Alexandrite Stone: Properties, Benefits & Meanings

Alexandrite Stone
Alexandrite Stone

Alexandrite Stone Overview

Alexandrite Stone is a rare gem known for its striking color change, which occurs when the stone is viewed from different angles. Its unique properties make it a great collector’s item and the centerpiece of any jewelry collection.

We’ve put together a detailed guide to help you learn more about the Alexandrite stone, its properties, meanings, and uses.

  • Variety of: Chrysoberyl
  • Wearability: Excellent
  • Symbols: Compassion, Fortune
  • Color: Greenish Blue, Red
  • Hardness: 8.5
  • Birthstone: June

What is An Alexandrite Stone?

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that belongs to the same family as emerald and tourmaline. It can be found as an octahedron or a rectangular prism, and it has been used for centuries in jewelry making.

Alexandrite is a very durable stone and can be worn regularly without needing to be treated or polished. The stone is an attractive crystal that comes in shades of green and red, with characteristic dichroism that allows it to change color depending on the angle at which it’s viewed.

The gemstone is often confused with the similar-looking emerald, but it’s a distinctly different stone. Their main difference is their color; Alexandrite has an orange-red hue that changes to green when seen from certain angles. It also has a higher Mohs hardness level than most other types of chrysoberyl, which means it’s less likely to scratch or chip easily.

How do You say Alexandrite?

The correct pronunciation of Alexandrite is al-ex-an-drit. The name Alexandrite is a greek word that means “defender of mankind.”

What is the history behind Alexandrite?

The first known Alexandrite was discovered near Yekaterinburg in Russia around 1830. Alexandrite was found in a mine that had been abandoned for about 20 years.

It was named in 1842 by Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiƶld in honor of Alexander II of Russia (1818-81), Czar from 1855 to 1881.

It was not until 1873 that the second Alexandrite was discovered in Sri Lanka. At first, it was thought that the stone was simply an emerald with a greenish tint, which is why it took so long for anyone to realize that they were different from one another.

How is Alexandrite formed?

Alexandrite is formed similarly to other chrysoberyls, a beryl group. They originate from a combination of aluminum, iron, and vanadium. The only difference between Alexandrite and different chrysoberyls is that they contain chromium instead of nickel or another metal.

Alexandrite is formed in metamorphic rocks such as gabbro. The process of formation of Alexandrite involves the transformation of pyroxene into erythrosite, which is a chromophore that contains iron and chromium. When this mineral comes in contact with aluminum-rich fluids, it causes a chemical reaction that forms Cr3+ ions; these are responsible for the red coloration in some specimens.

When there are higher levels of chromium in the stone, it tends to be greener and more vibrant. If there are lower levels, then it will appear more crimson-green or even red.

Synthetic Alexandrite Stone

Synthetic Alexandrite gems are also available. Synthetic Alexandrite can be made by mixing aluminum and chromium in a high-pressure, high-temperature environment to form crystals that are then cut into gemstones, making them look identical to natural Alexandrite but are not as valuable.

If your stone is larger than a carat and has no inclusions, it’s almost certainly a synthetic.

Where can you find The Alexandrite Stone?

For centuries, the Alexandrite Stone was found only in Russia. In the early 20th century, emerald mines on the right bank of the Takovaya River east of Ekaterinburg in Siberia produced most of it. Today those mines produce very little, and Sri Lanka has become its major source.

However, Alexandrite mines are found in many countries worldwide, including:

  • Australia: Western Australia
  • Brazil: Bahia, Minas Gerais
  • Czech Republic: Liberec Region
  • India: Chhattisgarh
  • Madagascar: Ihorombe, Vatovavy Fitovinany
  • Myanmar: Mandalay Region, Shan State
  • Russia: Sverdlovsk Oblast, Ural Mountains
  • Spain: Galicia
  • Sri Lanka: Western Province
  • Tanzania: Arusha Region, Manyara Region, Ruvuma Region
  • USA: New Mexico
  • Zimbabwe: Masvingo, Midlands
Alexandrite Stone Location
Alexandrite Stone Location

What are the Physical Properties of the Alexandrite Stone?

Mineral GroupChrysoberyl
FormulaBeAl2O4
ColorGreenish Blue, Red
Hardness (Mohs scale)8.5
Refractive Index1.739 – 1.770
Crystal SystemOrthorhombic
FluorescenceWeak red
TransparencyTransparent, Translucent
Table of Alexandrite Stone Physical Properties

What is the typical appearance of Alexandrite?

