Alexandrite, which is used in June birthstone jewelry, is among the uncommonest of gems to surface on the earth. It’s recognized as the June birthstone and is the precious stone used to commemorate the 45th and 55th wedding anniversaries. It belongs to the chrysoberyl group and made of a combination of iron, chromium, titanium, aluminum and chrysoberyl mineral.
Alexandrite’s Color Changing Properties
This June birthstone is highly revered because of it’s capacity to drastically switch colors. Compared to other precious stone such as sapphires and diamond, alexandrite is a relatively new gemstone on the market, having only been found about 150 years ago. The Alexandrite precious stone was first found in the Ural Mountains of Russia around 1830 and was named after Czar Alexander II, the Emperor of Russian. This gem was dubbed with the name “magic gem” because of it’s lovely show of colors.
Description of the June Birthstone Alexandrite
The color of this gem varies with the the wavelength of light and the chemical bonds in the gem. In natural light alexandrite exhibits a moss like bluish green but when seen under the light from a candle or lamp this color changes to a beautiful raspberry shade. This transformation is called the alexandrite effect. It’s a result of the chemical blending of chrysoberyl, which is a rare oxide mineral, and chromium. the lovely color of Alexandrite come from chromium.
The Quality of Alexandrite Gems
It’s crucial to take into account the strength of the color change when evaluating an alexandrite. The gemstone is thought to be rarer and more valuable if the color change is more complete and intense. A further aspect to consider is the cutting quality and clarity of the gem. Alexandrites found in Russia are supposed to be of superior quality and color, therefore making them more costly. Most of the alexandrites on sale are below 1 carat because bigger sizes are too expensive by most people.
Looking after Your Alexandrite Jewels
it is best to keep alexandrites away from extreme heat because this can affect their ability to change color. When cleaning these gemstones soapy warm water may be used as well as alcohol or a specially made jewelry cleaning solution. If steam and ultrasonic cleaning are required suitably trained jewelers ought to be used.
Sources of Alexandrite
The initial source of alexandrite in the Ural Mountains of Russia has now virtually been mined out, though the mines are still working and turn out a few carats each year. These days there are 2 chief sources of alexandrite gemstones, Brazil and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). In the 1990’s Alexandrite gems were also discovered in countries such as Burma, India, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Regrettably, none of these new sources has produced as vibrant and rich colors as the gemstones produced in Russia. Stones from these sources have their own individuality: such as the greyish undertones of stones from Sri Lanka and yellow tones in gems from Brazil.
In spite of the comparatively short history of this lovely stone it has already been credited with a range of mystical and magical properties. It is a rare and striking gem and would make a wonderful June birthstone jewelry gift for a loved one who has a June birthday.