Learn About Gemstone Alexandrite While Choosing An Alexandrite Jewelry Piece For Yourself.

Alexandrite is a unique form of the mineral chrysoberyl, an aluminate of beryllium. As a variety of Chrysoberyl, Alexandrite belongs to the same family of gemstones as emerald. It’s color-changing properties and its scarcity (it is rarer than diamonds) is due to an exceedingly rare combination of minerals that includes titanium, iron, chromium and Beryllium.

12x10mm Oval Gem Quality Chatham Cultured Lab-Grown Color-Change Alexandrite 5.53-6.75 Ct
12x10mm Oval Gem Quality Chatham Cultured Lab-Grown Color-Change Alexandrite 5.53-6.75 Ct
Notice The Dramatic Color Change of The Alexandrite
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Chrysoberyl is found in granite rocks, alluvial deposits, pegmatites and mica schist. Most of the Chrysoberyl that is mined is usually found in river sand.

Alexandrite is a genuinely incredible gemstone, owing to the fact that it can actually undergo dramatic shifts in color depending on what kind of light it’s in. Let us be clear: this color change is independent of your viewing angle; a gemstone that shifts colors when you rotate it in your hand, is said to be pleochroic, and while alexandrite is strongly pleochroic, it can also change colors independently of viewing angle when viewed under an artificial light source.

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14kt Gold Lab Alexandrite and Diamond 5mm Square Antique Style Ring F Peora 14K White Gold Heart Simulated Alexandrite Diamond Ring H 14kt Gold Lab Alexandrite and Diamond 8mm Heart Halo Heart Earrings G

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The finest examples of this gemstone change color from mossy green in daylight (or fluorescent light) to raspberry red in incandescent light. This color change is the most spectacular in the gem kingdom.

You are bound to fall in love with this magical color changing stone. As per the CIBJO nomenclature, only chrysoberyls displaying a distinct color change can be termed as Alexandrite.

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Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Simulated Alexandrite Ring Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Ring Simulated Alexandrite Jewelry

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The scientific explanation of this magical color change lies in the stone’s composition. Alexandrite is a unique variety of chrysoberyl. It is different from other chrysoberyls because it contains Chromium as a major impurity in addition to the usual impurities like Iron & Titanium found in other chrysoberyls. Chromium causes the dramatic color change to occur in the stone. Rarely though, Vanadium may also play a part in it.

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Four Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold Natural Alexandrite Jewelry
Brilliant Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold Natural Alexandrite Jewelry

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Its unique & difficult chemical composition makes Alexandrite an extremely scarce gemstone.

Like most other gemstones, Alexandrite takes shape over the course of millions of years in a high pressure high temperature metamorphic environment. But unlike other gemstones, its creation requires a very specific set of geological conditions.

Tommaso Design Heart Shape Round 7mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant
Tommaso Design Heart Shape Round 7mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant

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The element beryllium is a major constituent in all chrysoberyls including Alexandrites. Chromium is the coloring agent in Alexandrites. Beryllium & Chromium have conflicting chemical characteristics & do not occur together in nature. As a rule they are found in dissimilar rock types.

Peora 14K White Gold Heart Simulated Alexandrite Diamond Ring 14kt Gold Lab Alexandrite and Diamond 4mm Square Three Stone Ring Tommaso Design Oval 12x10mm Simulated Alexandrite and Diamond Ring Alexandrite Jewelry
Peora 14K White Gold Heart Simulated Alexandrite Diamond Ring 14kt Gold Lab Alexandrite and Diamond 4mm Square Three Stone Ring Tommaso Design Oval 12x10mm Simulated Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

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For giving birth to the gemstone Alexandrite, nature has not only conspired to bring these contrasting rock types together but also eliminated the presence of Silica (second most abundant element on Earth) from this vicinity. Absence of silica prevents the growth of emerald. The scenario with such a specific set of stipulations required for Alexandrites to come into existence occurs rarely in nature. This makes the Alexandrite crystals very rare indeed.

Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 8mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant
Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 8mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant

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An alexandrite of more than one carat weight is rarer than a fine ruby, sapphire or emerald. It is so rare that fine stones are mined only sporadically today. On account of its rarity, it is hardly ever used in modern jewelry. You might come across one in antique Russian jewelry as the Russian master jewelers loved this stone.

Tommaso Design Earrings Simulated Oval Alexandrite Jewelry Tommaso Design Pear Shape Earrings Simulated Alexandrite Jewelry Tommaso Design Oval Earrings Simulated Alexandrite Jewelry
Tommaso Design Earrings Simulated Oval Alexandrite Jewelry Tommaso Design Pear Shape Earrings Simulated Alexandrite Jewelry Tommaso Design Oval Earrings Simulated Alexandrite Jewelry

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Alexandrite Legend and Lore:

One of the most intriguing gems, Alexandrite was first discovered while mining for emeralds along Russia’s Ural mountain ranges near the Tokovaya River in April 1834.

