Alexandite gemstone, color characteristics and prices

Alexandite gemstone, color characteristics and prices

What gemstone is Alexandrite?


Alexandrite is a rare and highly valued gemstone known for its ability to change color depending on lighting conditions. Its chemical formula is Al2BeO4, and it is a variety of the mineral species Chrysoberyl.

It takes its name from the city of Alexandria in Egypt, where it was first discovered in the mid-19th century. The discovery is credited to the Finnish gemologist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld, who first identified it in 1830. Alexandrite was found in an alluvial deposit near the Takovaya River in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Initially, it was known as “diaphanite” due to its transparency but was later renamed “alexandrite” in honor of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.


Some Information and Characteristics of Alexandrite:


Color Change: The most distinctive feature of alexandrite is its remarkable color change. In natural daylight or daylight, alexandrite appears green emerald or bluish-green. When exposed to artificial light sources or incandescent light, the stone can turn red or purple. This color-changing ability is due to the presence of trace amounts of chromium in its crystal lattice.

Hardness: Alexandrite has a hardness of about 8.5-9 on the Mohs scale, making it resistant to scratches.

Transparency: High-quality alexandrites are generally transparent or translucent, making them suitable for use in jewelry.

Cut: Alexandrite is often cut into various shapes to maximize the effect of its color change. Popular cuts include round, oval, and pear-shaped.

Origin: Originally, alexandrite was discovered in Russia, in the Ural Mountains, in 1830. It owes its name to Tsar Alexander II. However, today alexandrite deposits have been found in other parts of the world, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and India.

Rarity: Alexandrite is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. High-quality stones with a well-defined color change are extremely rare and precious.

Jewelry: Alexandrite is often used in jewelry such as rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Due to its rarity and unique charm, it is highly sought after by collectors and gemstone enthusiasts.

Symbolic Meaning: Alexandrite is a gemstone with symbolic and spiritual meaning associated with transformation, balance, and duality.

Harmony: Alexandrite is also associated with harmony and balance between opposing forces. It can represent the search for balance in life and relationships.

Inner Transformation: Some people see alexandrite as a gemstone that promotes personal growth, self-awareness, and inner transformation.


Where are the Main Sources of Alexandrite Found?


Alexandrites were originally discovered in Russia; however, over the years, alexandrite deposits have been found in other parts of the world. Some notable extraction areas include:

Brazil: Brazil is one of the primary sources of high-quality alexandrite. Brazilian mines produce many gemstones in pink, peach, and with a good color-changing ability.

Sri Lanka: This country is known for the production of a variety of gemstones, including alexandrites. Alexandrites from Sri Lanka can vary in terms of color and quality.

Tanzania: Some alexandrites have also been discovered in Tanzania, but production is relatively limited compared to other sources.

India: In India, some alexandrites have been found, but they are not as common as other gemstones.

The availability and quality of alexandrites can vary from one source to another, and provenance can influence the value of the stones. Since alexandrites are rare and highly prized gemstones, their extraction and origin are important considerations for collectors and jewelry buyers.


How Much is an Alexandrite Worth?


The value of an alexandrite depends on several key factors, including color, the quality of the color change, size, purity, cut, and provenance. Stones with a strong contrast between green and red colors are the most valuable. However, high-quality alexandrites can have prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per carat, depending on their characteristics.

Some factors that influence the valuation of an alexandrite:

Color: Color is one of the most critical factors in assessing an alexandrite. High-quality alexandrites have an emerald green or bluish-green color in natural light and change to red or purple in incandescent light. Stones with more saturated and vivid colors are considered more valuable.

Quality of Color Change: The quality of the color change is crucial. Stones with a well-defined and distinct color change between different lighting conditions are more valued.

Size: As with many gemstones, size influences value. Larger stones are generally more expensive than smaller ones of the same quality.

Clarity: The purity of the stone, i.e., the presence of inclusions or imperfections, can influence its value. Alexandrites with few visible inclusions are considered more valuable. However, some inclusions may be acceptable if they do not overly affect the overall appearance of the stone.

Cut: The cut of the stone can significantly enhance its value. A well-executed cut can maximize the beauty and the effect of the color change of an alexandrite.

Provenance: The stone’s origin can influence its value. Alexandrites from the original Russian sources may have added value, but high-quality stones from other regions can also be highly prized.


Famous Jewelry with Alexandrite


Alexandrite is a rare and fascinating gemstone, but it is not as commonly featured in famous jewelry as other precious stones. However, there are some notable jewelry creations that showcase alexandrite:

Jacqueline Kennedy’s Alexandrite Ring: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the former First Lady of the United States, had a famous ring with an alexandrite. This ring was given to her by John F. Kennedy shortly before their marriage. The stone was a stunning example of alexandrite’s color-changing properties.

The Sisi Star Pendant: This famous pendant was worn by Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sissi. The pendant is adorned with a large alexandrite and was created by the Viennese jeweler A.E. Köchert.

Hemmerle’s Alexandrite Ring: The Hemmerle jewelry house is renowned for its extraordinary creativity and has created a unique alexandrite ring that has captured the attention of jewelry enthusiasts worldwide.

Contemporary Luxury Jewelry: Some contemporary luxury jewelers craft exclusive pieces featuring alexandrite in combination with other precious stones and exquisite materials.

Although not as common as some other gemstones, alexandrite is still cherished for its beauty and color-changing ability. It can be found in a variety of jewelry, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and is often used to create unique and extraordinary pieces.





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