Due to its extraordinary color change, the alexandrite stone is considered a very unique and valuable gemstone, which makes alexandrite rings a popular choice for jewelry lovers.
Under daylight, it usually appears green; but under incandescent light, it usually looks maroon or purplish red. That’s why alexandrite stones are commonly known as “emeralds during the day, rubies at night“.
In addition, as a birthstone for June, the alexandrite promotes emotional well-being and self-esteem by increasing confidence. It also symbolizes luck, good fortune, prosperity, and longevity.
Lastly, there is a very limited number of natural alexandrite stones, making it a very rare and expensive gemstone. Generally speaking, natural alexandrite costs about $15,000 per carat.
black cat ring
This explains why soon-to-be-married couples are now choosing alexandrite engagement rings: They are rare and one of a kind.
The discovery of alexandrite stones
A group of miners at the Tokawaja emerald mine in the Ural Mountains discovered some emerald-like gems with a peculiar discoloration, which appeared green in sunlight during the day and red in candlelight at night.
They then presented the gems to the Tsarist government. This discovery was made when Crown Prince Alexander (later Tsar Alexander II) came of age. The prince set this newly discovered bizarre gemstone on his crown and name it “Alexandrite”, or in Russan, “Александрит”.
What color is alexandrite? The alexandrite effect
Under daylight, it usually appears gray-green, light yellow-green, or blue-green; but under incandescent light, it usually looks maroon or purplish red. That’s why alexandrite stones are commonly known as “emeralds during the day, rubies at night“.
Because of the trace amount of chromium in the alexandrite stone, it transmits green light the most, red light the second most, and absorbs all other light strongly.
Therefore, during the daytime, since the sun emits more green light than any other color, the alexandrite stone transmits green light the most and appears green;
However, at night, under incandescent lamps or in candlelight, which emits more red light than any other color, the alexandrite stone transmits more red light too, so it appears red.
This extraordinary color change of the alexandrite stone makes it a very unique and valuable gemstone.
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Where to mine alexandrite stones?
Although alexandrite was initially discovered in Russia, production in the Ural Mountains ceased soon after.
Today, the deposit of alexandrite is very limited in Russia. Most alexandrite stones originate from Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.
However, alexandrite stones produced in these regions differ from those produced in Russia in the 19th century, in that their color change is not as obvious.
Still, we can expect a limited number of good quality alexandrite gemstones from Brazil, while Madagascar and Tanzania are offering large scales of average quality ones.