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Oval Russian Lab Created Alexandrite Scroll Stud Earrings in 14K Yellow Gold Tommaso Design Oval 8x6mm Simulated Alexandrite Earrings Peora 14K White Gold Half Marquise Simulated Alexandrite Diamond Earrings

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Legend has it that the miners in an emerald mine discovered a vein of what they thought were more emerald. But when they observed their discovery by the light of the campfire in the evening, they were astounded to see that the rough rock now revealed a reddish hue instead of the earlier emerald green.

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Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold Natural Round Alexandrite Jewelry Diamond Ring in 14 Karat Yellow Gold Natural Gemstone Alexandrite Jewelry

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Ostensibly, the discovery was made on the birthday of the boy tsar Alexander II (1818-1881) on the occasion of his coming off age. As such the stone was named as Alexandrite after the future tsar. The stone is also known as tsarstone.

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Natural Alexandrite Two Brilliant Diamonds Ring in 14 K Yellow Gold Natural Gemstone Alexandrite And Brilliant Diamond Ring in 14 Karat Yellow Gold Beautiful Natural Alexandrite And Ten Brilliant Diamond Ring in 14 K Yellow Gold

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The old Russian Imperial Colors were red & green, so Alexandrite was only mined for the royalty at that time. It inevitably became the national stone of tsarist Russia.

In time, alexandrite became one of the most prized gemstones amongst Russian Aristocracy. It became extremely popular in Russian antique jewelry because it was greatly admired by the old master Russian jewelry designers. Victorian jewelers used the smaller Alexandrite gemstones in Victorian jewelry too.

Alexandrite Necklace Beads With Sterling Silver Clasp

Alexandrite Necklace Beads With Sterling Silver Clasp

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Tiffany’s master gemmologist George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932) was also completely fascinated by alexandrite. He fell so much in love with this gemstone that he traveled to Russia in search of it.

It is not exactly known as to how much of the gemstone he bought, but Tiffany held a reserve sizable enough to be able to dominate the market for the stone for decades together. They produced some exquisite series of Alexandrite rings and Alexandrite platinum ensembles at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

Tommaso Design Oval 7x5mm Simulated Alexandrite And Genuine Diamond Ring (Notice The Color Change)

Tommaso Design(tm) Oval 7x5mm Simulated Alexandrite And Genuine Diamond Ring

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Alexandrite: Quality, Value and Availability:

Alexandrite is exceptionally rare and precious in fine qualities.

The gemstone is also known as phenomena gemstone for its stunning ability to change color. This phenomenon makes Alexandrite one of the most expensive gemstones in finer qualities and larger sizes.

It is its color, or more appropriately, “colors” that give alexandrite its unique quality.

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18K White Gold, High Natural Alexandrite and Diamond Ring 14kt Gold Lab Alexandrite and Diamond Square Antique Style Ring

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The choicest colors are warm ‘ruby’ red & lush ‘emerald’ green. But this benchmark is almost never achieved. These are the striking hues of the original Russian alexandrite. If the origin of a particular Alexandrite gemstone is known beyond dispute to be Russia, it is a real rarity of enormous value. Alexandrite from other locations tends to be less vivid in different degrees.

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14 Karat White Gold Cushion Cut 2.50 Carats Created Alexandrite Stud Earrings 14 Karat White Gold Oval Shape 2.00 Carats Created Alexandrite Stud Earrings 14 Karat White Gold Heart Shape 2.00 Carats Created Alexandrite Stud Earrings

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While appraising an alexandrite, pay closest attention to its color change. The more spectacular and complete the shift from red to green, with no bleeding through of brown or grey, from one color to the next, the more valuable & singular is the stone.

The other important value factors are:

  • Attractiveness of the stone.
  • Intensity of the two colors.
  • Clarity
  • Color quality.
Switch-It Gems Simulated Alexandrite Pendant

Switch-It Gems Simulated Alexandrite Pendant

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As the gemstone is extraordinarily rare, large sizes of finer quality command very high premiums.

Alexandrite is most often faceted into oval and cushion cuts. Finely faceted alexandrite above one carat is among the most expensive gemstones in the world, rarer than fine ruby, sapphire or emerald.

At 8.5 on the Moh’s scale, it is surpassed in hardness only by diamond and corundum.

Tommaso Design Oval 6x4 mm Simulated Alexandrite Heart Pendant Tommaso Design Oval 5x3 mm Simulated Alexandrite Heart Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant
Tommaso Design Oval 6×4 mm Simulated Alexandrite Heart Pendant Tommaso Design Oval 5×3 mm Simulated Alexandrite Heart Pendant Tommaso Design Heart Shape 6 mm Simulated Alexandrite Pendant

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Alexandrite Sources:

Russia remained the primary source of Alexandrite from the time the gems were originally discovered in the mines of the Ural Mountains.

