WHAT IS AN ALEXANDRITE?
Alexandrite is a prized gem, part of the Chrysoberyl family. It's valued for its blue-green body that turns into a captivating red. GIA call it "Emerald by day, Ruby by night!" A true treasure!
Is alexandrite a good stone for rings?
Yes, alexandrite can be a great choice for June birthstone rings, the Mohs scale of hardness is 8.5, which puts it just below sturdy rubies and sapphires and just above trendy picks like aquamarine and morganite. This means that alexandrite is a good option even for people who work with their hands!depending on your preferences and needs.
Durability: Alexandrite is relatively hard, with a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale. This makes it suitable for rings that may experience daily wear. However, while alexandrite is durable, it's still important to handle it with care to avoid scratching or damaging the stone.
Color Change: The unique color-changing property of alexandrite adds intrigue and beauty to the ring. The ability to display different colors under various lighting conditions can make the ring stand out and create a conversation piece.
Rarity and Value: High-quality alexandrite is quite rare and valuable due to its scarcity and captivating color-changing nature. As a result, rings featuring alexandrite tend to be more exclusive and can carry a certain prestige.
Style and Aesthetics: The color-changing effect of alexandrite can complement various ring designs and metal choices. It can be paired with white or yellow gold, platinum, or other metals, allowing for a range of design possibilities.
Personal Preference: Ultimately, the choice of gemstone for a ring is a matter of personal taste. If you appreciate alexandrite's unique qualities and are captivated by its color-changing properties, it could be an excellent choice for you.
Budget: Alexandrite's rarity and desirability can also affect its price. Depending on your budget, you may need to consider the cost of the stone and how it fits within your overall ring budget.
The properties of Alexandrite
Alexandrite is a remarkable gem with unique properties. It belongs to the rhombic crystal system and shows strong dichroism. It can emit weak red light under both long and short wave ultraviolet light.
The fascinating aspect of Alexandrite is its color-changing ability. Depending on the light source, you can see it transform into different colors. It's like having two gems in one!
The Legend and Meaning of Alexander
Alexandrite became a June Birthstone. Discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830, it was named after Tsar Alexander II. Though not ancient, high-quality gems with strong color-changing effects rival the finest Rubies and Sapphires in price.
During the day, it appears as a cool blue mossy green, but in the light, it transforms into a warm red gem with a Rubus idaeus tone. Witnessing this spectacular color change is truly enchanting, and some even attribute mysterious magic and power to it. Alexandrite is believed to enhance intuition, foster creativity, and spark imagination.
Discovered in the Ural Mountains mine in Russia, production has now ceased, and most of the Russian Alexandrite on the market is brown-green. Brazilian Alexandrite is highly valued for its rare Teal color, resembling Siboehmite, making it top-grade.
Alexandrite VS Diamond
Alexandrite and diamond are both popular choices for gemstones in jewelry, including rings. However, they have distinct characteristics that make them unique. Here's a comparison of alexandrite and diamond to help you understand their differences and make an informed choice:
Color and Color Change:
- Alexandrite: One of the most distinctive features of alexandrite is its color-changing property. It shifts from green or bluish-green in daylight to a purplish-red or reddish-purple in incandescent or artificial light. This color change adds a sense of intrigue and fascination to the gemstone.
- Diamond: Diamonds are known for their exceptional brilliance and sparkle. While diamonds come in a range of colors, the most popular and valuable diamonds are colorless or near-colorless. Colored diamonds, often referred to as "fancy" diamonds, can come in various hues, including pink, blue, yellow, and more.
Hardness and Durability:
- Alexandrite: Alexandrite has a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it a durable gemstone suitable for rings. However, it's not as hard as a diamond.
- Diamond: Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale. This exceptional hardness makes diamonds highly resistant to scratching and wear.
Rarity and Value:
- Alexandrite: High-quality natural alexandrite is considered quite rare and valuable due to its scarcity and unique color-changing property. As a result, fine alexandrite can be more expensive than diamonds of comparable size and quality.
- Diamond: Diamonds are common in comparison to alexandrite, but their value depends on factors such as carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. Large, high-quality diamonds can command very high prices.
Symbolism and Tradition:
- Alexandrite: While not as well-known as diamonds, alexandrite has gained popularity over the years for its unique qualities and color-changing ability. It can symbolize creativity, change, and transformation.
- Diamond: Diamonds have a long history of symbolizing eternal love, strength, and purity. They are the traditional choice for engagement rings and are widely associated with commitment and enduring relationships.
- Ultimately, the choice between alexandrite and diamond depends on personal taste. Some individuals are drawn to alexandrite's color-changing properties and rarity, while others appreciate the classic beauty and brilliance of diamonds.
- Color: Optimal color is blue or green with a color change degree of over 90%, and the best color change is to red. Avoid brown or yellow hues.
- Clarity: Most Alexandrite is of good quality due to being a branch of Chrysoberyl.
- Cutting: Hexagonal cutting is popular, enhancing the angular color-changing effect.
Care for Alexandrite
With a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, Alexandrite is relatively hard and durable, suitable for daily jewelry like rings. Warm soapy water is best for cleaning, and ultrasonic and steam cleaning devices are generally safe.
Price of Alexandrite: Beautiful color-changing Alexandrite commands a high price, with one-carat high-quality stones being more expensive than similar-sized Rubies, Sapphires, and Emeralds. Factors affecting price include the color-changing effect, size, transparency, and number of defects. Larger, high-quality stones can range from $1000 to $5000 per carat.
When selecting an Alexandrite ring, consider your daily wear size, personal preference, and budget.