Therapeutic properties

What does natural alexandrite stone look like?

Real alexandrite differs from imitations and fakes by its unique and amazing ability to change color. This property is considered decisive when choosing a mineral. For testing, different lighting is used, in which the stone is also checked for color purity. Forgeries and imitations, even high-quality ones, usually show a very strong color change effect: in artificial light they look green, in daylight they look red or purple, which is very rare for natural stone. Natural stone is characterized by the presence of defects and inclusions and, as a rule, imperfect cutting.

Place of Birth

True gem-quality alexandrites come from only a few deposits in the world. They are mined in Tanzania, Brazil (Hematite deposit), India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe. Occasionally, alexandrites are mined in the Ural deposits in Russia. Alexandrites of the Urals have a good green color in daylight, unlike stones from other countries. But their size is often small and the purity is worse than that obtained from other countries.

Indian and Sri Lankan alexandrites typically have brownish-orange hues, while Brazilian and Tanzanian examples often have bluish and violet hues.


Mineral type: chrysoberyl

Chemical formula: Al 2 BeO 4

Optical character: anisotropic

Cleavage: imperfect in three directions

Density: 3,73 g/cm3

Refractive index: 1,746 – 1,755

Color: green, bluish-green, yellowish-green, red, orange-red, purple


  • The color of alexandrites from different deposits may have different shades.
  • In May 2014, a 21,41-carat Ural specimen was sold at Christie’s for $1,5 million, or approximately $70 per carat.
  • Alexandrites give the name to the effect of color changing in gemstones from greenish to reddish shades – the “Alexandrite effect”.
  • The bright, beautiful gems offered by Egyptian traders as alexandrite are in fact skillful fakes. There are no deposits of natural stones in the country, their extraction and export, and the name of the stone has nothing to do with the city of Alexandria.
  • Among Hindus and Sri Lankans, alexandrite is worn by centenarians as an amulet.
  • The largest gem is kept by the Fersman Museum (Moscow). Its weight exceeds 5 kg. The giant received the name “Druze Kochubey”; he was found in the “Emerald Mines” in the Urals.


There are two versions of the discovery of this variety of chrysoberyl. According to one, the stone was discovered in the Urals by the Finnish mineralogist Nilson G. Nordenskiöld. According to the second version, alexandrite was found at an emerald deposit on the Takovaya River near Yekaterinburg in 1833, where the stone was described as an emerald by Ya.V. Kokovin. Then the find was studied in St. Petersburg by L.V. Perovsky, who noted that the stone has a hardness higher than emerald, and also that the mineral has an interesting property – reverse. The name of the new 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.


Almost all real natural alexandrites on the world market are unrefined. It is not customary to subject them to any methods of refining. The properties and characteristics of the stone are such that as a result of heat treatment its color cannot be improved – it does not change.

Irradiation also does not give any result. Only in rare cases can the cleanliness of heavily cracked specimens be improved by oiling. And the channels in alexandrite cabochons with a cat’s eye effect can be cleaned with acid.

The healing properties of the stone

A mystic from France, E. Leo, believed that the ability of alexandrite to change color was associated with the properties of human blood flowing through the veins and arteries. Lithotherapists claim that the gem normalizes the hematopoietic process, strengthens the walls of blood vessels and cleanses them, which is why it is often prescribed for varicose veins.

It was recommended to wear jewelry with the mineral for problems with the pancreas, spleen, and intestines.

In India they believe that alexandrite gives longevity. With its help, lithotherapists help overcome pathological cravings for alcohol. Addicts are advised to place the mineral in a vessel with water overnight, and in the morning, take out the product and drink a few sips.

The natural mineral has a beneficial effect on the psyche and nervous system. He is endowed with unique abilities:

  • – Balance the mind, emotions.
  • – Calm the nerves.
  • – Normalize sleep.

Lithotherapists assure that only natural minerals exhibit healing qualities; artificial analogues are not able to influence our condition. To get rid of ailments, jewelry with alexandrite should be worn constantly, taking off only at night.

