Alexandrite, a variety of the especially valuable Chrysoberyll gem, is unique since the gem’s color changes depending on how the light catches it.
This extremely rare gemstone gives its name to the Alexandrite Effect. The gem looks emerald green to turquoise blue in daylight, while in artificial light, it looks violet to cherry red. The term scientists use for this is pleochroism.
Note: Artificial production of Alexandrite in gemological labs puts this gem on the market today. Therefore, if you buy one of these artificial gems, make sure it comes from a certified lab. Conditions in these labs are the same as they would be in nature. Buy Agate jewelry, like this affordable bracelet, from the certified and reliable lab, TSN Jewelry.
According to oral tradition, Nilf Gustaf, a Finnish Minerologist, discovered Alexandrite and named the gem after the Russian tsar Alexander II.
Furthermore, legend says that Gustaf found the first Alexandrite gem on the 23rd of April 1830, the day before Alexander’s coming of age.
Bluish-green in daylight and violet to cherry red in artificial light. The greater the change in color, the higher the value. The term for Alexandrite’s color-changing aspect is pleochroism.
Alexandrite, formed by beryllium, oxygen and aluminum, is a variety of the Chrysoberyll stone and belongs to the mineral class, oxides and hydroxides. Moreover, with a Mohs hardness of 8.5, it is the third hardest mineral, next to Corundum and Diamond.
Skilled processing can bring out Alexandrite’s color, clarity and even its strength. Primarily, a gem’s value depends on the quality of the cut.
Pieces of exceptional quality can fetch up to 22 000 $ per carat, while low-cost ones range from 330 $ to 550 $ per carat. As you can see, it is quite an expensive gem. As with most gems, the value of the stone depends on the color, purity, the cut and the carat weight.
Alexandrite is a rare precious gem. Indeed, most pieces have inclusions. A flawless Alexandrite piece, with its crystal structure intact, is a rare prize, and it is extremely valuable. However, many buyers value the inclusions because they make each piece one of a kind.
Alexandrite rules the zodiac signs, Cancer or Scorpio, depending on regional lore. In some traditions, the gemstone also represents Pieces, Aquarius, Virgo and Sagittarius.
Lore of zodiac signs dates far back. According to the calendar and position of the constellations, different gemstones ruled zodiac signs from region to region.
Things to know about this gemstone
The biggest Alexandrite piece found in the world was in Sri Lanka, weighing 1876 carat. It was however cut into smaller pieces.
The largest cut Alexandrite gem is a 66 carat piece, now housed in The Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
If you wear Alexandrite, your intuition increases and you are able to foresee the future.
This gemstone traditionally has a calming effect, positively affecting the owner’s emotional well-being, as well as their blood circulation.
Alexandrite traditionally marks the 55th wedding anniversary.
With its rare beauty and high value, it symbolizes the cherished 55 years of marriage.
Alexandrite is one of the June birthstones. For centuries, cultures believed gemstones ruled specific months. They thought the gem had certain effects on the wearer depending on their star sign. This tradition is still common today.
Cost, value and trade
Because the gem is quite rare and its color play makes it impressive and unusual, Alexandrite is a high-value and expensive gemstone. Furthermore, the quality and, of course, the carat weight of the gem determines the cost.
To elaborate, high-value pieces have minimal to no inclusions, an intense color, and their cultivation and cut is more sophisticated. In general the carat weight, where 1 carat equals 0.007 ounces, determines the price of gems. Meaning, the higher the carat value, the heavier it is and the price increases.
The value and cost of gemstones generally depends on their quality features. Also, if jewelry pieces contain Alexandrite, the material and the craftsmanship determine the value.
Some genuine earth-mined Alexandrites we have found for you:
- Sterling silver necklace with certified 0.28 carat Alexandrite pendant. Price: 284.99 $
- Sterling silver ring with certified 0.43 carat Alexandrite. Price: 374.99 $
- 14K gold necklace with certified 1.43 carat Alexandrite pendant. Price: 1,299.49 $
Price per carat
- A high grade Alexandrite can cost between 2 750 and 22 000 $. However, unusual pieces of this gemstone sell for about 71 500 $ per carat.
- Lower grade Alexandrite can cost between 330 and 550 $ per carat. Moreover, Alexandrite pieces that are cloudy, dull and have many inclusions are quite low in price.
Learn more about gemstone prices: How much do gemstones cost?
- E. Gübelin, K. Schmetzer: Edelsteine mit Alexandriteffekt in: Edelsteine and Gemmologie Winter 1982, S. 197-203