Alexandrite gems are often cut in cabochon form to show off their brilliant colors. In addition, the stone must be cut of a particular thickness to accentuate the color-changing character of Alexandrite.

A combination of factors causes Alexandrite’s color change. A chromophore type called an erythrosite causes this phenomenon, but so does the presence of Cr3+. The latter is what gives Alexandrite its green hue in daylight and red shade under incandescent light or when viewed with a Chelsea filter.

The inclusions in Alexendarite are Mica platelets, apatite, rutile, healing cracks, multi-phase inclusions, and hollow tubes.

Alexandrite Stone Cost and Value
Alexandrite Stone Cost and Value

Alexandrite Stone Cost and Value

Alexandrite is a very rare gemstone, with only a small amount of rough and finished material available each year. This rarity drives the cost of Alexandrite up, making it one of the most expensive types of natural gemstones. In general, the price of an Alexandrite stone will be based on its size, color, and clarity; but you should expect to pay at least $50,000 per carat when shopping for this beautiful gemstone.

  • Size: Price increases drastically with an increase in size as larger stones are harder to find and more difficult to cut. The most common sizes of Alexandrite available for sale are 1 carat and 3 carats.
  • Quality: Quality is determined by the number of inclusions and imperfections in the gemstone. Clarity is also essential when determining the quality of an Alexandrite. 
  • Color: The color of the Alexandrite influences its value as well. The most valuable Alexandrites are those with a strong red color in daylight and greenish-blue color under incandescent light. The more intense these colors are, the higher the gemstone’s value. 
  • Cut: Cut is also an important factor in gem pricing. An Alexandrite stone that has been well-cut will be more valuable than a poorly cut one, even if its quality or color are the same.
Raw Alexandrite Stone
Raw Alexandrite Stone

How can you tell if the Alexandrite Stone is Real or Not?

  • Color: Check the color for vibrancy and monotony. If it’s monotonous and lacks depth, it is likely fake. Look for natural color changes, which are most common in the center of the stone. A real Alexandrite will be naturally greenish-blue under incandescent light and deep red color in daylight. This means you can use your cellphone to check whether or not it is real!
  • Acetone Test: Do an acetone test. Soak in acetone for a few minutes to see if the color comes off. If it does, then it’s likely fake.
  • Transparency: Check transparency. Opaque stones are usually fake.
  • Check for inclusions: Inclusions are natural flaws in the rock. If you look closely at your gemstone, you should be able to find them. They will be small and irregularly shaped. If there are none, then it is probably fake.
  • Scratch Test: Do a scratch test. Kitchen knives shouldn’t leave a mark on hard stones with a rating of 6-7 or higher. Alexandrite has a Mohs hardness of 8.5 and does not have cleavage as a quartz variety.

refractometer can also be used to determine whether the Alexandrite is natural. This tool, typically used by jewelers, utilizes light and a lens to measure the gemstone’s birefringence, which is its ability to bend light through different indexes of refraction. If you hold up a piece of Alexandrite stone against this device, it should show two different colors when you view it from different angles.

Alexandrite Stone Chakra Connection

What Chakra does Alexandrite Symbolize?

Alexandrite is an excellent stone for balancing the Heart Chakra and can help you overcome feelings of anger, resentment, and jealousy. It also allows you to feel compassion for others, even if they have hurt or wronged you. Alexandrite can help to heal your emotional wounds and find forgiveness for those who have harmed you in the past.

Where is the Heart Chakra located?

The heart chakra, also known as Anahata, is situated in the middle of the chest. The rib cage, lungs, heart, circulation, skin, hands, arms, and upper back are all controlled by this Chakra. In addition, the heart Chakra or Anahata governs love and reflects the beauty of our home planet.

What’s another name for the Heart Charka?

Another name for the Heart Chakra is “Anahata.

Which Birthstone Is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is the birthstone of June. Therefore, all of its powers and abilities are amplified in that month.

