Alexandrite is an extremely rare colour-change variety of Chrysoberyl. Originally discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains and named in honour of the future Tsar Alexander II.
Alexandrite has historically been one of the most sought after gems, and is very hard (Mohs hardness scale – 8.5).
Greenish in daylight and purplish-red to red in incandescent light, the colour change is rarely seen in other gems apart from colour change Garnet and sometimes sapphire. Alexandrite is now mined in Southern India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Brazil. The prices are determined by size, colour, clarity and the intensity of the colour change.
Fine quality Alexandrite reach amazing prices on the world market, and are very collectable. Purplish synthetic corundum (sapphire) is used to imitate Alexandrite; these are often brought back from Egypt and Africa, and sold in tourist shops around the world.
Can I wear it every day? Yes, Alexandrite is hard, but it is brittle and sensitive to knocks.
Is Alexandrite a birthstone? Traditionally no, but it is becoming popular as an alternative birthstone for June.
Is Alexandrite expensive? High quality Alexandrite is the most expensive of all gemstones.
What colours does Alexandrite come in? This is highly dependent on the light source; varying tones of green in natural daylight, changing to red or purplish-red in artificial incandescent light. The better the colour change, the more expensive it will be.
There are many alternative gemstone choices that have similar colour & visual characteristics to Alexandrite. If you’d like to learn more about your best options or arrange a personal gemstone viewing in our Parramatta studio, please call us on (02) 9689 3396 or contact us here.