What Color Is Alexandrite

Key Takeaway:

  • Alexandrite is a rare and valuable gemstone belonging to the mineral chrysoberyl, known for its unique color-changing properties when viewed under different light sources such as violet and blue-green.
  • Alexandrite’s color is influenced by several factors such as the light source, trace elements, quality, and cut of the gem. Natural and synthetic alexandrite types exhibit different color variations depending on the lighting conditions and may feature dichroism or trichroism effects.
  • To obtain high-quality alexandrite gems, it is important to consider factors such as cut and trace element content. Alexandrite is a popular birthstone for the month of June and is highly sought after by gem collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

What is Alexandrite?

What Is Alexandrite?  - What Color Is Alexandrite,

Photo Credits: colorscombo.com by Jose Scott

Discover the rare Alexandrite gemstone! This natural Chrysoberyl variety changes color depending on light. Learn about this gem’s history and value. Plus, find out about synthetic versions. Navigate the section to learn all about Alexandrite!

A brief history of Alexandrite

Alexandrite- A Valuable Gemstone with Rich History and Discovery

In the world of gemstones, Alexandrite holds a unique place due to its rare and interesting color-changing phenomenon. Discovered in 1830 in Russia, Alexandrite was named after Tsar Alexander II. Initially, it was found exclusively in the Russian Ural Mountains; however, later deposits were discovered in various countries such as Tanzania, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. Despite being found in different parts of the world, the original Ural Mountains Alexandrites are still considered the most valuable ones due to their unique properties.

The discovery of Alexandrite brought a significant change in the gemstone industry. It marked a new era where color-changing gemstones became popular among jewelry enthusiasts. During that time, it was believed to bring good luck and fortune to its possessor. Consequently, alexandrite became one of the most expensive gems worldwide.

The value of Alexandrite largely depends on its quality and color-changing properties. Natural shade-changing Alexsandrite is rare and mostly reserved for top-end jewelry due to its high price tag compared to synthetic ones. It can be difficult to identify natural from synthetic based solely on appearance because both can showcase similar colors; experts often use specific tools or refractometers to distinguish between natural from man-made gems.

Furthermore, alexandrite continues to attract attention due to a fascinating feature-its uncanny ability to transform color when viewed under different lighting conditions. In daylight or fluorescent lighting, they look blue-green or greenish-blue while displaying red-purple or purplish-red hues under incandescent lightings.

Today Alexandrite continues as an iconic gem that has stood out among other precious stones for over 150 years since its initial discovery. Its uniqueness has made it one of the most sought-after collectables for jewelry lovers worldwide. Overall, scarce supply coupled with high demand makes this rare stone not only valuable but also one of the most fascinating in the gemstone world.

Alexandrite’s optical properties are like a chameleon on steroids – it changes color, has a unique spectrum, and can be transparent, fluorescent, and refractive all at once.

Alexandrite’s Optical Properties


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Grasping alexandrite’s optical characteristics requires knowledge of its color-switching phenomenon. It has purple and blue-green shades, dichroism and trichroism effects – this makes it quite valuable. Moreover, it offers an exclusive rainbow of colors, fluorescence, transparency and refraction. Here, we will elucidate alexandrite’s color switch and one-of-a-kind color spectrum.

Understanding Alexandrite’s Color Change Phenomenon

Alexandrite’s Color Phenomenon is due to the gemstone’s unique optical properties that are influenced by light source and trace elements. The color of natural alexandrite ranges from green to blue-green in daylight and violet-red in incandescent light, whereas synthetic alexandrite has more uniform colors with less dichroism.

Aspect Natural Alexandrite Synthetic Alexandrite
Colors Blue-Green or Green in Daylight, Violet-Red in Incandescent Light Uniform Colors
Dichroism/Trichroism Yes Less Pronounced
Alexandrite Effect Yes Yes

Additionally, alexandrite’s color change is not only limited to a change from green to red, but also includes shades of blue-green and violet. The stone’s value is greatly influenced by the intensity of the color change and its saturation.

A renowned story about alexandrite values was revealed when a Russian tsar ordered for imperial regalia with alexandrites, but after realizing its rarity, asked for rubies instead. Still fascinated with the stone, the tsar demanded that no one else shall possess these gems except royalty.

Overall, understanding Alexandrite’s Color Change Phenomenon can deepen appreciation for this unique and valuable gemstone. Alexandrite’s color change phenomenon reveals a unique spectrum of violet and blue-green, highlighting its value as a gemstone with both dichroism and trichroism.

Alexandrite’s Unique Color Spectrum

Alexandrite possesses a distinct and remarkable color spectrum that sets it apart from other gems. Its hues range from green to violet, with an exceptional blue-green color change when subjected to different types of light sources. The value of Alexandrite is closely related to the quality of the gem’s dichroism (display of two colors) or trichroism (display of three colors).