But this original source has long since closed after producing the gems for only a few decades. Very few Russian stones can be seen on the market today. The best of these are outstandingly true red & green.

Peora 14K White Gold Emerald Cut created Alexandrite Diamond Ring Alexandrite, Diamond And White Gold Earrings
Peora 14K White Gold Emerald Cut created Alexandrite Diamond Ring Alexandrite, Diamond And White Gold Earrings

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After the depletion of the Russian deposits, interest in this color miracle stone waned particularly because Alexandrite from other regions never displayed the coveted color change.

In 1987, Alexandrite with clear & conspicuous color change from “raspberry” red to bluish green was discovered in Hematita, Brazil. It was the Lavra de Hematita mine in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerias (which means general mines).

The Brazilian Alexandrite shows a distinctive color change as well as fine clarity and color. Occasionally Alexandrite displaying the phenomena of chatoyancy is also found here.

Hematita gems from Brazil are highly valued and coveted but production has shrunk to a trickle. Nevertheless, Hematita remains one of the most important deposits of alexandrite in economic terms today.

Some Alexandrite is found in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania & other localities in Brazil but few are able to show a dramatic color change.

3mm Alexandrite (June) Princess Cut 14K White Gold Cartilage Stud Earring 3mm Alexandrite (June) Princess Cut 14K Yellow Gold Cartilage Stud Earring
3mm Alexandrite (June) Princess Cut 14K White Gold Cartilage Stud Earring 3mm Alexandrite (June) Princess Cut 14K Yellow Gold Cartilage Stud Earring

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Alexandrite Jewelry: Routine Enhancements Care and Cleaning:

There are no routine enhancements of the gemstone Alexandrite.

Alexandrite as a form of Chrysoberyl measures 8.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness. The degree of hardness ranks only third after diamond and corundum. This excellent degree of toughness makes the stone easy to wear, to care for and to clean.

Clean Alexandrite Jewelry with mild dish soap and use a soft tooth brush to scrub behind the stone where dust usually collects.

Alexandrite, Diamond & White Gold Earrings (Notice The Color Change)

Alexandrite, Diamond & White Gold Earrings

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Unique Fine Alexandrites in Matched Pair Round Cut Dramatic Color Change Clean 1.01 Carats Total Incredible Fine GEM Alexandrites in Matched Pair Princess Cut 1.73 Carats Total Weight
Unique Fine Alexandrites in Matched Pair Round Cut Dramatic Color Change Clean 1.01 Carats Total Incredible Fine GEM Alexandrites in Matched Pair Princess Cut 1.73 Carats Total Weight

Classic Round GEM Grade Brazilian Alexandrite set In Twisted Shank Diamond Ring
Classic-Round-GEM-Grade-Brazilian-Alexandrite-set-in-Twisted-Shank-Diamond-Ring
Notice The Dramatic Color Change Of The Color Changing Alexandrite

Finest Real Alexandrite and Diamond 3 Stone Ring set with GEM Grade 1 carat Genuine Alexandrite & 0.50 carat Diamond in Platinum
Finest Real Alexandrite and Diamond 3 Stone Ring set with GEM Grade 1 carat Genuine Alexandrite & 0.50 carat Diamond in Platinum

Glorious Alexandrite Vintage Band Featuring Genuine Alexandrite & Diamond in 14 kt Yellow Gold
Glorious Alexandrite Vintage Band Featuring Genuine Alexandrite & Diamond in 14 kt Yellow Gold

Genuine Alexandrite Apple Pave & Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold
Genuine Alexandrite Apple Pave & Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold

Genuine Alexandrite and Diamond LadyBug Pendant in 18 kt White Gold

Unique Starfish Jewelry Real Genuine Alexandrite Pave & Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold
Unique Starfish Jewelry Real Genuine Alexandrite Pave & Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold

Genuine 4 Round Cut Alexandrite & Bright Fine Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold

Genuine Oval Cut AAA Brazilian Origin Alexandrite and Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold
Genuine Oval Cut AAA Brazilian Origin Alexandrite and Diamond Pendant in 18 kt White Gold

Bold Stunning Large Oval GEM Grade Natural Alexandrite Engagement Solitaire Gold Ring
Bold Stunning Large Oval GEM Grade Natural Alexandrite Engagement Solitaire Gold Ring

Stunning Oval Cut Genuine Alexandrite GEM Mounted in Custom Made White Gold Diamond Ring
Stunning Oval Cut Genuine Alexandrite GEM Mounted in Custom Made White Gold Diamond Ring

Tiffany Style Custom Made Ring Featuring a Genuine GEM 1 carat Alexandrite Gemstone
Tiffany Style Custom Made Ring Featuring a Genuine GEM 1 carat Alexandrite Gemstone

Genuine Alexandrite Mounted in Yellow Gold Cluster Ring set with Diamonds
Genuine Alexandrite Mounted in Yellow Gold Cluster Ring set with Diamonds

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