Alexandrite Gems

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Many Alexandrite enthusiasts refer to the beautiful gem as “emerald by day, ruby by night” because of the most striking color change feature. Natural Alexandrites exhibit a unique and exquisite color change, from bluish green to purplish red, depending on whether the gem is viewed in daylight or incandescent light. This chameleon characteristic makes this beautiful and rare variety of chrysoberyl and extremely beloved and sought after gemstone, in fact, the color change of Alexandrites are so bold and impressive, any color changing gemstone is said to exhibit the “alexandrite effect”. First discovered in 1830, which is relatively young on the gemstone scale, Alexandrites were named after the Russian heir to the throne Alexandrite II, as the gems were first found in the Russian Ural mountains and the gemstone seemed to represent Russian pride as the green and red colors mimicked those of the Imperial Russian flag. The Alexandrite deposit in the Ural Mountains, which produced superbly beautiful Alexandrite specimens, has since been depleted and today Alexandrites are mined in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil.

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Visit the GIA Gem Encyclopedia to Learn More About Alexandrite Gemstones