The True History of Alexandrite, Facts and Collection

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The chameleon of gemstones – Alexandrite is known for its color-changing properties. This variety of chrysoberyl is considered to be one of the rarest gemstones in the world.

It is said to be an “Emerald Stone by day and Ruby by night”. According to the GIA, Alexandrite stone’s finest colors are a vivid green in daylight and fluorescent light, and an intense red in incandescent light. This quality is the main factor in the pricing of alexandrites, and it also adds to their unique appeal, making them quite favored in the gemstone world.

The True History of Alexandrite

An abundant amount of alexandrite stone deposits were discovered in 1830, in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Those stones were of very fine quality and displayed vivid hues and dramatic color changes. The gem was named after the young Alexander II, heir to the throne. It is said that he came of age the same day the stone was discovered, hence the name ‘alexandrite’.

The True History of Alexandrite


This gemstone caught the country’s attention because its red and green colors mirrored the national military colors of Imperial Russia. Alexandrite later became the national stone of Russia.

Where to find loose Alexandrite stones

The spectacular Ural Mountain deposits didn’t last forever, and now most alexandrite stone comes from Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil. The newer deposits contain some fine-quality stones, but many display less precise color change and indistinct hues than the original nineteenth-century Russian alexandrites.

Notable Collections

Long prized for its color-changing ability, it is even rarer to find an alexandrite stone with strong color-changing intensity and of significant size. The few that have been found are quite notable and can be found in many prominent collections and museums.

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The Whitney Alexandrite

It is a whopping 17.08 carats and was found in the prestigious Minas Gerais mine in Brazil. It is notable for its significant size and also for its dramatic and rich color change – it displays a blue/green color when under sunlight and a purplish red under incandescent light.

Japanese Alexandrites

From 1980 to 2000 Japan was the largest market for high-quality Brazilian alexandrites and remains one of the largest consumer markets for alexandrite stones today. The world’s largest faceted alexandrite belongs to a private collector in Japan. This gemstone weighs an astronomical 141.92 carats. While little else is known about this alexandrite (or its owner) it is estimated to be valued at over $100 million!

On the Mohs scale of hardness, Alexandrites rank as 8.5 out of 10, making it one of the most durable gemstones in the world. It is this durability that makes Alexandrite such a popular choice to be transformed into jewelry and used in day-to-day life.

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Interesting Alexandrite Facts!

Alexandrite stone is part of the chrysoberyl family along with chrysoberyl, also known as cat’s-eye.

Many myths and legends describe Alexandrite as a carrier of good luck, especially when it comes to love and finances.

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Natural alexandrite is rarer than diamonds and more costly than emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

Because of the intense color change in alexandrite, color-changing abilities in other gemstones have become known as the alexandrite effect.

At GemsNY, the alexandrite collection of loose gemstones is of the finest quality. You can create your own Alexandrite ring using our make-your feature on our website. We are the only brand that has more than 5000+ varieties of gemstones available online. You can find the best and the finest quality loose alexandrite gemstones as well, that can be made into a jewelry piece, just like you want it.

To learn more about Alexandrite Gemstones, head to the Alexandrite Education section here.

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