Alexandrite, June’s birthstone, is emerald by day/ruby by night
The most amazing thing about alexandrite: It changes color in different types of lighting. In daylight or fluorescent light it appears green; in incandescent light (lightbulb), it’s purple red, according to the GIA. This is actually called “the alexandrite effect.”
- The stone was named for Alexander II when it was found in Russia in 1830.
- It was actually added as the third June birthstone in the 1950s.
- There are cats-eye alexandrites, the result of thin, parallel inclusions—REALLY rare.
- Its color comes from chromium.
- This is one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones around—about $15,000 for a single carat. (And it’s rarely found in carat-size.)
- The largest faceted alexandrite is 65.7 carats, in the Smithsonian.
- Healers believe that it helps the nervous system and glands. It can soothe tension in the neck, and supports the pituitary gland, pancreas, and neurological tissue.
- Alexandrite enhances creativity. It can supposedly help you find joy in life and accept changes that help you find that joy.
Buying, care, and cleaning
- According to the International Gem Society, the two characteristics that boost the gem’s value are the purity of the two colors and the stone’s clarity.
- With a Mohs hardness rating of 8.5, this is a pretty tough stone. It’s good for any kind of jewelry—rings (and engagement rings!), necklaces, and earrings.
- This is a relatively scarce stone, so it’s very expensive—more than its June birthstone counterparts, pearls and moonstones.
- If you find an inexpensive alexandrite, it’s likely not real. There are synthetic gems made to change colors.
- You can use warm, soapy water and soft cloths to clean the stones.
You may not have alexandrite in your collection, but whether you’ve got pearls, moonstones, gold, diamonds, or any precious heirloom, make sure they’re all protected with insurance. And that begins with an updated professional appraisal. Contact me to set yours up, either by phone at 617-304-0174 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brilliantly yours, Aimee