A highly-valuable variety of chrysoberyl, alexandrite displays a color-change result due to the existence of chromium atoms within its internal crystal structure. The two hues shown by top-end alexandrites are pure green in daylight and pure red under the synthetic incandescent source of lights, therefore giving rise to the phrase “emerald by day, ruby by night”. However, the color-shift observed in the majority of natural material tends to be somewhat less extreme (e.g. bluish-green to purplish-violet), and stones possessing the above-mentioned perfect hues ought to be thought of being synthetic in origin or possibly from various gem types entirely (e.g. color-change garnet).

Alexandrite was very first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains during the 1830s and was called after the future Tsar Alexander II who was coming of age around that time. The gem has since been found in several other localities, with just Brazilian alexandrite of comparable quality to the now-depleted Russian product.

Birthstone – Alexandrite

Alexandrite is the birthstone for the month of June (along with the pearl) and the Anniversary stone for the 55th year of marriage.
Meaning of alexandrite
Given that the discovery of alexandrite, the gems have been thought to bring luck, good fortune and love. In Russia, it is considered to be a stone of great omen. It is thought to bring balance in the interaction between the physical manifest world and the unmanifest spiritual, or the celestial world. It opens the crown chakra, bringing one access to the warm, healing energy and love of the universe. It is likewise said to reinforce creativity, intuition, and imagination.
Alexandrite encourages romance. It is likewise stated that through the stone, joy gets in the lives of individuals with excessive self-control. The stone reminds us of our purpose in life and our origin. It promises to those who remain in anguish about their lives. It brings strength and constantly reminds them of the light. With its change of color, it is a reminder that life is not just what it appears to be.
There are also ways alexandrites stated to assist in physical conditions. They are advised for those recuperating from surgery or a prolonged disease. They have the ability to help the system to bring back physical and internal energy. They may likewise be of worth to those who deal with chronic disorders. Contemporary practitioners of crystal recovery claim the gems is helpful in dealing with afflictions of the spleen and pancreas along with the regrowth of neurological tissues and in treating Leukemia.
Alexandrites are also helpful for one’s emotional well being, along with promoting self-esteem and the capability to be pleased of the world around us. The stone assists one in developing “inner energy changes” which refer age and maturation. Alexandrites can aid in focusing on oneself. Metaphysicians state alexandrite crystals may be utilized to help one go back to the origin of time and to get in touch with the start of one’s development.

How is alexandrite formed?

Alexandrite is the uncommon colour-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Its rarity is a result of its unlikely chemical makeup. Alexandrite can just form when aluminium and beryllium integrate with micronutrient like iron, titanium and, most notably, chromium. In unusual cases, vanadium may likewise be present. The unlikelihood of the uncommon aspect chromium being in the ideal place to integrate with aluminium and beryllium under exactly the best conditions to create alexandrite is what makes it so uncommon and important

The most sensational feature about this stone, nevertheless, is its amazing ability to change its colour. Green or bluish-green in daylight, alexandrite turns a soft shade of red, purplish-red or raspberry red in incandescent light. This unique optical particular makes it among the most important gemstones of all, specifically in great qualities.
Alexandrite is extremely rare: this is because of its chemical structure. It is basically a chrysoberyl, a mineral consisting of yellow or colourless transparent chrysoberyl, chrysoberyl cat’s eye and colour-changing alexandrite. It varies from other chrysoberyls in that it not only consists of iron and titanium, also chromium as a significant element. And it is this very aspect which presents incredible colour modification. Hardly ever, vanadium may also play a part. According to CIBJO classification, just chrysoberyls showing a unique modification of colour may be called alexandrite.
Like lots of other gems, alexandrite emerged millions of years ago in a metamorphic environment. However, unlike many others, its development required specific geological conditions. The chemical elements beryllium (a major constituent in chrysoberyl) and chromium (the colouring agent in alexandrite) have contrasting chemical characteristics and do not occur together, usually being discovered in contrasting rock types. Not only has Nature brought these contrasting rock types into contact with each other, however a lack of the chemical element silica (the 2nd most typical component in the Earth’s crust) is likewise needed to avoid the formation of emerald. This geological scenario has taken place just rarely in the Earth’s history and, as a result, alexandrite crystals are really scarce.

