History, deposit and characteristics of the Alexandrites

History, deposit and characteristics of the Alexandrites

The “royal” mineral received this name in honor of the Russian Emperor Alexander II. Alexandrite was given as a birthday present to the future king, who was sixteen years old. Later, the emperor wore a ring with alexandrite as his own amulet. Only very noble, wealthy Russian nobles could wear jewelry with such a mineral, since the stone was very expensive, rare, and very desirable.

Interestingly, the gem was found on the banks of the Tokova River, located near Yekaterinburg. Initially, the mineral was confused with emerald, since that is where they were mined, and the color of alexandrite was very similar. However, alexandrite was higher in hardness, and in the presence of artificial lighting it acquired a ruby hue.

The main deposit is not only Russia, but also other countries - Sri Lanka, the island of Madagascar, Brazil, South Africa, India, Zimbabwe.

Characteristics of alexandrite stone:

It is a variety of chrysoberyl. It also belongs to the group of the youngest gemstones. Hardness on the Mohs scale is 8.5. Has a glassy sheen. The structure of the stone is transparent or translucent. Changes color depending on the lighting, they call it the “Alexander effect”. Under sunlight it has blue and green shades, and under artificial light it has red, purple-red or crimson shades.
Back to blog