|Name Origin:||It was discovered the day that future Russian Tsar Alexander II came of age|
|Colour:||Blue-green in daylight, reddish in artificial light|
|Hardness:||8.5 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale|
|Found in:||Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar and Zimbabwe|
Alexandrite’s unique composition and behaviour in light gives it a rare beauty. For more than 150 years, it was believed that significant quantities only existed in Russia. Yet upon the discovery of high quality deposits in Brazil in 1987, this gem has enjoyed considerable resurgence. Examples of alexandrite above 3 carats remain extremely rare.
The real headlines however belong to its ‘trichroic’ qualities – a chameleon-like ability to dramatically change colour in ambient light. Depending on the source and viewing direction, alexandrite will display a strong green-blue, raspberry red or orange-yellow colours. This quality, known as the “alexandrite effect”, adds to its value and mystique.
Perhaps due in part to this clever shift in appearance, alexandrite has been linked to such attributes as creativity, imagination and intuition and is believed to bring good fortune to the wearer. (Indeed, anyone would be lucky to have it in his or her collection!)
BIRTHSTONES AND ANNIVERSARIES
Alexandrite is the birthstone for June, along with pearl and moonstone. Alexandrite is also the gem for the 55th wedding anniversary.
Alexandrite is very durable, making care relatively straightforward. It can be cleaned by gently wiping it with a soft cloth and clean, warm water. Despite its resilience, you should never wear your alexandrite while undertaking vigorous activity. We also recommend that you have it professionally cleaned every two years.
The Russian royal family embraced this gem due to its strong green and red hues, and exclusivity to Russia at the time.
The Smithsonian Alexandrite weighing 65.70 carats (unearthed in Sri Lanka) is currently one of the rarest, and most valuable, jewels in the world.