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Alexandrite – The Color Changing Gem

So you want to find out about the color changing alexandrite before purchasing an estate alexandrite ring, a vintage bracelet or a necklace.  To follow are some interesting facts about this rare and beautiful stone. Rare alexandrite is a color-changing stone of chrysoberyl.  The highest quality changes from vivid green in daylight to raspberry red in incandescent light. It was discovered in Russia in the Ural Mountain range in 1830.  Other deposits of alexandrite are found in Brazil, India, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Because the colors of the Imperial Russian flag are the same colors as the color changing alexandrite, they named the gem after the empire’s Czar Alexander II. For many years, this gem was mined only for the royal family.  The discovery created excitement not only for the Russian people but for the rest of the world as well. “The alexandrite effect” is known for its dramatic color change, unlike any other color changing stone such as color changing sapphires or garnets.  Alexandrite over three carats are very rare.

Alexandrite Qualities

Only hue is changed by the alexandrite effect.  The tone and saturation, also important to any colored stone, will remain the same.  The best alexandrite hues do not match the best quality of emeralds or rubies but because of its color changing effect, it’s like having two rings for the price of one. “Alexandrite hues range from very strong bluish green through yellowish green in daylight, and orangy red through purple red in incandescent light”, according to the Gemological Institute of America.  The best color change is bluish green to red through purplish red. A flat colored alexandrite is less likely to show the beautiful change in color. Alexandrite is a hard stone, 8.5 on the Mohs scale for hardness.  It is a great gem for alexandrite rings and other jewelry that is worn every day. Alexandrite is the birthstone for June.

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