PHOTO of alexandrite

Photo of a 5 carat natural specimen. The stone demonstrates its rare property – two colors under mixed lighting

The photo shows what a cabochon with a cat’s eye effect looks like, 4,22 carats

In the photo: a fragment of the expert report of the GRS laboratory on large alexandrite. Shows what the stone looks like under different lighting. But we note that in reality both colors of the stone are usually not as pure as in the photo in expert opinions

Photo of alexandrite from Tanzania weighing 5,19 carats

Alexandrite is a unique gemstone that takes on different colors under different lighting conditions. In natural sunlight, alexandrite appears greenish-blue, while in artificial sunlight it appears red or purple. Alexandrite effect is one of the rarest gemstones that is considered a valuable stone for an investment portfolio. This particular gemstone has a special connection with ancient history for the color of alexandrite, famous in the world of gemstones.

Characteristics of the mineral

Green in daylight, red in incandescent light

Description of the stone

Alexandrite is a valuable gemstone due to its color changing properties. In natural light the stone appears green, but in candlelight or artificial light it appears red. This is due to the presence of chromium in the stone. Alexandrite is a very hard stone, rating 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes it a durable gemstone that can withstand daily wear among rare gemstones.

Quality examples are usually found in sizes less than one carat. Larger stones are very rare and can be quite valuable. The value of an alexandrite stone is also influenced by its clarity and cut. Clean, well-cut stones with good color change properties will be more valuable than those with poor clarity or cut among the alexandrites for sale around the world.

Whether you’re a seasoned gemstone collector or a first-time gem buyer, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing online. First, make sure you are buying from a reliable source. There are many scammers out there trying to sell synthetic alexandrite (a mineral created in a lab) which will also have a color changing effect, so It is very important to purchase certified colored stones from reputable laboratories such as GIA, AIGS or Gubelin.

One of the finest examples of alexandrite is “Whitney,” which is a rare gemstone that displays a blue-green color in daylight and transforms into the extremely rare pure red alexandrite. This stone is sometimes called an emerald by day and a ruby ​​by night.

Gemstone cost

The price of alexandrite can vary significantly from $10 per carat to over $000 per carat depending on my factors. For example, 50 carat Alexandrites vary greatly in price depending on origin, purity and degree of color change, from $000 per carat to $1 per carat. This is due to the fact that the mineral is considered one of the rarest gems in the world!

History of the stone

The origin of the first Russian alexandrite (chrysoberyl with a strong change) is officially attributed to a man named Yakov Vasilyevich Kokovin, or Yu.A. Kokovin.

According to gem historian Richard A. Wise, Kokovin was the manager of the Russian Ural mining mines around the 1800s (Wise, 2016). Wise’s reference to Cocovina, although brief, is, to our knowledge, one of the only publications credited to one individual for the discovery of alexandrite. Wise’s source for this fact is the book “Russian Alexandrites”. Recently, Kokovin’s contribution was officially recognized in an article entitled “The Royal Gem Alexandrite from the Urals”, published in the ICA InColor Fall 2019 Publication Issue 44. (See page 24: “It then becomes clear that Yakov Kokovin should be considered the discoverer of the Ural alexandrites, which has been recognized by a number of other researchers”).

In the book “Russian Alexandrites” by Karl Schmetzer, some of the authors: George Bosshart, Marina Epelboim, Dr. Lore Kiefert and Anna-Katrin Malsi set out to explore the roots of the origin of alexandrites in Russia.

After examining the book for Kokovin’s name, it appears that the documents support the idea that Kokovin’s contributions to Russia during his lifetime were significant. (Schmetzer K., 2010). However, there has been controversy surrounding the recorded history of what happened to him. Some research suggests that he mispriced the expensive emeralds he was observing. (Schmetzer K., 2010). Again, it is unclear whether this was true or not. The reason why Kokovin was relieved of his duties still remains a mystery.