The high dispersion, or the separation of white light into its spectral components, is responsible for creating this extensive color range in Alexandrite. It also has an incredible ability to absorb some specific wavelengths of light while reflecting others. This absorbing phenomenon is known as selective absorption, and it gives rise to the unique color change effect seen in Alexandrite.

Moreover, Alexandrite’s value is enhanced by its rarity and color consistency through dimmer light levels. In more than one type of lighting environment, natural alexandrite displays variations in its Blue Green hues and tends to be more valuable compared with synthetic alexandrites.

Pro Tip: When selecting an Alexandrite gemstone for jewelry, try observing its color under a variety of lighting conditions before making a final decision. Alexandrite’s color is as fickle as a teenager’s mood, depending on factors like light source, trace elements, and quality of cut.

Factors That Affect Alexandrite’s Color

Factors That Affect Alexandrite

Photo Credits: colorscombo.com by Arthur Gonzalez

To uncover the source of alexandrite’s color, explore three main parts:

  1. First, examine how the light source affects its hue.
  2. Second, research the trace elements that influence its color.
  3. Last but not least, consider the cut and quality of the gem. By studying these elements, you can deepen your appreciation of this marvelous gemstone!

Influence of Light Source on Alexandrite’s Color

The way light sources illuminate alexandrite gems can directly impact their hue and intensity. Understanding the influence of light source on alexandrite’s color is important for optimizing its use as a gemstone in jewelry.

Light Source Type Effect on Alexandrite Gem Color
Natural Daylight Elevates green hues, de-saturates red tones
Tungsten Incandescent Light Bulbs Elevates red tones, de-saturates green hues
Fluorescent Lighting Can cause yellow or green fluorescence if containing mercury vapor, otherwise has little effect on color perception.
LED lighting Causes less color shift than tungsten bulbs but can vary based on temperature and brand.

It is suggested to view and test an alexandrite gem under multiple light sources to fully appreciate its spectrum of colors and gradients. Additionally, the cut quality of each stone must be taken into consideration alongside the type of lighting used to present it.

To ensure complete satisfaction when purchasing alexandrite, always work with a reputable gem dealer who prioritizes transparency when selling their gems. Don’t miss out on owning an exquisite Alexandrite gemstone by overlooking the importance of understanding how different light sources affect its magnificent spectrum of colors.

Without trace elements, alexandrite would just be a fancy green stone with commitment issues.

The Role of Trace Elements in Alexandrite’s Color

Trace Elements’ Contribution to Alexandrite’s Color

Alexandrite’s color is largely dependent on its trace elements. These unique minerals are present in small concentrations within the gemstone and significantly influence the final color.

Trace Element Color Influence
Chromium Green or blue-green hue
Iron Yellow, brown or greenish-brown tint
Titanium Blue tone

Interestingly, the presence of these trace elements not only determines which color will be exhibited but also how strongly that hue will be seen. Furthermore, the quality of the cut and the gemstone’s transparency can also affect how apparent these colors are.

It is important to keep in mind that trace elements play an essential role in producing Alexandrite’s distinguishing characteristic color change phenomenon. Without them, this notable feature would not be possible, making Alexandrite all the more unique and one-of-a-kind.

Don’t miss out on owning a truly remarkable gemstone like alexandrite – one whose color is owed to such fascinating trace elements! Cutting corners on quality and cut of alexandrite gems will leave you with a disappointing, colorless rock.

Quality and Cut of Alexandrite Gems

The quality and cut of Alexandrite gems significantly impact their overall appearance, color, and value. Alexandrite’s unique color change phenomenon is best visible in high-quality cuts that maximize the gem’s reflective properties. The quality of the gemstone is determined by factors such as clarity, transparency, brilliance, and durability.

Below is a table showcasing various qualities and cuts of Alexandrite gems –

Quality Cut
AA+ Oval Cut
A+ Round Cut
B+ Pear-Shaped Cut

In addition to quality and cut, other critical factors include size, shape, lighting conditions, and trace elements that also affect alexandrite’s color variation. Since Alexandrite is scarce and expensive due to its rarity, finding higher quality ones can be more challenging. Due to this high demand and limited supply within the market, impeccable cutting skills are essential for achieving the maximum potential for alexandrite gems.

One suggestion includes choosing a reputable dealer or jeweler familiar with identifying high-quality alexandrites. Additionally, get Alexandrite appraised by a certified gemologist before purchasing. This approach will help ensure you receive your money’s worth while also having a beautiful piece ideal for collections or jewelry designs. From natural to synthetic and under different lighting conditions, the color of alexandrite shifts like a chameleon on a disco ball.

