Alexandrite, the gem of the month of June

June is unstoppably approaching and the gem of this almost summer month is the beautiful alexandrite. Alexandrite is a rare gemstone known for its unique ability to change color depending on the light source.


It was first discovered in 1830 in the Ural Mountains in Russia and was named in honor of the Russian Tsar Alexander II.. It was considered the national jewel of Russia because its colors resembled the Russian imperial flag.

However, he was in Russia until the 90s of the 19th century largely depleted due to extensive mining. The global rediscovery has sparked renewed interest in this remarkable gemstone, often referred to as the “second chance stone“.


The color of alexandrite can vary by origin and is sometimes helpful in identifying imitations. In general, the best quality stones, mostly green, are found in Africa.

Indian alexandrite usually has blue or grass-green hues in daylight, while Sri Lankan stones lean towards yellowish green. Alexandrites from Sri Lanka are often larger but tend to have a weaker color change and a softer purple at night.

Given the rarity of the true “alexandrite effect” these days, choosing a stone often boils down to personal preference between its colors in different lights – whether you prefer the “emerald by day” or “ruby by night” look.

For example, Madagascar alexandrite may appear more brownish than purple in bright light. Ultimately, the beauty of alexandrite is subjective, emphasizing that its charm truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

Optical characteristics

  • Pleochroism:
    • Alexandrite exhibits marked pleochroism, meaning that its color changes when viewed from different angles. This is due to its specific crystal structure and chemical composition.
  • It changes color under different light:
    • The most famous feature of alexandrite is its ability to change color depending on the light source:
      • Daylight: Green, blue-green or blue-violet
      • Artificial light: Red, magenta or raspberry
      • White light source (eg light bulb): May appear purple or reddish

Physical and chemical properties

  • Chemical composition: BeAl₂O₄ (beryllium aluminum oxide)
  • Crystal structure: Orthorhombic
  • Refractive index: 1,746 – 1,755
  • Density: 3,5 – 3,84 g/cm³


It has a value of 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it very durable and suitable for jewelry.

Location of finds

In addition to Russia, alexandrite is also found in Brazil, India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. However, Russian specimens are most prized because of their excellent quality and significant color change.

Care and maintenance

Because of its hardness, alexandrite is relatively resistant to scratching and wear. For cleaning, it is recommended to use lukewarm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners are generally safe, but should be used with caution.

Alexandrite in our jewelry

In this article, we have decided to show you jewelry that is not even published on our website. Therefore, if you are interested in them, want to inquire about the price or want to have a similar one made to measure, do not hesitate to contact us directly via the contact form or at

Alexandrite set

A new alexandrite set consisting of a pendant, ring and earrings has been added to our SOLOOM Jewels range. It is executed in 14 karat yellow gold. Alexandrites are complemented by natural diamonds in a brilliant cut.

Alexandrite earrings

Beautiful earrings composed of 2 pieces of natural alexandrite with a total weight of 2,130 carats, cut into an oval shape. They are complemented by 62 pieces of natural diamonds and executed in 14 carat yellow gold with a total weight of 6.940 grams.

Alexandrite is a fascinating gemstone that combines beauty, rarity and the unique property of changing colors, making it very attractive and desirable in the field of gems and jewelry.


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