the Russian alexandrite but their color is not as fine.
The green is more yellowish and the reds are more brownish. Alexandrite is also found in Brazil. Large deposits were found in the Minas Gerais in the 1980’s and again in the Lavra de Hematita. People were drawn to the stone once again. In 1997, a very fine Brazilian alexandrite of 11.08 carats sold for $382,680 dollars. It compared to the finest Russian alexandrite and its color changed from teal green to plum red. The mining in Lavra de Hematita became explosive and the government covered the mines with dirt to settle the fighting over the mining rights for those frantically digging for the gem.
Although mining in Brazil is sporadic the future potential for alexandrite is immense. The finest stones from Brazil produced in 1980 has dwindled. Those finer gemstones were purchased in Japan between 1980-2000. The United States is currently the largest market for alexandrite. Alexandrite can also be found in India, Myanmar’s Mogok Stone Track and in Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania’s Lake Mayara. India is currently the main source. Because of alexandrite scarcity, especially in large stones, it is considered one of the most expensive gemstones. It will never be mass produced because of its rarity and its expense to the consumer. Average retail price for the finest quality alexandrite in the one carat plus range is up to $100,000 dollars per carat.