Alexandrite Vs Emerald: What’s The Difference?

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Alexandrite and emerald are two of the most beautiful gemstones. While the alexandrite gemstone is primarily known for its color-changing property, emerald is celebrated because of its soothing color. There are so many similarities and dissimilarities between the two gemstones. For instance, alexandrite and emerald are similar in a way that both are appealing and sturdy gemstones with impressive scores on the Mohs scale of hardness.

On the other hand, both of these gemstones are dissimilar when it comes to color, historical presence, and much more. In this article, I’ll enlighten you about the differences between the alexandrite gemstone and the emerald gemstone. So, if you’re in two minds regarding getting a beautiful and sturdy gemstone then you should definitely read this article in its entirety. So, without further ado, shall we set the ball rolling? Let’s start with color.

Must Know: Differences Between Alexandrite and Emerald

Alexandrite and emerald


This is the primary characteristic of the alexandrite gemstone. The color of this gemstone varies in shades of green in the sunlight. What’s appealing about this gemstone is its peculiar color-changing property. Alexandrite changes its color from green in sunlight to red in the lamplight. That’s the reason why alexandrite is also known as the ‘emerald by day, ruby by night’ gemstone. The dramatic color shift makes alexandrite a cut above the rest. As regards emerald, the lush green color of this gemstone is what makes it stand out from other precious gemstones. The green color of emerald is the standard for green among other color gemstones since ancient times.

Alexandrite and emerald difference 1

Bluish-green to pure green are the most coveted emerald colors. The intensity of the green color of the emerald is so soothing that it’s tough to take your eyes off this gemstone. Just a quick glance at an emerald can last for hours. If you want to choose between the alexandrite gemstone and the emerald gemstone based on their colors, you should definitely go with alexandrite. There’s no doubt in saying that it’s because of the dramatic color change property of alexandrite. Let’s move on to the next differential aspect between the two gemstones.

Alexandrite and emerald difference 2

Hardness & Durability

It’s primarily the combination of two things that makes a gemstone perfect. These are a gemstone’s color and hardness. While the color of a gemstone makes it beautiful and arresting, the hardness makes it sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of average everyday life. As regards hardness, alexandrite scores a terrific score of 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means you can fashion the alexandrite gemstone in any jewelry piece meant for everyday wear. Such a good score on the Mohs scale of hardness implies that alexandrite can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life.

Alexandrite and emerald difference 3

If you need to choose between the two gemstones based on their hardness score, I think you should go with alexandrite. That’s because alexandrite scores more on the Mohs scale of hardness compared to emerald. Emerald scores 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is also a great score, however, it’s still not as good as that of alexandrite. Therefore, you should definitely select the alexandrite gemstone. If you’re thinking of getting a ring to be worn every day, you can select the one embellished with alexandrite. That’s primarily because of the hardness & durability of alexandrite. An alexandrite ring is your best bet.

Alexandrite and emerald difference 4

Rich History

Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the year 1830. Soon after the discovery of alexandrite, the gemstone caught the attention of everyone because of its red and green colors that resembled the national military colors of the country. Those first alexandrites still remain the quality standard for this dramatic gemstone. Unfortunately, the Ural Mountain deposits didn’t last long. Now, Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil have become the major producers of the alexandrite gemstone. The historical presence of this gemstone might not be much, but that shouldn’t definitely dissuade you from investing in this gemstone.

Alexandrite and emerald difference 5

As regards historical presence, emerald is way ahead of alexandrite. Emerald has been coveted for its relaxing green color since antiquity. The lush green of this gemstone has soothed souls and excited the curiosity of many. The first known emerald mines date all the way back to at least 330 BC. Now, what do you think of the historical presence of this gemstone? Well, I thought so. Cleopatra had a conspicuous passion for emeralds. The queen used to adorn herself and the palace in emeralds. Old Christianity associated the transparency and restful color of this gemstone with the twelve apostles and Jesus Christ. The history and lore of this gemstone know no bounds.

The Bottom Line

So, these were the two gemstones and their differences based on color, hardness, and history. If you want to decide on a gemstone on the basis of these three differences then you should definitely choose the alexandrite gemstone. That’s because alexandrite has a beautiful color, dramatic color change property, and a great score of 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

But that doesn’t mean you should belittle emeralds in any way. Emerald too, has a beautiful color and impressive hardness & durability. However, the gemstone is a little brittle compared to the alexandrite gemstone based on hardness. So, what are you waiting for? Start fashioning your alexandrite ring and experience the color-changing property of its alexandrite yourself!

By Eric

Photos from Google

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