Alexandrite’s Color Variations


Photo Credits: colorscombo.com by Ryan Harris

Discover the unique color varieties of Alexandrite gems! Check out the section on Alexandrite’s Color Variations. Learn the difference between natural and synthetic forms. Understand how different lightings affect the hue. Dichroism and trichroism in the stone create stunning effects – like cat’s eye and chatoyancy!

Natural Alexandrite vs Synthetic Alexandrite

Natural Alexandrite and Synthetic Alexandrite have notable differences in their origin and properties. Natural Alexandrite is a rare gemstone found in select locations worldwide, while synthetic alexandrite is manufactured in laboratories using various techniques.

Properties Natural Alexandrite Synthetic Alexandrite
Origin Mined from select locations worldwide Manufactured in laboratories using various techniques
Rarity Extremely rare Widely produced
Color More color saturation and variation Often more uniform color distribution between specimens
Inclusions Generally, there are more noticeable inclusions Fewer noticeable inclusions
Cost Significantly higher More affordable compared to natural alexandrites

It is crucial to consider the differences when purchasing alexandrite for use in jewelry or as a birthstone for June-born individuals. While synthetic alexandrite might seem more appealing due to cost, it lacks the authenticity and rarity that natural alexandrite represents.

Therefore, it is imperative to make an informed choice while purchasing an alexandrite gemstone. By choosing natural alexandrite, one can acquire a genuine gemstone with unique color variations that act as perfect birthstone jewelry or add value to one’s collection. Don’t miss out on owning a piece of history.

Alexandrite’s color shifts like a chameleon in different lighting, showcasing its versatile spectrum and feline-like chatoyancy.

Alexandrite’s Color in Different Lighting Conditions

Alexandrite’s Color in Various Illuminations

The shade of Alexandrite significantly changes based on the lighting conditions. The light spectra impact its spectrum and impact hue, color saturation, and brightness.

Lighting Conditions Alexandrite Color
Natural Light Green to bluish-green and brownish-reds
Incandescent Light Redder- purplish red from daylight green to blue-green.
Fluorescent Light (Cool) Bluish-Green/Aquamarine shade like natural light.
Fluorescent Light (Warm) A slight shift toward yellow or green-yellow instead of aqua-blue.

Despite having unusual properties such as chromium and iron trace elements, Alexandrite also has a unique chatoyancy effect known as cat’s eye when viewed from different angles. This makes it even more fascinating for gemstone enthusiasts.

Interestingly, in Alexandrite’s early days, researchers discovered that initial deposits were found at Russia’s Ural Mountains in the early nineteenth century. Emerald caterer Emporer Alexander I named it after himself because of his birthday coinciding with the unearthing anniversary.

Five Facts About the Color of Alexandrite:

  • ✅ Alexandrite is a color-changing gemstone that exhibits green in daylight and reddish-purple in incandescent light. (Source: Gemological Institute of America)
  • ✅ The color change phenomenon is due to the presence of chromium in the crystal lattice structure of the gemstone. (Source: International Gem Society)
  • ✅ Alexandrite was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s and is named after Alexander II, who would later become the Czar of Russia. (Source: Smithsonian Magazine)
  • ✅ High-quality alexandrite is rare and valuable, with prices ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per carat. (Source: Forbes)
  • ✅ Alexandrite is a birthstone for the month of June and is believed to bring good luck, fortune, and love to its wearer. (Source: American Gem Society)

FAQs about What Color Is Alexandrite

What color is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a unique gemstone that appears to change colors depending on the lighting conditions that surround it. In natural daylight, Alexandrite will appear green or blue-green, but in incandescent light, it will shift to a reddish-purple hue.

Is Alexandrite a rare gemstone?

Yes, Alexandrite is considered to be one of the rarest gemstones in the world. It was first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, and since then, it has only been found in a handful of locations around the world.

What is the history of Alexandrite?

Alexandrite was first discovered in 1830 and was named after Alexander II, who was the crown prince of Russia at the time. It quickly became popular with Russian royalty and was known as an “imperial” gemstone. Today, it is still highly valued by jewelry collectors and enthusiasts.

Can Alexandrite be synthetic?

Yes, Alexandrite can be synthesized in a laboratory setting. While natural Alexandrite is rare and expensive, synthetic versions are much more affordable and can still have the same color-changing properties as the natural gemstone.

What is the meaning behind Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is often associated with balance and harmony. It is thought to enhance intuition and creativity while also promoting spiritual growth and awareness.

What should I look for when buying Alexandrite?

When buying Alexandrite, it’s important to look for stones with a strong color change and good clarity. The gemstone should also be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity to ensure that it is a genuine Alexandrite and not a synthetically produced imposter.

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