Alexandrite is one of the most valuable, rare, and unique gemstones on the market. Often referred to as “Emerald by Day and Ruby by Night”, Alexandrite changes from green in daylight and red under lamplight.
One of the more modern gemstones, Alexandrite was first found in the Russian Ural Mountains in 1930. Found on the birthday of Prince Alexander II, the green and red are the same colors of Old Imperial Russia’s Military. The stone was given a name most would consider patriotic to Russia. Alexandrite quickly became prized by many Russian Aristocrats.
By the end of the 19th century, the Alexandrite mines were depleted, and the gem was close to extinction until large deposits of Alexandrite were found in in Sri Lanka and Brazil.
Alexandrite’s from Sri Lanka and Brazil tend to have more dulled colors of green and red, making them less valuable to the vibrant Alexandrite mined in Russia. The closer the colors are to pure red and pure green, the more valuable the Alexandrite. A distinct color change on an alexandrite is also a big factor for valuing an Alexandrite. For example, a gemstone that goes from pure emerald green to a juicy ruby red is more valuable then a gem that goes from foggy brownish green to a murky red or a gem that goes from a vivacious green to a murky and dulled greenish red (and vice versa). Alexandrite can exhibit a 5% color change to a 100% color change.
Alexandrite’s are an 8-8.5 on the mohs scale of hardness, making them tough and durable stones. This also contributes to their value. You should be cautious with your alexandrite’s and protect them from harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and scratches. Its best to clean your Alexandrite with warm water, mild dish soap and a soft toothbrush.
Because of the rarity and cost that come with purchasing a natural Alexandrite, synthetic and lab grown gems are a popular option to explore when shopping for this gem. Alexandrite is June’s alternative birthstone, next to pearl and is also the 55th marriage anniversary gem.