Alexandrite Cushion, 26.75 cts. Bluish green i...
Alexandrite Cushion, 26.75 cts. Bluish green in daylight and purple red under incandescent light, alexandrites this large are extremely rare. Labels First row: Alexandrite, Chrysoberyl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This month for the gemstone of the month, I picked one of the most rare stones and one of the most stunning stones. Alexandrite has a color change that takes affect and displays different colors according to changes in lighting. Color change gems change color due to changing light conditions or when viewed from different angles, but Alexandrite is from the light, while some color change sapphires are from viewing at different angles. 

The History of Alexandrite

First discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1830, these first alexandrite deposits were named after Czar Alexander II and the colors, which are red and green, mirrored the Imperial Russian flag.

Alexandrite is a member of the chrysoberyl family and is now mined mostly in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil. Although you can still find some very fine gemstones from some of these newer deposits, the quality standard of the best Alexandrite comes from the first deposits found in the Ural Mountains.

This stone is scarce and therefore it is an expensive stone, especially in larger sizes, which is very rare to find. Alexandrite is also considered the June Birthstone.

Where Does Alexandrite Come From?

• Brazil
• East Africa
• Russia
• Sri Lanka

Mohs Scale – 8.5

Stability – Stable to heat, light and chemicals

Care and Cleaning of Alexandrite

You can clean alexandrite in virtually any type of cleaner, but the best is warm soapy water.

Imitations and Alternatives to Alexandrite

The imitations are synthetic color change sapphire and spinel and the alternatives would be color change garnet and sapphire.

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