What is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that exhibits a color change depending on the type of lighting it is exposed to. When viewed in natural sunlight, alexandrite appears green; when viewed under incandescent light, it appears red. This property, known as pleochroism, is caused by traces of iron in the crystal structure of the stone.

Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1830 and gets its name from Tsar Alexander II, who was crowned on the same day that the stone was discovered. The finest alexandrites are found in Sri Lanka and Brazil; however, most commercial-grade alexandrite comes from Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Alexandrite is considered to be one of the rarest gemstones in the world due to its limited supply and high demand. It is also one of the most expensive gemstones, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per carat depending on quality.

While alexandrite is typically found in small sizes (less than 1 carat), stones up to 10 carats have been found occasionally. The largest cut alexandrite on record weighs 65.08 carats and is known as “The Imperial Alexandrite.” It was mined in Sri Lanka in 1897 and now resides at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History.

Alexandrite is used in a variety of jewelry, including rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. It is also popular in men’s cufflinks and tie pins. Because of its rarity and high price point, alexandrite is typically reserved for special occasions.

Alexandrite is a 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it durable enough for everyday wear. However, it should be protected from scratches and knocks as these can damage the stone’s surface. Alexandrite is also sensitive to heat and chemicals, so care should be taken when cleaning or storing the stone.

If you’re interested in adding an alexandrite piece to your collection, be sure to work with a reputable jeweler who can help you find a high-quality stone at a fair price.
Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s. Its name is derived from its color-change ability; Alexandrite appears green in daylight and red under incandescent light. This gemstone has been prized for centuries for its beauty and rarity, and today it is still considered one of the most valuable gemstones in the world.

Alexandrite’s color-change ability is caused by its unique chemical composition. It contains trace amounts of chromium, which causes it to absorb different wavelengths of light depending on the type of lighting it is exposed to. In daylight, Alexandrite appears green because it absorbs red light waves and reflects green light waves back to the eye. Under incandescent light, however, Alexandrite appears red because it absorbs green light waves and reflects red light waves back to the eye.

In addition to its color-change ability, Alexandrite also exhibits pleochroism, meaning that it can appear different colors when viewed from different angles. When viewed from one angle, Alexandrite may appear green; when viewed from another angle, it may appear reddish-purple. This effect is caused by tiny inclusions of other minerals within the gemstone’s structure that cause it to refract light differently depending on the angle at which it is viewed.

Alexandrite is a relatively hard gemstone with a Mohs hardness rating of 8 out of 10; however, because of its pleochroism, it can be difficult to cut and polish without causing damage to the stone. As a result, most Alexandrites on the market today are cut into cabochons (smooth-domed beads) or faceted into rounds or ovals rather than into more complex shapes.

Although natural Alexandrites are extremely rare – especially ones with good color saturation – they can be found on the market today for prices ranging from several hundred dollars per carat up to several thousand dollars per carat. Most commercial-grade Alexandrites are actually synthetic stones created in laboratories; these stones typically sell for much less than their natural counterparts but still exhibit all of the same optical properties.

Alexandrite is said to have a number of metaphysical properties and benefits. It is believed to promote balance, courage, and good fortune; to increase self-esteem and confidence; and to help its wearer connect with their higher self. Alexandrite is also said to be helpful for those who are going through major life changes, such as getting married or divorced, starting a new job, or moving to a new home. The most sought-after alexandrites are those with a strong color change and high clarity. Alexandrite is found in a variety of locations around the world, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.

While alexandrite is not a birthstone, it is associated with the astrological sign Gemini.

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