Staff member
Jun 3, 2020
Alexandrite is the highly regarded color changing variety of Chrysoberyl. The gemstone exhibits different colors and different lighting conditions. Alexandrite exhibits greenish blue to dark yellow-green color in daylight, and pink to red in incandescent or candle light. The color changing habit of Alexandrite is a result of slight impurities of the element chromium. The most desirable colors are pure green/blue in daylight to pure red in incandescent light. The only other color changing gemstones are the varieties of Garnet and Sapphire.

Alexandrite was first discovered in the early 1800's in Russia, and named in honor of Alexandar Nicholavich. It is a rare gemstone and is difficult to obtain until the new sources found in Brazil and Tanzania. It has a hardness of 8.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale, between Topaz and Corundum. In addition to color changing habit, Alexandrite exhibits pleochroism. It shows different color intensity when viewed at different angles. This property must be taken into account while cutting the gemstones.

Alexandrite is a rare and exquisite gemstone with outstanding color changing properties, and is most often faceted into round and cushion cuts that can bring out the best in its color. In jewelry, Alexandrite is used as rings and pendant centerpieces. Alexandrite in large sizes is extremely rare and valuable; most Alexandrite available is 2 carats or less. The synthetic varieties of Alexandrite exists and it is difficult to distinguish the natural varieties from that of synthetic.


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