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Alexandrite

>> Group(s) : chrysoberyls, oxides
See the pictures :

It is the rariest chrysoberyl variety, named after the future Czar Alexander II because it was discovered in the Ural in 1830, on the day he came of age and because of its 2 colors : green and red were the colors of old Imperialist Russia.
Also called the "cameleon stone" or "Emerald by day, Ruby by night".
The color change is displayed dependent upon the nature of ambient lighting : green sometimes bluish by daylight and purplish red (raspberry red for the rariest and the most beautiful) by incandescent light. This is a unique and misterious gemme, une true curiosity. This changing color is best seen in thick stones. This variation in the color depends on the gemme's origine and to the chromium content in its crystal structure.
Only diamond and corundums (ruby, sapphire) have a higher hardness, which make alexandrite an ideal gem for jewelry use. The "cat's eye", a variety displaying chatoyancy due to inclusions is also very valuable. Can be confused with the changing color grenats.

Exploited sites

The most beautiful alexandrites were mined in Russia in a deposit in Ural, long the Takovaïa river which also produced emeralds but those deposits are worked out. Today beautiful crystals are found in Sri Lanka where a big crystal has been extracted in 1876 in Zimbabwe, Brazil, Burma, USA, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Tasmania.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

Clean and light are faceted, the one with inclusions are cut into cabochons.
This is one of the most valuable gemstones currently, high-quality alexandrite with a very neat color change are rare and very expensive. The Russian alexandrites are considered as the one displaying the best change of color.
The price of beautiful alexandrites, clean with a beautiful color change can as high as diamond of the equivalent size.
"cat's eye" cabochons with a color change are also very valuable with a very high price when over 4 cts.
Alexandrite is the 55th wedding anniversary stone.

Daily care and precautions

Quite tough and easy to care. Resistant to heat and acids.

Looking alike stones

almandite , pyrope , sapphire , tourmaline

Historical healing properties

It would be the stone of the balance between the strength and the justice, the power and the humility, the aggressiveness and the sweetness. It would be suitable for politicians, businessmen…garanting them success while avoiding mistakes.
Its balance role would act on the energy circulation between the coronal chakra and the root chakra.
It would balance both mental and physic building a serenity mood promoting harmonious relationships.

Imitations and treatments

Synthetic alexandrite exists since 1972 but it is expensive to produce. However many imitations are synthetic corundums, synthetic spinels. Also imitated with doublets with garnet table and green glass pavillon. Synthetic alexandrites and synthetic corundums are strongly fluorescent in red. Most of the alexandrite imitations are synthetic corundums.

Historical stones and related legends

The Smithsonian Institutaion in Washington houses the biggest alexandrite ever found, weighting 66 carats.Historical high quality specimens are stock in the museum of Moscow, both in rough and cut crystals.

Chemical characteristics
BeAl2O4

beryllium aluminium oxide

Physical characteristics

Main color : green

Other colors : red

extraordinary color change: it is green in daylight and purpulish red in artificial incandescent light

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous

Hardness : 8.5

Density : 3.71 to 3.74

Cleavage : indistinct

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent

Refractive Index : 1.745 - 1.755

Double refraction : 0.009

Very weak, anisotropic, biaxial (+)

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.015 (0.010)

Pleochroism : definite

Number of colors : 3

Natural daylight : green, red, yellow. Incandescent light : dark green, orangish red, dark red

Absorption spectrum : 680 - 655 - 640 - 555

Variable according to the stone orientation, here green

spectrum system alexandrite alpha

spectrum system alexandrite alpha

spectrum system alexandrite gamma

spectrum system alexandrite gamma

Fluorescence : weak

Red

Inclusions : macle, thin rangy and parrallel channels.

Crystals

Thick prisme, contact and penetration twins common, often repeated forming rosette structures, such as chrysoberyls

cristaux

Crystal system : orthorhombic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Cancer, Virgo, Sagittarius, Aquarius

Month : june

For sale in our boutiques
 Alexandrite India 0.28 ct oval cut €120 excl tax

Alexandrite India
cut oval

120€ excl tax

 Alexandrite India 0.36 ct oval cut €159 excl tax

Alexandrite India
cut oval

159€ excl tax

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Correspondance
astrological
  • Cancer Cancer
  • Virgo Virgo
  • Sagittarius Sagittarius
  • Aquarius Aquarius

Strong stone providing balance, harmony and sensitivity.