This gemstone featured below, was one of the most incredible Alexandrites that we have ever had for sale. The stronger the color change, the more desirable and valuable the stone - this stone went from vivid green to purple under incandescent and fluorescent lighting. What a pleasure it was to have this on my finger for a couple minutes! Gorgeous!
The stone was first discovered in 1830 in the Ural Mountains of Russia and first thought to be an emerald. In 1839, it was officially named Alexandrite after Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Because of it’s red and green nature, the gem became the national gem of Tsarist Russia. The majority of Russian Alexandrite was depleted during the 19th Century. However, Alexandrite has also been found in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, and Brazil. Stones mined from Sri Lanka tend to be larger in size than stones mined out of Russia but, tend to be more yellow than green, and more brown-red than red.
Because of the rarity of natural Alexandrite, synthetic and imitation gemstones have been on the market for decades and are widely used in jewelry. First among these was color change synthetic corundum that was marketed as imitation Alexandrite in the early 1900’s. Later in the 1970’s, Creative Crystals Inc. in California patented and began to manufacture synthetic Alexandrite. One indicator of synthetic Alexandrite is that they are typically more blue than green in daylight and more purple/pink than red in incandescent light. Also, the synthetic gem may have bubble-like inclusions that can be seen under magnification and can also appear to have a dull or dusty looking layer within the stone. Cost is also a very good indication of whether or not the stone is natural or synthetic. Natural gems are extremely expensive and very limited, synthetic Alexandrites are affordable and a much more accessible alternative.
We will have several synthetic Alexandrites available for sale in the coming weeks! Stay tuned! I will be sure to do a blog post featuring these when they are ready for sale!