June's Birthstone Alexandrite: Fun Facts
If you are looking for a beautiful green gemstone, consider the Alexandrite. It is not only beautiful, but absolutely fascinating. There is no other gemstone like it. Here are some interesting facts about Alexandrite:
- WHAT IS ALEXANDRITE?
Alexandrite crystal is a variety of chrysoberyl, which is an aluminum oxide with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.
- WHERE DOES ALEXANDRITE GET ITS NAME FROM?
The legendary gemstone alexandrite has a fascinating history that dates back to the first century BC when Greek scholars believed that it was a rare form of emerald. Later, in 1830, a Russian chemist named Vasilii Emmanuilovich Luibov discovered that the green color of this gemstone originated from the addition of chromium ions to the rare mineral chrysoberyl. In 1837, Peter II (1839–1841) became the first person to bestow formal recognition upon this beautiful gemstone when he named it "alexandrite" after Tsar Alexander II .
- WHAT DOES ALEXANDRITE LOOK LIKE?
The Alexandrite gemstone ranges from violetish-red to purplish-green in color. This results from the trace amounts of iron and titanium in the stone, which are responsible for changing the color as light passes through it.
- WHY DOES ALEXANDRITE CHANGE COLOR?
Unlike emerald, sapphire, or ruby, alexandrite's intense chameleon-like color change is not caused by exposure to light, but rather by the arrangement of color centers in the crystal structure. Alexandritishas a range of red and green colors that appear differently in daylight than under incandescent light (candle light).
The effect that causes the change in color is caused by interference. Interference occurs when light encounters two or more surfaces of an object, thus causing some wavelengths to reflect and others to refract.
- WHERE IS ALEXANDRITE FOUND?
Most Alexandrite stones come from Brazil and as such is sometimes referred to as "Brazilian Alexandrite". Alexandrite gems are also mined in Sri Lanka, the Ural Mountains of Russia and Burma.
- HOW RARE IS ALEXANDRITE?
Natural alexandrite is rarer than diamonds and more costly than emerald, ruby and sapphire
- HOW MUCH IS ALEXANDRITE?
Top-quality natural Alexandrite can cost more than $30,000 per carat.
- WHAT ARE ALEXANDRITE'S HEALING PROPERTIES?
Alexandrite is a unique, valuable gem that can help heal your physical, emotional and spiritual selves. It does so by removing stress, stabilizing moods and promoting balance. As it comes into contact with skin, alexandrite also has healing abilities and promotes purifying of energy.
- WHAT IS THE LARGEST ALEXANDRITE STONE?
The largest uncut gem-quality alexandrite specimen ever found is the Sauer Alexandrite that weighs 122,5400 carats and was found in Bahia, Brazil, in 1967.
- HOW TO CARE FOR ALEXANDRITE JEWELRY?
Alexandrite is a durable gemstone. The best way to care for alexandrite jewelry is to wear it often and avoid drastic changes in temperature. When not wearing your alexandrite rings, bracelets, earrings or pendants, store them separately in an airtight container.
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