Happy Birthday, Alexandrite!

Did you know that alexandrite is the national stone of Russia?


Alexandrite, was first discovered there in 1830s, near the Ural Mountains (which happens to be where I am originally from). It is named after Russia’s Prince Alexander II and possesses a very special characteristic, it changes colour under different light sources, this is known as "colour change".


Green in daylight and red in warm candle light, it is know as “emerald by day, ruby by night”. The stronger the colour change the more rare, valuable and expensive the

gem is.


Personally, I am in absolute awe of this unique gemstone!


loose cushion alexandrite colour change comparison

Curious to find out more?


Let's begin with some fun facts:

  • Alexandrite is a part of the chrysoberyl family

  • It's daylight colour ranges from very strongly bluish green to yellowish green

  • Most of the alexandrite on the market is eye clean (has no visible inclusions)

  • Alexandrite is one of the most prized gems

  • The finest quality is vivid grass green in daylight and an intense raspberry in incandescent light

  • Alexandrite over 1 carat in size is rare. Stones of that size or larger are typically cut into ovals or cushions to save as much weight as possible. Round cuts lead to too much material loss


loose oval yellow green alexandrite held in tweezers

To find out more about why certain gemstones are only cut into certain shapes, visit my previous post: Let's get in shape!


Source


Historic mines in Russia no longer produce significant amount of alexandrite and fine quality gems are rare and difficult to source.


Sri Lanka and Brazil are currently the two major sources of this phenomenal gem.


loose round alexandrite next to a pink flower on a white background


Availability


Currently, alexandrite supply is considered low, especially in sizes over 1 carat.


Although large alexandrite can come with a hefty price tag, smaller stones are much easier to source and are much more reasonably priced.


Alexandrite in green and yellow tones is easier to find, however these are typically less desirable compared to the bluish green colours.


loose cushion alexandrite colour change comparison


June Birthstone


Alexandrite is also known for the following traits:

  • symbol of self confidence and self esteem

  • strengthens intuition and unleashes imagination

  • gives the owner hope and encouragement

  • can help you become your own source of happiness within yourself

  • brings balance between ones physical and spiritual worlds


a pair or round alexandrite and diamond halo rose gold stud earrings on a silk background by Tsarina Gems

  • Did you know that Pearls are also considered a birthstone for June?

Stay tuned for a Blog Post on this elegant and timeless gem

Do you know what powers and qualities your birthstone holds?

Visit my previous post titled Beauty and Power to find out!


Durability


In terms of hardness, alexandrite scores an 8.5 out of 10 on Moh's scale.


With sapphires and rubies at 9 and diamonds at 10, these can scratch your alexandrite if not stored properly or if they rub against each other.


a yellow gold and glass jewellery box containing jewellery pendants and rings next to a peach carnation flower

Although not as durable as diamonds and sapphires, alexandrite is still a gorgeous and durable stone for everyday wear and is a perfect choice if you are looking for a unique and one-of-a-kind engagement ring!

For a safe and easy way to clean your alexandrite jewellery, simply use a soft toothbrush and soapy water.


For more tips visit my previous post:

10 easy tips to keep your jewellery Clean and Damage-Free


pear shape morganite necklace in rose gold next to rose gold diamond stacking ring next to jewellery cleaning tools, toothbrush a bawl of soapy water lint free gem cloth on a beige background

Synthetic alexandrite

Synthetic (man-made) alexandrite has the same crystal structure and chemical composition as their natural counterparts and can be developed by scientists in labs. It may look similar but can be identified as synthetic with the use of certain equipment by a certified gemologist (like me).


Although synthetic alexandrite is available for purchase at certain jewellery stores at a fraction of a price of a natural alexandrite, the two should not be confused as their value is completely different.


June birthstone alexandrite infographic by Tsarina Gems

Pro Tip: Beware of large alexandrite stones being sold as "natural", most likely, they are synthetic.


When purchasing natural coloured gemstones from Tsarina Gems, you will receive an independent, third party appraisal for your piece of mind. I take pride in working with companies who supply responsibly sourced, natural gemstones.




Is alexandrite on your wish list? I will be delighted to hear about it!


Schedule a complementary, 30 minute connection call with me here


Looking for more information on my unique custom process?

Check out my previous blog posts:


How much does a custom ring cost?

Five reasons to go custom

How to choose the perfect engagement ring?


Looking for jewellery and gemstone inspiration?

Visit Tsarina Gems Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas