Alexandrite is a phenomenal variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Because of a trace amounts of chromium and vanadium, alexandrite appears different colours depending on whether it is viewed in natural or incandescent light. In daylight, the stone appears to be green; in artificial light it appears to be raspberry red. It was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830 on the birthday of Czar Alexander of Russia. Another extraordinary coincidence was that the national colours of Russia were red and green. Today, alexandrite is found in India, Brazil and to a lesser extent in Africa. Alexandrite has long been associated with great luck and prosperity.
Stock Sizes: Faceted only
Round: 1mm – 4mm
Oval: 3x2mm – 8x6mm
Pear: 4x3mm – 6x4mm
Marquise: 3×1.5mm – 5×2.5mm
A small selection of Chysoberyl cats eye cabs are available. Specimen stones available on request
Chemical Formula: BeAl2O4 – Beryllium Aluminate Oxide
Crystal Structure: Orthorhombic
Colour: Bluish green in daylight, purplish red in incandescent light
Hardness: 8.5 on Moh`s scale
Refractive Index: 1.746 – 1.755
Specific Gravity: 3.73
Cleavage: Good, Often exhibits parting along twinned crystals.
Treatments: Alexandrite gemstones are not usually treated or enhanced. A synthetic form of Alexandrite exists, and it can be difficult to distinguish natural and synthetic Alexandrite from each other. Most synthetic Alexandrite is in fact synthetic Corundum or synthetic Spinel with added vanadium or chromium to induce the colour-change habit.
Care: Alexandrite is durable enough to be cleaned using ultrasonic cleaners or steam, but care should always be taken when using these methods. Alexandrites are harder than most other gemstones, which means they can easily scratch softer stones. Alexandrite should be kept away from prolonged exposure to excessive heat as this can effect the stones colour change effect.