Kokovin was even sent to prison. In fact, “his health was poor due to the loss of his position and all the honors given to him for his work as a lapidary and stone cutter. “. Id. The fall of Kokovin occurred with the knowledge of Alexander’s father, Tsar Nicholas. Moreover, Kokovin shared a well-documented feud with the other central character of Alexandrite’s first recorded discovery: Count L.A. Perovsky.

Famous alexandrites sold at auctions

One of the most expensive alexandrites from Sri Lanka was sold at Magnificent Jewels auction in New York for $557. At 000,00 carats, the price would be just over $18,23 per carat. The stone was accompanied by an additional letter from the American Gemological Laboratory, confirming the rarity and prestige of the mineral.

In October 2007, at Magnificent Jewels Auction New York, a ring with alexandrite and diamonds weighing 19,05 carats was sold for $959. That’s more than $400 per carat!

Four years later, a slightly smaller alexandrite from Brazil sold for an even higher price. At the Magnificent Jewels auction in Hong Kong, a 15,58-carat alexandrite and diamond ring sold for HKD 7, the equivalent of $220 or just under $000 per carat! In 931, another example from Brazil weighing 000 carats sold for $60.

Deposits of jewelry alexandrite

Deposits of alexandrite stones are found in several countries, including India, Russia, Africa, Sri Lanka and Brazil. It is most often found in metamorphic rocks, which are rocks that have been changed by heat and pressure. Stone is also found in alluvial deposits, which are gravel deposits left behind by rivers and streams. The alexandrite gemstone is prized for its beauty and rarity.

Russian and Brazilian alexandrite are some of the highest quality alexandrites on the market. The color changes are extremely rare and are the most striking, but their disadvantage is that they are small in size and often have visible inclusions, but there are no alternatives to them and the best blue-green color can be found among the rocks on the market.

The African mineral from Madagascar produces some of the largest alexandrites by carat weight, but its color tends to yellowish-green under fluorescent lighting and a bright reddish-purple under incandescent light.

Indian and Sri Lankan specimens are often mistaken for each other and are pure green or bluish-green in color.

Properties of natural alexandrite

Natural alexandrite is a unique gemstone that was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s. It was named after Alexander II, the then Tsar of Russia. This variety of chrysoberyl has the extraordinary ability to change color – from green to red – depending on the type of light.

The stone became quite popular during the Victorian era, when it was used in jewelry and other decorative items. However, due to its rarity, it was quite expensive and was only available to the wealthy elite.

Today, natural alexandrite can be found in a variety of colors and sizes, and is relatively more affordable than in the past. It remains popular in jewelry making and collecting, and is considered one of the gemstones to be treasured. The uniqueness of alexandrite is that in different lighting it appears to be a different color. In natural sunlight the stone has a green tint, and in artificial sunlight it appears red. If you are looking for a unique and special gift for someone born in June, consider an alexandrite engagement ring or necklace.

Colors and shades of alexandrite

Natural alexandrite stones typically appear bluish green or vibrant green in natural light and change color to pinkish purple or deep rich purple or vibrant red under incandescent light. This effect occurs due to the chromium content in the natural stone alexandrite. Some of the common alexandrite color combinations as certified by jewelry labs are as follows:

  • Blue-green to purple
  • Green to greyish-violet
  • Green-blue to purple-red
  • Yellowish-green to brownish-purple
  • Green to purple-pink

Stone care

Wondering how to care for new jewelry? Here are some tips to help keep your jewelry clean and looking like new.

First, it is important to wash your hands before handling your alexandrite ring. This will help protect the stone from contamination.

Then, if you need to clean the stone, use warm water and mild soap. Afterwards, be sure to rinse the stone thoroughly to remove any remaining soap from the jewelry.

Finally, when you’re not wearing jewelry, store it in a cool, dry place. This will help prevent color loss or damage to the stone.

In conclusion, there are many reasons to buy alexandrite. They are rare and valuable, and also have the unique ability to change color. They are also believed to have special meanings and properties that can bring good luck. So if you are looking for a special and meaningful gemstone, be sure to consider the alluring natural alexandrite.

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