Alexandrite Characteristics

  • Hardness – 8.5 
  • Colors – Varies in color with incident light: green, blue-green, or pale green in daylight; mauve, violet to red, purplish in incandescent light.
  • Transparency – opaque to transparent
  • Chemical composition – BeAl2O4
  • Tenacity – brittle 
  • Crystal system – Orthorhombic
  • Crystal habit – Crystals tabular or short prismatic, prominently striated
  • Specific gravity – 3.73
  • Refractive index – 1.746 to 1.755
  • Pleochroism – Deep red/orange-yellow/green
  • Fluorescence – Weak red, synthetic: common stronger reactions

Common Inclusions in alexandrite

Alexandrite tends to contain very few inclusions. There’s a dramatic rise in value for clean material with good color change and strong colors.
When certain types of long, thin inclusions are oriented parallel to each other, they can create an additional phenomenon called chatoyancy, or the cats-eye effect, increasing the alexandrite’s value
Aalexandrite is comparable to ruby, with clean faceted stones in sizes above one carat being rare and extremely rare in sizes above 2–3 carats. Negative crystals and parallel rutile silk are common inclusions.

Common alexandrite cutting styles

As with any gems exhibiting pleochroism, alexandrites present an obstacle to cutters. When illuminated, they have to ensure that both colors of the stone will appear deal with up.

Alexandrites are typically cut into shapes known as mixed-cuts. These contain brilliant cut crowns and step-cut structures. For stones that are extremely included, the cat’s eye cabochon produces a great cut. This type of cut shows alexandrite’s gorgeous reflection of the light coming from the cat’s eye impact.

Treatment of alexandrite

Alexandrite can not be enhanced by any sort of thermal treatment. Some have actually attempted, heat treatment does not seem to impact alexandrite at all. Some lower quality split alexandrites are oiled to conceal the cracks but beyond that, alexandrite is not known to be dealt with in any method.

Some consumers choose cat’s eyes with brownish colors and chrysoberyl cat’s eyes can be irradiated to produce this color. This kind of treatment is not common and is easy to spot by any of the well-known laboratories that are set up for that.

Synthetic alexandrite

The majority of gemstones referred to as synthetic alexandrite are actually synthetic corundum laced with vanadium to produce the color change. This alexandrite like sapphire material has been around for nearly 100 years. The product shows a particular purple-mauve colour modification which although attractive, it doesn’t truly look like alexandrite because there is never ever any green. The stones will be very clean and might be available in large sizes. Gemological screening will expose a refractive index of 1.759 – 1.778 (corundum) instead of 1.741 – 1.760 (chrysoberyl). Under zoom, gas bubbles and curved stria may appear. When taken a look at with a spectroscope a strong vanadium absorption line at 475 nm will be apparent.

A number of these stones were sold to travellers in Mexico and in Egypt, Alexandria (alexandrite is not mined in alexandria), after the Second World War and still exist in private collections or as inheritances. Gemologists still receive many queries about these old and now inherited alexandrite purchased by an aunt or a grandmother in Egypt or someplace else and nearly all of them are synthetic alexandrite like corundum.

Today, a number of laboratories can produce synthetic lab-grown stones with the same chemical and physical properties as natural alexandrite and these stones are harder to recognize. Because synthetic alexandrite shares the same chemical and physical homes with natural alexandrite and regular gemological tests for density and refractive index will be of little use and gemologists need to use magnification to study the inclusions in order to identify the origin of the material. Synthetic alexandrite may include curved striations, flux inclusions, triangular metal platelets, or gas bubbles, depending upon the growth method used.

Flux grown alexandrite is more difficult to recognize because the inclusions of un-dissolved flux can appear like natural inclusions. Alexandrite grown by the flux-melt process will consist of particles of flux, resembling liquid feathers with a refractive index and particular gravity that echo that of the natural material. Layers of dust-like particles parallel to the seed plate, and strong banding or growth lines might also appear. Some stones contain groups of parallel unwanted crystals. Flux grown alexandrite, are more difficult to spot because the colors are convincing and because they are not clean. These stones are pricey to make and are grown in platinum crucibles. Crystals of platinum might still be evidence in the cut stones.

