Alexandrite is famous for its color changing properties.
Alexandrite is created from a very rare mineral called Chrysoberyl. Alexandrite also includes traces of Chromium. It’s the Chromium that gives Alexandrite the ability to change between two colors depending on the light source. For instance, in direct sunlight, other elements inside the Chryoberyl, mainly copper, give the stone a hue of green. However, when you place the stone indoors and put it under one light source such as a candle, the color of the stone will change to red.
Alexandrite is one of the most precious and rarest of all the gemstones. Legend states that Alexandrite was first discovered on the birthday of Alexander the II, the Czar of Russia in 1830 and that it is no accident that the colors of Alexandrite, green and red are Russia’s imperial colors.
Alexandrite is primarily used for jewelry and ornamental purposes. It is far to rare to be used for industrial purposes and due to its qualities and beauty is reserved for only the most high quality and well designed jewelry pieces. Due to its value, Alexandrite stores, which were mostly mined from the Ural Mountains, were depleted. However new mines have found large reserves, lessening the demand and ultimately the value of this precious stone.
Alexandrite is perfect for a ring, bracelet or charm. It is extremely interesting to look at and looks quite regal in either an outside light source or under an incandescent light. Alexandrite is light, hard and very durable. There are cheap imitations available that are similar in composition, but they do not express the warmth and beauty of true Alexandrite.
- MINERAL: Chrysoberyl
- CHEMISTRY: BeAl2O4
- COLOR: Bluish green in daylight, purplish red in incandescent light
- REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.746 to 1.755
- BIREFRINGENCE: 0.008 to 0.010
- SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 3.73
- MOHS HARDNESS: 8.5