Alexandrite is a color change-variety chrysoberyl and is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. In fact, in terms of rarity, Alexandrite may well outrank nearly all other known gemstones. Most quality Alexandrite gemstones are not readily available anywhere. However, we have many of our Alexandrite Stones available for sale.
According to GIA, Alexandrite’s finest dual colors are a vivid grass green in daylight and fluorescent light, and an intense raspberry red in incandescent light.
Many modern sources frequently use “emerald by day, ruby by night.” to romanticize Alexandrite’s color. Alexandrite is the month of June’s Birthstone. Alexandrite is also the 55th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone.
The more apparent color change, the more valuable the Alexandrite. That is why the price of certain alexandrites are very expensive.
While Alexandrites come from many parts of the world, true quality ones share certain characteristics and have been “coveted as one of the rarest and most cherished gemstones of all.” (See AGTA).
By many accounts and published sources, Finnish mineralogist, Nils Gustaf Nordenskjold, is credited with finding the first samples of Alexandrite material in Russian emerald mines. (AGL, 2008). Consistent online and physical resources further suggest that Nordenskiöld (sometimes spelled Nordenskjold) came up with the suggestion of the actual name variation “Alexandrite.” Currently, this remains to be the most consistent story: that the name Alexandrite was Nordenskjold’s idea.
The story stems from Nordenskiöldcoining the name Alexandrite after being inspired by the future tsar Alexander’s birthday celebration in the Ural Mountains area where the stone was found. Over the course of the book “Russian Alexandrites”, the Nordenskjold’s family archive is reviewed along with correspondence written by him. In the book they report that, prior to 1842, the researchers say they were unable to find the word “Alexandrite” in letters written by Nordenskjold. In fact, there is some suspicion surrounding the Russian authorities at the time being involved with censorship. (Schmetzer K. , 2010) You can imagine the dramatic control the government had over the country given the future demise of Tsar Alexander.
Many sources assume that gemstones from the African Continent will always generally have a darker or browner tone. This presumption ignores the fact that some of the finest Alexandrites produced in the market today have come from Madagascar, and can have a Blue-Green Color under daylight. Lower quality Alexandrites from Madagascar can have brown dominant colors.
Typically, muddy green color often seen under daylight, will almost always have a brown modifier under incandescent light. The best quality Alexandrites from Madagascar will always appear green dominant. The purity of the green is preferably modified with a bluish tone. The purple will also have pink-purple intensity that rivals top quality Alexandrites from other regions.
Indian Alexandrites are know for a distinct pure green dominant daylight appearance. Some of our gemstone mining connections in India have informed us that most Indian Alexandrites coming from the Orissa mine, come in smaller melee sizes ( < 0.5 cts.).The daylight color usually appears in a richer grassy green hue.
The incandescent color is typically not as dramatic in its purple.In fact, the purple intensity can be described as medium to light in saturation. Notwithstanding the limited production, an occasional blue-green to rich purple Alexandrite from India will surface.
Commonly referred to as the “Island of Gems” it is no surprise that the famous exotic country produces Alexandrites.Alexandrites from Sri Lanka tend to have yellowish-green appearance in daylight. Ceylon Alexandrites are also usually larger than Alexandrites found in other countries.Although larger, they won’t typically have strong color change.
The few larger size Alexandrites with strong color change from Sri Lanka remain extraordinarily scarce. Our experience over time has shown us that distinguishing Madagascar and Ceylon Alexandrites is very difficult. The reality is that local suppliers source rough alexandrite from Madagascar and cut the material in Sri Lanka. Once polished, suppliers may lose track of a material’s actual source. This leaves labs in the best position to determine the origin by making the distinction between Madagascar and Ceylon. Yellowish-Green Alexandrites from Sri Lanka will often have the same lighter hue modifier under incandescent light. MORE ALEXANDRITES.
The most prized origin of Alexandrite. Russian Alexandrites are known to come from the Ural mountains.Finding gem quality Alexandrite over 1 carat from Russia today is extraordinarily difficult.The rough that comes from Russia is usually Emerald, and any presence of Alexandrite is usually poor quality. Many commentaries refer to Alexandrite as “Emerald by day, Ruby by night,” are likely to be referring to Russian Alexandrites that show such dramatic color change.
Russian Alexandrites with blue-green colors can be confused with any source.Old cutting, or faceting may lend credit to origin identification. An absence of inclusions will also make it difficult for identifying Russian material.We suggest relying on two lab reports to confirm any Alexandrite with Russian Origin.
Tanzanian Alexandrites remain elusive. Labs have difficulties classifying this origin due to its strikingly similar characteristics of both Brazil and Madagascar. Alexandrites from Tanzania in our experience usually display a lighter Mediterranean Bluish-Green color under daylight. Under incandescent light, the Tanzanian Alexandrites that we have seen nearly always show a dramatic color change.
During one of our most recent trips to the country, sources dismissed the notion of finding more Alexandrites in any local mines. Most Alexandrites from Tanzania came from Lake Manyara in the north and Tunduru in the south. (Source GIA).
In the early 1980’s, a significant mine of Alexandrite deposits was discovered in Brazil. Commonly referred to as the “Hematita” mine, the discovery immediately led to an influx of independent miners to the area. Other areas include Bahia and Espírito Santo, but are of lower quality Alexandrites. One can say this was the “Gold Rush” of Alexandrites that quickly dwindled out after 12 weeks of digging (Source: Richard W. Wise, Secrets of The Gemstone Trade, 2016). Top quality Brazilian Alexandrites appears rich bluish-green under daylight, and transforms into an intense purple in incandescent light.
Although labs will never rely on appearance alone to classify this origin, once you see a Brazilian Alexandrite, its specific color becomes a unique hue in your color palette. This is what it looks like. Since the discovery of the deposit, production of over 1 Carat Quality Size Alexandrites has been nearly extinct.
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We believe in educating the consumer immediately as we ourselves garner exclusive gem trade related information. Our philosophy is fully informed-educated disclosure. This is our commitment to go beyond FTC rules and guidelines for gemstone sellers. That is, giving you and explaining to you information in plain english. Besides giving you information, we emphasize gathering as much information as possible. Never rely on someone’s own assessment of any gemstone.