Alexandrite is the colour-change variety of Chrysoberyl. The most common change in colour is from green by daylight to red by incandescent light. The quality and the origin of the stone can affect the colour and amount of colour change.
Alexandrite was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830’s and named after the then Prince Alexander. Russian stones are still considered the finest, but are now all but mined out. However fine examples have been found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.
The fact that most people rarely see it, or have the opportunity to compare qualities, makes it difficult for many retailers to advise their customers with confidence . . . that’s where we at oagems.com can help. We keep a range of stones in stock at all times and we’re happy to assist with any questions you may have.
The range of pricing of alexandrite varies just like that of any other gemstone and is dependant on the size, clarity, cut, and the quality of colour and colour-change. A translucent stone that is a strong, attractive green changing to a raspberry red is ideal, but also very rare and extremely valuable. Most of the better stones seen in Australia are of a moderate to good quality and do not reach these dizzying figures. Cloudy and/or included stones with moderate colour change can be much more affordable.
Mohs’ Hardness: 8.5
Specific Gravity: 3.71-3.75
Refractive Index: 1.745-1.759
Optic Sign & Character: Biaxial Positive
ICA Code: N
Durability: Very Good
Special Care: Normal Care
Synthetics: Hydrothermal Growth, Flux Melt, Czochralski Pulled and Zone Melting
Possible Imitations: Synthetic colour change corundum and colour change Glass, and other natural colour change gems.