A distinct gemstone compared to other specimens, alexandrite is famous for its dramatic color change. Large deposits of this gemstone were first discover in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s. It was named for the then current heir the throne, the young Alexander II. These first alexandrites were of outstanding quality and displayed an impressive color shift in vivid hues. The remarkable Ural Mountain deposits did not last forever, but these first examples are this the premium that all other alexandrites are compared to. Today this gemstone can be found in Sri Lanka, Africa and Brazil.
Alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. The gemstone is a charming green hue in daylight and shifts to a purplish red in incandescent light. This chameleon like ability result from the way alexandrite crystals absorb light. This gemstone has famously been labeled as an “emerald by day, ruby by night”. Other gemstone are know to shift hues like alexandrite, but few are as extreme.
Alexandrite holds an average gemstone hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs Scale. It is not as durable as sapphire or diamonds, but alexandrite would fair well in most custom engagement ring settings or any other custom creation you desire. The dazzling alexandrite shown here would make a stunning one-of-a-kind right hand ring or colored gemstone engagement ring. This alexandrite options is currently featured on our online gemstone list, and is just waiting to be made into a custom created work of art!
Today, alexandrite is a rare gemstone, nearly never found in large carat sizes. Its scarcity does mean that natural gems will come with a cost higher than that of more common gemstones. Though natural examples are breathtaking, we also offer lab created options that display a similar color change effect. Any natural or lab created gemstone can be set into any one of Knox Jewelers’ custom creations.
Let us at Knox Jewelers help you design a custom created piece of jewelry holding the rare natural alexandrite featured here or any other available option on our gemstone list. Contact us today to get started!
Alexandrite is one of several gemstones traditionally coupled to the month of June as it’s birthstone. Alexandrite is a strongly pleochroic gem, which means it can show different colors when viewed from different directions. This gemstone is a very rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Its chameleon-like quality arises from the way this particular mineral absorbs and reflects light. Alexandrite has been cherished throughout history for its extraordinary and mysterious attributes.
Alexandrite’s most desirable color is a green to bluish-green hue in daylight with a strong color change to a red to purplish-red hue in incandescent indoor light. A fine quality gemstone with these saturated color and strong color change is relatively rare. Most natural alexandrite found today will be yellowish-green in daylight and change to a brownish-red in incandescent light. The gemstone owes its intense color change ability to the mineral’s unusual light-absorbing properties, and the presence of chromium in its crystal structure. Alexandrite’s dramatic green to red color change is sometimes described as “emerald by day, ruby by night.”
Listed below are the locations where alexandrite naturally occurs and is mined to be transformed into beautifully faceted gemstones.
Brazil – A relatively new mining location for the rare gemstone, Brazil became an important new alexandrite source in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Tanzania – Gem miners in Tanzania find alexandrites, sapphires, and occasionally diamonds on the banks of the Muhuwesi River, near Tunduru.
Madagascar – Alexandrite rough mined in Madagascar often displays intense color and color change.
Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka is home to a wide variety of colored stones, but alexandrite is one of the most desirable gems to be mined in this location.
Russia – Large alexandrite deposits were first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1830. Russia is considered the most traditional source of the gemstone. The first alexandrites found in those deposits were of fine quality with intense hues and extreme color change. The gem was named for the young Alexander II, heir to the throne when the discovery was made. These mines did not last forever, and we must now rely on other sources for alexandrite. Though some claim that there will never be as fine of quality as the first gems found in Russia.
If you are lucky enough to hold the very rare and extremely attractive alexandrite as your birthstone, let us at Knox Jewelers help you custom create a one-of-a-kind piece to showcase this beautiful vibrant color-changing gemstone. Fine alexandrite is available, but extremely rare. To remedy this, several labs in present day can produce lab-grown stones with the same chemical and physical properties as natural alexandrite. If a you have any questions regarding lab created alexandrite, we would be more than happy to assist. Any custom piece of jewelry could be tailored to incorporate this remarkable birthstone. The possibility are endless with such a curious and colorful mineral. A Knox Jewelers custom created piece, featuring a beautiful alexandrite is the perfect way to celebrate any occasion falling within the month. Contact us today and let’s get started. We can always search our cutters’ inventory for your perfect gemstone, or we have a selection of alexandrites already available just waiting to be transformed!