Alexandrite Stone Uses
Alexandrite Stone Uses

Alexandrite Stone Uses

Alexandrite has the following uses:

  • As a gemstone, it is often used in jewelry. It can be cut into cabochons, beads, and other ornamental items. It can be used as a collector’s item, especially if it’s a rare type of Alexandrite.
  • High-quality Russian Alexandrite rings are very popular as engagement rings. They are, arguably, even more beautiful than regular diamonds and not as expensive.
  • Alexandrite is the stone of “changing luck,” bringing good fortune and prosperity. Its vibration is masculine and brings forth the dynamic force of ancient Egypt, while its color-changing properties resemble those of chameleons, earning it the title of “Chameleon Gem.” Alexandrite talismans find their way into many top-rated feng shui consultants’ collections who use them to help attract prosperity, success, and money as a catalyst to abundance in one’s life.
  • Alexandrite is a powerful stone that brings vitality and connection to one’s higher self. Alexandrite has been used to increase one’s sensitivity to spirit guides and the angelic realms and is believed by many to help access information from the collective consciousness.
  • Alexandrite is one of the few stones that carry a combination of a high level of physical and spiritual energy, making it an excellent stone to use in any aspect of your life. It can help with issues such as self-confidence, procrastination, and anger and promote compassion, friendship, and forgiveness.
  • Alexandrite is a stone of hope and can help you to see the good in things around you. Use Alexandrite when trying to decide between two different courses of action; it will help you understand the best one. It is also a stone of self-confidence and personal power, allowing us to assert ourselves in situations where we may have been shy or uncertain before and giving us the courage to speak our minds freely. Alexandrite can help bring needed changes in our lives and keep us safe while making them.
  • Alexandrite is a powerful crystal for healing and cleansing the aura, removing negativity.

What does the Alexandrite Stone Symbolize?

Alexandrite symbolizes the following:

  • Alexandrite symbolizes sincerity and encouragement. It is said to bring the wearer power and courage. Alexandrite is also believed to help one control anger and improve mental clarity.
  • Alexandrite symbolizes compassion. It is calming and soothing for the heart, bringing a sense of harmony.
  • The color change of the Alexandrite stone symbolizes a passion one experiences in love and friendship.
  • The Alexandrite symbolizes two polarities in conflict. Significantly it can help you resolve disputes between your logical and intuitive sides.
  • Alexandrite symbolizes a new chance and a fresh start in life. It gives the wearer the ability to make decisions without worrying about what others think, making it the perfect stone for anyone needing to take a risk in the name of self-fulfillment.
  • Alexandrite is a stone that represents the mind and heart, with the power to change one’s life. We’re pretty sure this piece will give you a lot of inspiration.
Alexandrite Stone Jewelry
Alexandrite Stone Jewelry

How to Clean Alexandrite Stone Jewelry?

The usual household cleaning method includes the following steps:

  1. Soak in lukewarm soapy water for 15 – 30 minutes until the dirt and stains loosen up.
  2. Please remove any remaining residues with a soft toothbrush until it appears spotless.
  3. Use a gentle dishwasher detergent or baby shampoo solution in case the stains do not come off. You can also use baking soda as an alternative to dishwasher detergent.
  4. Wipe the crystal with a microfiber cloth until it is smooth and lustrous.  
  5. Cleanse it using burning sage to remove any negativity absorbed, which can negatively impact the surroundings.
  6. Recharge it using the moon’s light or burying it underground, whichever method suits you.

Be sure to cleanse the Alexandrite Stone before you use it. It will help you stay energized and keep negative energies at bay.

Alexandrite should be protected from household chemicals and extreme heat exposure, which may cause damage or alterations in coloration. Most ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are safe to use, but it’s recommended that you do so with caution. Alexandrite jewelry is stored in a fabric-lined container separate from other jewelry pieces.

FAQ

Is Alexandrite Stone heat-treated?

Yes, it is often heat treated to remove some impurities and improve its clarity. This increases its value.

Is Alexandrite associated with any health risks?

No information on health risks for this material is currently known. However, it would be best if you always carefully treat mineral specimens.

How Does Alexandrite Change Color?

Alexandrite shows different coloration in natural and incandescent light sources. It can appear greenish blue in natural or fluorescent light sources, but under incandescent light, it will have a purplish red hue.

Does Alexandrite Glow in UV Light?

When an ultraviolet lamp is shined on an alexandrite, it glows brightly in red wavelengths of light. The electrons in the chromium ions absorb ultraviolet light and jump to higher energy levels. As they fall back down, they emit excess energy as light.

What Gems Go Best With Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a very rare and expensive stone. It is typically paired with precious stones such as Rubies or Sapphires. However, the Alexandrite gemstone can also be used in tandem with less rare stones. It is often paired with stones like Malachite, Green Jade, and Chrysoprase. It also pairs well with Citrine, Amethyst, and Clear Quartz.
However, the best companion to a blue-green Alexandrite gemstone is the Emerald gemstone. Alexandrite is the June birthstone, while Emerald is the May birthstone. This relation between the two stones, as well as their similar chemical composition, leads to a great resonance effect when they are used together.

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