One of nature’s most beautiful creations is the sparkling alexandrite gemstone. It is a unique gemstone famous for its stunning color change abilities. Alexandrite gets its name from the Russian Tsar Alexander II, who was still in his youth when the stone was discovered in 1834. It’s an alluring gemstone that has captivated gem enthusiasts for a long time.
Alexandrite is a rare gemstone and one of the most valuable on the market today. It’s a member of the chrysoberyl mineral family, with a chemical formula of BeAl2O4. The gemstone is a translucent to transparent type with a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, making it a durable stone that can withstand everyday wear and tear.
1. History and Discovery
In 1830, the Ural Mountains in Russia were the home of a Russian miner named Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld. He was prospecting for gold when his associates discovered a green gemstone that caught his attention. However, the stone seemed to change color with varying light conditions, which intrigued Nordenskiöld. He brought the stone to St. Petersburg to study it further, and it was discovered that the stone was a new type of gemstone never before seen that could change colors based on the light source. This unique ability makes Alexandrite one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world today.
2. Natural Alexandrite vs Lab-Created Alexandrite
Natural Alexandrite is the most valuable type of Alexandrite due to its rarity and unique color-changing properties. However, it is uncommon and expensive to find natural untouched Alexandrite, which makes lab-created Alexandrite a popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts. Lab-created Alexandrite is formed using heat treatment, similar to the natural formation process, and is often easier to find and less expensive than natural Alexandrite.
3. Alexandrite’s Color-Changing Ability
The most notable feature of Alexandrite is its color-changing ability. The gemstone’s color shifts from green, bluish-green, or yellow-green to reddish-purple, pink, or brown depending on the light source, making it one of the most unique gemstones in the world. The stone has excellent pleochroism, which means it shows different colors when viewed from different angles. Alexandrite’s color-changing ability is due to the presence of chromium and traces of iron within the crystal structure.
4. Cost and Rarity
Natural Alexandrite is one of the most expensive gemstones globally, and its value has always been precious due to its rarity. The rarer the stone’s size and color-changing abilities, the more expensive it is. In recent years, Alexandrite has seen a surge in value due to the increased demand for rare gemstones. The high cost of natural Alexandrite makes lab-created Alexandrite a popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts.
5. Alexandrite Jewelry
Alexandrite is a popular choice for jewelry due to its unique color-changing ability. It is mostly used in earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Alexandrite engagement rings are becoming popular as couples prefer something unique and rare. However, due to its rarity, it can be hard to find a good-quality Alexandrite to make into jewelry.
6. Caring for Alexandrite
Alexandrite is a durable gemstone that is resistant to scratches, making it easy to care for. However, it is prone to chip, so it should not be exposed to any harsh or abrasive chemicals. To keep Alexandrite’s sparkling glow, it should be cleaned gently using a soft cloth soaked in warm water with mild soap. Alexandrite jewelry should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight for long periods, as this can alter the gemstone’s color.
In conclusion, Alexandrite is one of the most alluring and unique gemstones in the world. Its color-changing ability and rarity make it highly sought-after, and its value continues to increase as demand for rare gemstones rises. Whether natural or lab-created, Alexandrite is a valuable addition to any jewelry collection. With proper care, it can be handed down through generations and continue to dazzle and captivate those who behold its alluring beauty.