Stones by zodiac signs

What color is natural alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a jewelry stone that has been known to people for only less than two centuries. It was first found in 1830 in Russia, in the Urals. It is a type of the mineral chrysoberyl. The name of the stone was given on the occasion of the coming of age of the future Tsar of Russia Alexander II. Alexandrites were very popular at the end of the 19th century in the highest circles of Russian society. Together with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds, they are classified as a special “top” category of the rarest and most expensive precious stones in the world. Why are alexandrites valued? There are very few of them on the world market, much less than rubies, sapphires or emeralds. Let’s consider the factors that affect beauty and cost. One of them is rarity. Nowadays, it is quite problematic to find a natural specimen of good quality over 2 carats for sale. The main problem is to find alexandrite such that its color is attractive.


Natural alexandrites, in addition to their rarity, have become especially famous for their unique color-changing effect – they change color depending on the type of lighting. This effect is known as “Alexandrite”. In daylight (white) light, alexandrites have greenish tints, and in incandescent light (yellow), they change to shades of red or pink, purple. The degree of color change in alexandrites is called reversal and can be measured as a percentage (e.g. 25%, 50%, 100%). Stones with 100% reverse are the most valuable and are extremely rare. Strong pleochroism is also characteristic, when different tones can be observed in the stone at different angles. For example, red, yellowish-orange and green. The color of alexandrite is the main factor influencing the perception of its beauty. In daylight, the most valuable colors are green and bluish-green. The yellowish-green color of alexandrite is considered less valuable. Under incandescent light, the most expensive color will be red without additional shades. Additionally, alexandrites can be red with a purple or orange tint. Purple-hued alexandrites can be found in Brazil and Tanzania. It should be borne in mind that almost all alexandrites with a good change, even very expensive ones, are dark. And saturated colors can only be seen in bright light (for example, with the directional light of a flashlight with a “white” or “yellow” light). If we don’t specifically shine light on the stone, we can often observe an inexpressive color, for example, brown with slight shades of pink or green. A stone that changes color from bright green to bright red (not purple) is more of a myth than a reality. Pictured left: the development of different colors in a 5,19 carat sample from Tanzania Finding beautifully colored cut alexandrite is a very difficult task. Only a very small proportion of specimens in “everyday” lighting will have good color. The color of alexandrites in photographs is often embellished, so you should not completely trust colorful photos in books and on the Internet. When taking photographs, color is often distorted, resulting in different shades than we see in reality. Therefore, photographs of alexandrites in most cases later “turn out” more green or red in the photo editor. At the same time, stones in photographs often turn out quite beautiful. In real life, these alexandrites can differ significantly from the color you saw in the photograph. Photo on the right: alexandrite 6,18 ct under a gemological lamp (top) and under a “yellow” flashlight light (bottom) “ Practical advice. When purchasing alexandrite, first look at the color under different lighting conditions. The most important thing in this case is that you like the colors you observe. Rock the stone in tweezers or in your hands, looking at it from the side of the platform. Evaluate the colors and reverse under various lamps, during the day near a window or outside, and under an incandescent lamp. You can use different flashlights with “white” and “yellow” light. Note for yourself how light or dark the specimen you have chosen is, as well as its saturation, color distribution throughout the entire volume of the stone and additional color shades. You can look at the color of the stone under mixed lighting, using two types of light sources at the same time. The beauty of a stone depends very much on its color.”


The next evaluation factor is the purity of alexandrite. This gemstone is classified as a type that is characterized by not having a very large number of inclusions and cracks. It is characterized by gas-liquid veils. Absolutely pure specimens, without internal heterogeneities, are quite rare in nature. Opaque alexandrites are used to make cabochons. In the video: dark alexandrite, in which inclusions are not visible, 10,23 ct, origin Sri Lanka “Practical advice. After you have assessed the color of alexandrite, assess its purity. Make sure the sample is well rubbed and has no surface contamination on the edges. First check cleanliness with the naked eye. Are any visible cracks or inclusions? It is advisable that they should not be in the center of the cut stone. See if defects have a significant impact on overall attractiveness? Then, you can look at the transparency of alexandrite with a 10x triplet magnifying glass for a more thorough analysis. At the same time, pay attention to whether there are any significant cracks in the sample that extend to its surface. Their presence may affect durability.“