Due to the fact that it is so clean, Czochralski or pulled alexandrite is simpler to recognize. Curved striations noticeable with zoom are a fixed distribute. The color change in cut stones has actually seen a change from blue to red. The stones look good, the colour change doesn’t look like alexandrite from any deposit. Seiko synthetic alexandrite has a swirled internal structure characteristic of the drifting zone approach of synthesis. They have tadpole inclusions (with long tails) and round bubbles.

The Inamori synthetic alexandrite had a cat’s eye variety, which showed a unique colour change. The eye was broad and of moderate strength. Specimens were a dark greyish-green with slightly purple overtones under fluorescent lighting. The eye was a little greenish-bluish-white and the stones were dull and oily. They appeared to be inclusion-free and under a strong incandescent light in the long direction, asterism might be seen with two rays weaker than the eye. This has not been reported in natural alexandrite. Under a loupe, parallel striations could be seen along the length of the cabochon and the striations were undulating instead of directly, once again not a feature of natural alexandrite.

The precious jewelry industry officially insists on full disclosure regarding the nature of the gem material being offered and the significant producers of synthetic gems actively support these policies. And although synthetic alexandrite is extensively used for fashion jewelry, it is mainly used as a laser. Alexandrite lasers were initially investigated and established by AlliedSignal Corp. The company invested over $100 million in establishing alexandrite laser systems and in the growth of high-quality laser product. They were first established for military and government applications.

Properties determining the value of alexandrite

To know just how much your alexandrite deserves, consider these two elements: color modification and color worth. A stone’s color may appear abundant however might not change much. A brownish-green stone may alter by only 50% to reddish brown. Alexandrite like this yield less worth than that of a less saturated stone, state a medium green color that has a 100% color change to a medium red. The greater the portion of modification, the greater the worth and the closer the colors are to pure green/pure red, the more valuable the stone becomes.

Pure greens/reds are more valuable because these can show greater color contrast. The most valued stones would be the richly colored pure green/pure red pieces with 100% color change.

History of alexandrite 

It is an extremely uncommon gems and a relatively contemporary one to boot. It does not share the ancient history and lore of most other gems due to the truth that it was first found in the 19th Century. The name Alexandrite comes from the reality that the gemstone was very first found in the emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1830, on the day of Prince Alexander II of Russia’s birthday. The story of the stone’s discovery goes like this: Miners were working alone in the mountains one day, gathering emeralds. One miner collected some stones, which appeared like emeralds and took them back to the camp at the end of the day. However, in the light of the campfire, the stones shone a brilliant shade of red! The miners were astonished. When morning came and they saw that the stones were green again in the light, they realized that they had actually discovered a new and strange gem.
In 1839, the stones were identified and named “alexandrites.” Because the stones appeared red or green, the very same colors as Old Imperial Russia’s military colors, the stone ended up being the nationwide stone of tsarist Russia. In time, alexandrite would turn into one of the most prized gems among Russian Aristocracy. However, the abundance of alexandrites in Russia did not last permanently. Virtually all of Russia’s alexandrite was mined during the 19th Century. However, just when the gems were believed to be headed to extinction, even larger deposits were discovered in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, the island south of India. Later, Brazil became another factor to the world supply of the stone.
While Alexandrites discovered popularity in the fashion jewelry stores of St. Petersburg, Russia and Paris, France, it was America’s Tiffany Company that appears to have actually done the most to popularize the gem. George Kunz, Tiffany’s master gem buyer, fell definitely in love with the gem and took a trip to Russia searching for it. Nobody knows precisely just how much of the gemstone he purchased, however, Tiffany reserved so large, that it cornered the market on the stone for years. For much of the 20th Century, there were no new discoveries of the mineral, and so it became really rare. Then in 1987, a new discovery was made at Hematite, Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 1993, there was another significant discovery on the border of Tanzania and Mozambique.

