Alexandrite is a rare gemstone that is also very beautiful. It’s a member of the chrysoberyl family. This gemstone is known for its unique color-transforming abilities. Most stones are green in daylight and red in incandescent light.
Interestingly, it was named for Alexander II of Russia by the mineralogist who discovered it, Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld, and its discovery is said to have occurred on the Tsar’s birthday. Here are some interesting facts that make alexandrite valuable, intriguing, and extremely beautiful.
What Does Alexandrite Mean?
Alexandrite is the birthstone for June and derives its name from Tsar Alexander. The gem is also known as “The Peacock Stone” because of its peacock-like color change.
The name comes from the Greek word “Alexandros” which means “defender of mankind,” while chrysoberyl refers to its hardness (7). The gemstone is a variety of chrysoberyl, which is naturally transparent and has a hardness rating of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale (1-10).
It Is Used for Many Distinct Purposes
Jewelry and astrology are the most popular uses of alexandrite stone. But that’s not all. In addition to its unique physical properties, Alexandrite is able to absorb light and release it as heat. This makes the gemstone ideal for use in infrared detectors, which can be used by astronauts during space travel or military personnel on the battlefield. buy Alexandrite stone online from a reputable seller like GemPundit.
Scientists have also studied whether or not alexandrites might be useful for cancer treatment or other medical purposes due to their ability to emit heat at certain wavelengths of light. Some other uses of this gem are:
- Science and Research – Alexandrite has been used by scientists from around the world, especially in Russia and China.
Additionally, some researchers believe that alexandrites may help detoxify heavy metals from the human body through phototherapy (light therapy).
Alexandrites Can Be Extremely Rare
Alexandrite is found in Russia, India, and Brazil. The Russian variety of alexandrite tends to be more expensive than those from other countries. In fact, the most valuable type of alexandrite comes from Russia and it has a name: “imperial”.
Despite its relative abundance in nature (as compared to other gems), it’s not as common as other gems like diamond or ruby.
Interesting Story Behind Its Discovery
Alexandrite was first discovered in 1828 by a Russian mineralogist named Nikolay Gübelin. He found the stone in the Ural Mountains, which are part of Russia. It wasn’t until 1832 that Alexandrite was officially named by another Russian mineralogist named Gustav Rose.
Today, both men’s names appear on the official IMA list for minerals, along with their respective locations for where they discovered it: Gübelin and Verkhne-Munskoye mine near Zlatoust (Ural Mts., Russia).
Striking Colors Make Alexandrite a Unique Stone
Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that contains traces of nickel. The most striking feature of this gemstone is its color change that occurs with changes in light. Alexandrite can appear green in daylight and red under incandescent light, and it is one of the few gemstones known to exhibit both colors (the others are peridot and tourmaline).
Other shades include blue, violet, brown, orange, yellow, and white. Alexandrite typically has a strong pleochroism effect; however, this effect can be more pronounced depending on the type of eye shape.
Alexandrite Has a High Value
Alexandrite is a rare, precious stone. It’s one of the most valuable stones in the world and it’s hard to find. In fact, many people have never heard of it! So how much is Alexandrite worth?
The price of Alexandrite depends on its color, clarity, cut, and carat size. Keep reading this guide to find out more about these factors and discover what makes an Alexandrite so expensive!
The Stone Displays Chatoyancy
Chatoyancy is an optical phenomenon due to which you may see a white strip or line running through the stone’s surface. This creates an illusion like a cat’s eye, also commonly called chatoyancy. You can move an alexandrite gemstone under the fluorescent lights and see this effect creating its magic.
Alexandrite Is Mostly Cut in Round and Cushion Shape
Mostly, you will find alexandrite gemstones available in weight below two carats. Due to this, it is cut in a round or cushion shape that works well with smaller gemstones. Whether you want to invest in a ring or pendant, choose either of these shapes to showcase the beauty of alexandrite in its full glory.
Alexandrite Is Not Commonly Lab Treated or Heated
Though most of the gemstones go through lab treatments, alexandrite is an exception. This gemstone is rarely taken to labs for color enhancement or duplication. Still, there may be some imitations available in the market. Use your discretion when buying and ask for a certificate from a reputable dealer who has been in business for years.
You should always request proof that the item before you is indeed genuine before making your purchase decision! A certificate will show that the gemstone has been verified by one or more experts so that there’s no question about its authenticity (or lack thereof).
Alexandrite Has Some Natural Inclusions
A natural alexandrite may have tiny inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye, including small bubbles and needles of rutile or sphene. These are known as “birthmarks” and are indicative of genuine alexandrite.
If you’re buying an uncertified stone, ask your jeweler to show you these birthmarks. Or better yet, buy it from a reputable seller like GemPundit, who will offer proof of its authenticity and a complete video catalog to make a better decision.
The bottom line is that alexandrite is an amazing gemstone with many unique properties. It’s a beautiful gemstone with a fun history and plenty of uses as jewelry. It can be purchased in either natural or lab-grown varieties depending on the preference of the buyer which may make it easier to find than you might expect. But experts advise going for natural untreated stones to enjoy their beauty to the fullest.