The mass of the stone is the next factor. The larger the natural alexandrite, the higher its cost per carat will be. Because here the rarity factor already influences: stones of significant size are found less often than small ones. Alexandrites weighing less than 2 ct are mainly presented on the world market. Alexandrites over 5 carats usually come from Sri Lanka. “Practical advice. You can roughly estimate how faceted alexandrite will look when mounted in a product. To do this, you need to place the stone on top of your fingers. Shake your palm in different lighting and appreciate the overall attractiveness of alexandrite. Do you like him or not? In the same way, by placing several samples on your fingers at the same time, you can compare them to choose the best one.” On video: large natural alexandrite with good clarity, 14,77 ct – In the second part of the article, we will consider factors such as cutting, its deposits, the presence of refinement and a certificate, including those affecting the cost. We’ll also tell you about its varieties.
– In the third part of the article we will show you real prices per carat. Alexandrite is a very rare variety of the yellow-green mineral chrysoberyl, from which it differs in its unique ability to change color depending on the lighting: under natural light it is green, under an electric lamp it is almost red. The discovery of the stone belongs to N. Nordenskiöld, a Finnish researcher who studied the Ural emerald mines in the 1833th century. When the gem first caught his eye in XNUMX, it was an emerald hue, but in the light of a night candle it turned out to be deep red, which greatly amazed the mineralogist. The find was named Alexandrite in honor of Alexander II, the son of the then reigning Emperor Nicholas I. In the photo: Druse of alexandrites, 3740 ct Large specimens of alexandrite are extremely rare in nature, as are pure small specimens of jewelry quality – this makes the mineral extremely expensive. The largest known nugget was found in the Urals in the 532th century; its weight was 66 carats. This alexandrite had to be divided into several parts, since it was not possible to sell it due to the incredibly high price. The largest gem known today weighs XNUMX carats. There are also earlier mentions of alexandrite in history, for example, in the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian treatise. The stone was also discovered in a 12th-century burial belonging to a Polovtsian khan – he had a ring with this amazing “chameleon” on his hand.

Place of Birth

The primary deposit of alexandrites is located in the Urals, but it was quickly depleted, although it is the Ural stones that are considered the standard – they are distinguished by a pure emerald hue in daylight and turn red in artificial light. Today, alexandrites are mined from placers in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Tasmania, Zimbabwe, the USA, and Madagascar. But most of the gems found there, although they are “chameleons,” are not as beautiful in daylight as the Ural stones. It is interesting that in the Urals alexandrites were always mined together with emeralds, but the miners had a strange superstition about them. Allegedly, if alexandrite was found during excavations, then emeralds would no longer be found, so they tried to ignore the stones, not pick them up or lift them.

Varieties and properties of alexandrite

Formula: Al2BeO4 Color: blue-green, blue-green, olive green, red-violet, purple, pink-raspberry Hardness: 8,5 Density: 3,5–3,84 g/cm3 Transparency: translucent, transparent Cleavage: imperfect Kink: conchoidal The most valuable property of alexandrite is its so-called “Alexandrite effect”, which ensures the variability of the color of the stone under different lighting conditions. It is due to the special structure of the crystal lattice of the gem and the specific arrangement of chromium impurities. There are specimens of this mineral that have opalescence, that is, they can scatter light in such a way that a glare in the form of a “cat’s eye” is formed on the surface. In the photo: The color of the stone in artificial and daylight. Depending on the place of extraction, the following varieties of alexandrite are distinguished:

  • Ural is the best example of color change; it has the deepest and most saturated shades. In daylight it is rich green, in artificial light it is purple.
  • African, Brazilian – green stone with a brown undertone during the day and red in the light of a night lamp.
  • Indian and from Sri Lanka – under different types of lighting it is bluish-green, pinkish or red.

Who is alexandrite suitable for?

On the Internet you can often find references to the fact that alexandrite is considered a widow’s stone. The prerequisites for the emergence of such a sign can be found in the history of our country. The fact is that fashion for it returned in the post-war years, when many men did not return from the front, so they began to say that the gem brings misfortune. But such beliefs are not relevant in the modern world, where alexandrite has been worn by successful people for many years, and the stone costs quite a lot, because there is a huge demand for it.

Ring “Inspirational Motif”

Alexandrite (Brazil) 2,37 carats

Inspiration is a real miracle that comes into our lives to realize plans, ideas, creative ideas, desires, dreams. And it doesn’t matter what kind of work we do: whether we paint pictures, create fashionable clothing collections or compose music. If we are inspired and passionate about what we do, then success will be guaranteed.

It is precisely these poetic motives that Maxim Demidov jewelers are guided by when creating their masterpieces. They are inspired by the perfection of the rarest gemstones from around the world. Their special passion is gems with unique characteristics and properties, when it seems that nature cannot create anything more amazing.

The rare imperial stone alexandrite has a special advantage: its color changes depending on the light, from green to red. There is even a saying: “In the morning he is an emerald, and in the evening he is a ruby.”

To highlight the wondrous splendor of the 2,37-carat alexandrite in the sensual “Inspirational Motif” ring, the craftsmen encased the Brazilian gem in a slightly muted, laconic platinum base and surrounded it with a sparkling pattern of alternating noble diamonds of various cuts.

Exclusive jewelry with alexandrites are considered one of the most expensive – for all the centuries that the mineral has been known, its price has never dropped, since it is mined only in a few places on the planet. To have such rarity is an extremely powerful inspiration.

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