Sources of alexandrite

Numerous sources presume that gems from the African Continent will constantly usually have a darker or browner tone. This assumption neglects the fact that a few of the finest Alexandrites produced in the market today have actually originated from Madagascar, and can have a Blue-Green Color under daytime. Lower quality Alexandrites from Madagascar can have brown dominant hue. Normally, muddy green color frequently seen under daylight will usually have a brown modifier under incandescent light. The best Alexandrites from Madagascar will always appear green dominant. The purity of the green is preferably modified with a bluish tone. The purple will also have a pink-purple intensity that measures up to high-quality Alexandrites from other sources.

Indian Alexandrites are known for a distinct pure green dominant daylight appearance. The daylight color normally appears in a richer grassy green shade. The incandescent color is usually not as dramatic in its purple. In truth, the purple intensity can be referred to as medium to light in saturation. Regardless of the limited production, an occasional blue-green to rich purple Alexandrite from India will emerge.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Commonly referred to as the “Island of Gems”. It is no surprise that the popular exotic country produces Alexandrites. Alexandrites from Sri Lanka tend to have a yellowish-green appearance in daylight. Ceylon Alexandrites are likewise generally larger than Alexandrites discovered in other countries. Although for larger pieces, they will not typically have a strong color change. The bigger size Alexandrites with strong color change from Sri Lanka remain extraordinarily rare.

Our experience in time has revealed us that differentiating Madagascar and Ceylon Alexandrites is really difficult. The reality is that local suppliers source rough alexandrite from Madagascar and cut the material in Sri Lanka. When polished, suppliers may misplace a product’s real source. Yellowish-Green Alexandrites from Sri Lanka will typically have the same lighter hue modifier under incandescent light.

The most treasured origin of Alexandrite. Russian Alexandrites are known to come from the Ural mountains. Discovering gem quality Alexandrite over 1 carat from Russia today is extraordinarily difficult. The rough that comes from Russia is typically Emerald, and any existence of Alexandrite is normally poor quality. Many commentaries refer to Alexandrite as “Emerald by day, Ruby by night,” is likely to be referring to Russian Alexandrites that show such dramatic color change. Russian Alexandrites with blue-green colors can be confused with any source. Old cutting, or faceting might provide credit to origin identification. A lack of inclusions will likewise make it challenging for recognizing Russian material.

Tanzanian Alexandrites stay elusive. Labs have problems categorizing this origin due to its strikingly similar attributes of both Brazil and Madagascar. Alexandrites from Tanzania in our experience usually display a lighter Mediterranean Bluish-Green color under daylight. Under incandescent light, the Tanzanian Alexandrites that we have seen nearly always reveal a significant color change.

In the early 1980’s, a significant mine of Alexandrite deposits was found in Brazil. Typically described as the “Hematita” mine, the discovery immediately led to an increase of independent miners to the location. One can say this was the “Gold Rush” of Alexandrites that quickly diminished out after 12 weeks of digging. Premium Brazilian Alexandrites appears abundant bluish-green under daylight and changes into an extreme purple in incandescent light.

Although labs will never ever depend on look alone to categorize this origin, when you see a Brazilian Alexandrite, its particular color ends up being a unique shade in your color combination.

Famous alexandrite

Whitney Alexandrite

Gifted to the Smithsonian by Coralyn Wright Whitney, this is one of the finest examples of Alexandrite. Sadly we don’t know much about its history other than the fact that it emerged from the Hematita Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Exactly when, we don’t know. Its remarkable size and color make it almost impossibly rare. Whitney herself was a research professor at the University of Washington. On retirement, she pursued her childhood passion for rock hunting going so far as to get professional degrees from GIA. As you can imagine, she was well aware of this Alexandrite’s value.

Alexandrite jewelry

How to choose an alexandrite?

How do you know if it’s a real alexandrite?

As this gemstone is very rare and tough to discover, numerous types of synthetic or fake Alexandrites are offered in the market to trick individuals. These replicas are cost the rates of real gems therefore, one must inspect properly for the credibility of the gem prior to buying it.

If you will see a natural Alexandrite in daytime, it will seem bluish-green. If resembles the color of an Emerald, the strength is this green color is directly proportional to the cost of the gem; costliest. In halogen or candescent light, this green color ought to alter to reddish-purple to purple; finest if resembles the color of a Ruby.

