If you are considering buying an alexandrite ring, you are in good company! Loved for its beauty and mysterious color-changing qualities, alexandrite is a popular choice for using in rings, earrings, and pendants. Having been named the official birthstone of June, many people are interested in having birthstone jewelry containing alexandrite these days. Don’t know much about it other than that it is beautiful? I’ve outlined some interesting things about it for you here.
History of Alexandrite
First discovered in the Ural Mountains almost 200 years ago, alexandrite has long been linked with the history of Russian czars. A popular story has alexandrite being discovered on Alexander II’s birthday in 1834, and so it was named in his honor. After Alexander was killed by a terrorist bomb, the then highly superstitious Russian society attached mystical powers to the gemstone that had been named for him. Russian monarchists began wearing alexandrite rings often with two diamonds to symbolize the two things Alexander II was especially known for: a new judicial administration and the cancellation of serfdom and Russia.
The Alexandrite Effect
Alexandrite is actually the mineral chrysoberyl which normally has a yellow to yellow-green or brownish coloring. There are actually two types of chrysoberyl; cymophane or cats eye, and alexandrite itself. Its mysterious color-changing ways are the reason why so many people are fascinated with this gemstone. The color change is dependent on the light source – alexandrite will change from a blue, green color in daylight to a purplish red to color when the exposed to incandescent light.
Stones that exhibit only a small amount of color change are normally identified as being a chrysoberyl and stones with a stronger color-changing appearance are identified as natural alexandrite. This color-changing affects has long been known as the “Alexandrite Effect”.
Natural vs. Simulated and Synthetic
Natural alexandrite is very rare and thus, very expensive. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a gold Alexandrite ring. A created alexandrite a ring will cost much less. Simulated or synthetic alexandrite has been developed that looks just like the real thing but costs a fraction of the price of the genuine article. Many alexandrite rings sold over the years are actually color-changing synthetic sapphires. Because spotting a synthetic one requires some experience, it is important that you shop in a reputable jewelry store with a jeweler you trust, and to ask questions about the ring you are considering purchasing. Since large size alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare, if you are considering buying such a stone, always have it examined by a gemologist, or ask to see the gemological certificate that should always accompany an expensive gemstone.
If you would like a modern look for your alexandrite ring white gold should be what you choose, although when it is set in yellow gold, it is also very beautiful. There are many ring setting variations, shapes, and cuts to choose from when looking for an alexandrite ring. Many different gemstones look wonderful with them and so it is easy to pair them with other jewelry in your collection such as your Pandora bracelets and even your amethyst earrings. As always, shop with caution and care when looking for jewelry containing expensive gemstones. Alexandrite, the mysterious color changing gemstone, is no exception.