Alexandrite is somewhat of the chameleon of the gemstone world. Depending on the lighting conditions and the angle from which you look at the stone, it can manifest in various colors, ranging from green to orange to purplish-red. This phenomenon comes from alexandrite’s unusual light-absorbing properties. Alexandrite is a relatively rare stone, especially in larger sizes, which makes it the perfect gift for a loved one with a June birthday.

History of Alexandrite

Alexandrite was originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s. The stone was named for Russia’s czar at the time, Alexander II. Since then, the stone has also been discovered in Sri Lanka, Brazil and East Africa, although it is still considered a rare gemstone. The stones from Russia are still considered to be of the highest quality in the world

Evaluating Alexandrites

As with many other gemstones, Alexandrites are measured in carats, with the larger stones being the most valuable. Because the gem is known for its color-changing properties, this is one of the most important factors in evaluating the quality and value of Alexandrites. The brighter the individual colors and the more drastic the color changes, the more valuable the gem. Like other gemstones, cut and clarity also come into play, but they are of less importance than size and color. It’s very rare to find a stone five carats or more with strong color change.

Because the stone is known for its color-changing properties, this is one of the most important factors in evaluating the quality and value of alexandrites. The brighter the individual colors and the more drastic the color changes, the more the stone is likely worth.

Famous Alexandrites

Two of the world’s most famous Alexandrites can be seen at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. These are the Whitney Alexandrite, a 17-carat stone discovered in Brazil, and a nearly 66-carat stone found in Sri Lanka. For a truly unique display, check out Kochubei’s Drusy alexandrite crystal group. This massive collection of uncut alexandrite weighs in at of 5 kilograms and contains 22 distinct crystals. It is currently on display at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow.

Find Your Perfect Alexandrite

If you have a loved one born in June, custom jewelry featuring Alexandrite makes the perfect gift for any occasion. Here at Worthington Jewelers, we will work closely with you to design a custom piece that your loved one is sure to cherish forever. You also have the option of choosing from our wide variety of already-made pieces. If you are not sure what you are looking for, Bob, Theresa or one of our associates will be happy to help you find or design the perfect piece, so don’t hesitate to ask for help!

In addition to custom alexandrite jewelry, we also create wedding and engagement rings. If you bought your wedding or engagement ring from us, we welcome you to share your experience on TheKnot to help out future brides and grooms. We love hearing your feedback, which has shaped our local business.