If an Alexandrite is scratched across the surface area, it leaves a white streak or trail, marking its authenticity, however ruins the face of the gem, so this test can be prevented. Just the natural Alexandrites have inclusions, as they are made over centuries by nature. On the other hand, the synthetic Alexandrites will be completely flawless and with no inclusions. While the majority of the inclusions of these gems are microscopic, these should be examined effectively. These gems do have some inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. Such inclusions look like black dots inside the body of the gem. Apart from such inclusions, Alexandrite gems have veil like smooth threads, which indicate their credibility and natural origin.

If it has dark and light bands of colors across its body, place the Alexandrite on a plain white paper and notice. That implies the gems is an artificial Alexandrite if these bands are predetermined.

Does alexandrite increase in value?

It is a color-changing variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Its chemical composition, which reacts oppositely to different sources of lights, is accountable for the stone’s exceptional color-change. It turns from a blue-green color in daytime to a red-purple at night. Due to the limited amount of supply, Alexandrite is among the rarest great gemstones.

The rare nature of these gems contributes to its increase in price. Since its discovery, Alexandrite has progressively gone up in rate. In the last 5 years, Alexandrite has increased by 15% per year! Compare that to the 5 years typical return for large development equity funds at 13%. Alexandrite has a long history that has made it the secret financial investment for the world’s billionaires.
Alexandrite has actually long been a gem that has flown under the radar; no record-breaking auction rates, no large marketing campaigns, no films made about it. It has gone up gradually in rate year after year. When many people think of investing in gemstones, they instantly think diamonds. Diamonds are only considered excellent investments when they are colored. The typical diamond that is offered in daily precious jewelry shops has seen drops over the previous five years. Simply in the first half of 2015, diamond prices dropped 10% (compared to Alexandrite increase of 10%). Great for consumers, bad for financial investments.

Diamonds have actually long been seen as the rarest of them all, however that only holds true for flawless and colored ones. Truly rare gems are the ones like Alexandrite, Emerald and Paraiba Tourmaline. The increases in price are due to basic supply and demand. Alexandrite is the birthstone of June and is desired by collectors and gemstone enthusiast all over the world, the production coming out of the mine simply can not keep up. As a matter of truth, production in Brazil is practically non-existent.
Gemstone financial investment is different from any standard investment. It’s something that is concrete, it can suit your pocket, and holds value throughout the world. Financial investment grade Alexandrite is something that will no longer be around in 50 years. Investments have long been synonymous with Wall Street. We’ve been taught there are just a couple of methods to invest our cash, and all of them are through Wall Street. There is a shiny, little, color-changing gem they call Alexandrite that has exceeded the smartest and brightest fund supervisors.

How to take care of alexandrite jewerly?

With a hardness of 8.5, Alexandrite is a hard, tough, and resilient gem that does not require any unique attention. Still, even the hardest gems can shatter with a single well-placed blow so care is always a good idea. Washing meals with your alexandrite ring on is most likely not sensible however absolutely, do not repair your car or fix the pipes with your alexandrite ring on.

The very best method to tidy alexandrite fashion jewelry remains in a bowl of water with a few drops of ordinary detergent. Simply rinse and dry with a soft fabric. Alexandrite fashion jewelry can likewise be cleaned up in an ultrasonic bath or steam cleaned up without any issues. To keep your alexandrite ring looking brilliant, remove it before vigorous exercise or dealing with your hands. When eliminating your ring, don’t pull it off by the gems. this won’t damage the alexandrite however it can with time stretch the metal that holds it in the location making the setting less protected.

Don’t save your jewelry items in pile or a tangle in a drawer. Alexandrites and other gemstones can scratch each other and also harm the surface on the metal work so store every fashion jewelry item independently in its own private bag or compartment.

Affordable alternative 

Color Change Garnet can sometimes be found with a color change that is extremely similar to Alexandrite.  It is quite rare but not so much as to demand the same price as natural Alexandrite.  Although this is a natural gem, it would have to be considered an imitation Alexandrite.