Emerald by day, ruby by night”, Alexandrite gemstone is remarkable for its color changing property!
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Alexandrite, which is used in June birthstone jewelry, is among the rarest of gems found on the earth. It is known as the June birthstone and is the precious stone used to celebrate the 45th and 55th wedding anniversaries. It is a group member and is formed from a mix of chromium, aluminum, titanium, iron, and chrysoberyl mineral.
ALEXANDRITE’S GEMSTONE COLOR CHANGING PROPERTIES
This June birthstone is highly admired because of its ability to switch colors radically. Compared to another gemstone such as
diamonds and sapphires, alexandrite is a comparatively new gem in the market, have only been found close to 150 years ago.
The Alexandrite gemstone was first discovered in the Russian Ural Mountains around 1830 and was named after the Russian Czar, Alexander II. This Gemstone was given the name “magic gem” because of its mystical display of colors.
DESCRIPTION OF THE JUNE BIRTHSTONE ALEXANDRITE GEMSTONE
Now let’s uncover its magic color-changing trick! This gem’s color depends on the wavelength of light and the chemical bonds that exist in the gem. Alexandrite displays a bluish-green moss-like color in natural light, but when positioned under incandescent light from a candle or lamp, the color transforms to a warm raspberry hue.
This transformation is referred to as the alexandrite effect. It’s a result of chrysoberyl’s chemical mixing, a rare oxide mineral, and chromium. The lovely color of alexandrite comes from chromium.
THE QUALITY OF ALEXANDRITE GEMS
It is essential to consider the strength of the color change when valuing an alexandrite. The gem is deemed rare and of higher value, if the color change is complete and intense. Another aspect to consider is the cutting quality of the gem and its clarity.
In Russia, Alexandrites are believed to be of superior quality and color, making them more expensive.
The majority of the alexandrites on sale are less than one carat since bigger sizes are unaffordable for most people.
CARING FOR YOUR ALEXANDRITE JEWELRY
Owning something this expensive requires a lot of care that you can’t afford to ignore! It is best to keep alexandrites away from excessive heat exposure, influencing their color change effect.
When cleaning these gemstones, warm soapy water may be used and alcohol or a commercial jewelry cleaning product. If steam and ultrasonic cleaning are needed, suitably experienced jewelers should be used.
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SOURCES OF ALEXANDRITE
Wondering from where these valuables come from?
Currently, there are two chief sources of alexandrite gemstones, Brazil and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The source of alexandrite in the Ural Mountains has now virtually run out. However, the mines are still working and produce a small number of carats each year.
In the 1990s, Alexandrite gems were also discovered in Madagascar, India, Burma, and Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, none of these locations has produced as rich and vivid colors as Russia’s original gemstones. Gemstones from these sources have their characteristics: the greyish hues of Ceylon stones and yellow tones in Brazil’s gems.