Fire Agate and Alexandrite necklace

Of all the gorgeous gemstones to be found on our amazing planet, alexandrite is perhaps the most enchanting of all. Chrysoberyl is the technical name for this yellowish gemstone that comes with a tinge of green, and fine examples are used to cut stones for jewellery. The unique thing about alexandrite is that its colour changes when viewed from a different angle, which is largely due to twinned crystals that have a hexagonal appearance, and what’s more, this colour changing occurs in both natural and artificial light.

Emerald By Day – Ruby By Night

This is the term that jewellers use when referring to alexandrite, and it actually does take on a greenish tint during the daylight hours, which magically turns a reddish colour as the natural light recedes. If you would like to view some amazing alexandrite gemstones from a respected London jeweller, an online search will reveal their whereabouts.

Royal History & Tradition

Alexandrite was named after Tsar Alexandria II of Russia, who was in power when the colour changing gem was first discovered, and as reds and greens were the colours of that time, it seemed fitting to name the stone after their leader at the time. Initially, the only alexandrite mine was in Russia, and after a while, the stone was discovered in parts of Brazil and Sri Lanka, and today there are mines in Tanzania and Mozambique.

raw Chrysoberyl gem

Member of a Unique Family

Alexandrite is a member of the chrysoberyl family, and the chemical structure is incredibly simple, which amplifies yellows, red and greens, while a tint of chromium intensifies the absorption of yellow light. The chromium allows reflection of both green and red light, thus causing the colour change that is such an attractive feature, and with jewellery that can move from red to green, you have the perfect fashion accessory.

It’s All in the Clarity

Inclusions usually mean a lower price, and indeed too many inclusions can ruin the light spectacle that is the very attraction, so when you are browsing to buy, make sure you look at the clarity of the stone. Clarity has less of an effect that colour, but lack of clarity can seriously change the way light is reflected, and if you buy from a reputable online dealer who specialises in alexandrite, you can trust the quality.

Chrysobéryl var. alexandrite sous under UV light (Madagascar)

Cut & Carat

Alexandrite poses a challenge to the gemstone cutter, and are usually mixed cut, with brilliant cut crown and step pavilion designs, both of which really bring out the colour. The cat’s eye cabochon is another favourite cut for alexandrite, giving a unique reflection due to the cat’s eye design. There are very limited supplies of alexandrite in the world, with the largest ever discovered weighing in at 65 carats, while the average piece of jewellery would not contain a stone larger than 1 carat. 

Colour Saturation

This is what largely determines a stone’s value, especially with alexandrite, while the extent of the colour change is another defining property. Some stones exhibit amazing colour change in the right lighting, and it is this property that generates the wide appeal that alexandrite enjoys.

If you are seriously considering purchasing alexandrite jewellery, make sure you deal with a reputable online jeweller, and one that is respected within the industry, then you can rest assured that the stone is of high quality.

Lots of love,