Chemistry: BeAl2O4 + Fe, Ti 

Crystallography: Orthorhombic

Refractive index: 746 - 1.755

Hardness: 8.5

Specific gravity: 3.68 - 3.80

Cleavage: Distinct to poor, 1 direction

Heat sensitive: No

Wearability: Excellent

Special care instructions: None

Enhancements: None know 

Emerald by day and a Ruby by night!

Alexandrite is a remarkable gem. 

It is one of the finest color change stones in nature, resembling fine emerald or ruby, depending on the light source. 

It is so rare that most people have never seen one. 

Yet, when the modern list of birthstones was assembled, it was listed as June’s birthstone.

alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry

Alexandrite has a distinguished and glamorous past. 

It was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830. 

The Russian imperial colors were red and green, so it made quite a hit. 

It was named after Czar Alexander II at his coming of age ceremony. 

alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry

The source closed after only a few decades of mining. 

Today they have been reopened, but only produce a few carats a year. 

In 1987, a new find of Alexandrite was made in Brazil. Later, Alexandrite discoveries were made in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. 

However, none of these sites produces as rich and vivid a color change as the original Russian source. 

Grading Alexandrite

Alexandrite is a color change variety of chrysoberyl. 

The closer the colors are to pure green and red, the higher the value. 

The second consideration is the amount of color change. 

Alexandrite can exhibit everything from 100% to just 5% color change. 

alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry

Clarity is another significant grading factor. 

As with most gems, the majority of what nature offers us is a cabbing grade, not clean facetable material. 

However, with Alexandrite, the color change has more effect on value than clarity. 

For example, say you had two gems weighing a half-carat each. 

One gem is eye clean, with a 50% brownish/red to greenish/blue color change. 

The other, an opaque cab with a 100% green to red color change, would be higher in value. 

alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry

Size is always a significant factor in value. 

The largest Alexandrite known is a yellow/green gem weighing 74.4 carats. 

The largest Russian gems are about 30 carats. 

However, the majority of Alexandrites are less than one carat.   

Distinguishing Natural Alexandrite

Most people do not realize that there are many synthetic Alexandrites and look alike on the market. 

Some of these have been available for a long time already. 

While determining the exact origin of a gem is a matter for professionals, here is a brief guideline. If the gem has good clarity, strong color change, reasonable size, and your grandmother was not exceptionally wealthy, it is most likely synthetic. 

alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry
alexandrite gemstone yves lemay jewelry

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share this article with your contacts!

What diamond clarity is best
An engagement ring purpose is to be worn daily and therefore you might not need a perfectly cleaned stone. I...
What diamond color is best
Most people describe diamonds as *white*, standard typical diamonds that we see in our daily lives. But this is wrong...
Why is 0.95ct better than 1ct diamond? - Diamond shapes and carat weight: pay less, get more!
Why is 0.95ct better than 1ct diamond? Diamond shapes and carat weight: pay less, get more!
The GIA colored stone grading system
The beautiful color of a gemstone is its most defining characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most...
How to appreciate the quality of jewelry (before you buy)
When it comes to appreciating the quality of a piece of jewelry, there are three major things you must look for: -Base...
Everything that you need to know about jewelry metals
If I say the word "ring," the first image that will come to mind for most people will be yellow-colored....