Alexandrite Guide: Read About the Gem of Different Colors

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The alexandrite stone is arguably one of the most enchanting stones you could ever come across. It’s a beautiful gemstone with intriguing properties, and the best one is its color. 

If you’ve only discovered alexandrite and want to learn more about it, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’re discussing all you need to know about this extraordinary stone. We’ll talk about its origin, properties, symbolism, and how to care for alexandrite jewelry.

What is alexandrite stone?

Jewels Bezos Alexandrite Gemstone Genuine 925 Sterling Silver Ring for Women Oval Cut Yellow Plated On Silver Women's Ring for Engagement

Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl; a mineral made of beryllium and aluminum. Alexandrite appears in different colors depending on the light source. 

For example, it appears green under sunlight and red under incandescent (electric) light. This fascinating phenomenon has earned alexandrite the title “emerald by day, ruby by night.”

How is it formed?

Alexandrite forms when aluminum and beryllium mix with titanium, iron, and chromium within the earth’s mantle. 

💡 Fun Fact: The presence of chromium causes the attractive color-changing property of alexandrite. 

Natural alexandrite is very rare, so it’s mainly formed in laboratories. Lab-grown alexandrite also exhibits color variations under different light sources.

Where is alexandrite found?

Alexandrite first existed in the Ural Mountains, Russia, in 1830. Today, we find alexandrite in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and some parts of East Africa. 

What does alexandrite symbolize?

Alexandrite is said to symbolize good fortune, prosperity, and balance. It’s one of June’s birthstones (others are pearl and moonstone) and the 55th wedding anniversary gem. 

The value of alexandrite

Lab Alexandrite Gemstone Genuine 925 Sterling Silver Ring for Women 7*7 Hexagon Cut Women's Ring for Engagement Bride Romantic Birthday (Rose gold plated, 9)

Alexandrite is one of the most valuable gemstones in the world, primarily because of its rarity and distinctive properties. 

How much is a real alexandrite stone worth?

A real alexandrite stone is worth about $15,000 per carat. The stone’s worth depends on its color intensity, color variation, and size. For instance, an alexandrite stone that changes from deep green to deep red holds more value than one with lighter hues and a less distinct color shift. 

Since naturally mined alexandrite stones are rare, they are also more expensive, especially when found in large sizes. 

💡 Interesting Fact: Deep-colored, high-quality alexandrite that weighs over one carat can cost up to $50,000 to $70,000 per carat. 

Is alexandrite more expensive than diamond?

Some alexandrites can be more costly than diamonds. Diamonds cost an average of $12,000 per carat, although some diamonds are more expensive because of their cut, clarity, color, and carat. 

However, alexandrite is a semiprecious stone, while diamonds are precious. 

Is alexandrite a good investment?

Alexandrite can be a good place to start if you’re looking to invest in gemstones. Its worth has significantly increased in recent years. 

Alexandrite properties

Alexandrite Gemstone Ring - Alexandrite Guide: Read About the Gem of Different Colors

Let’s discuss some essential alexandrite qualities.

What color is real alexandrite?

Real alexandrite exhibits two colors, green and red. It’s green (or bluish green) under natural light and red (or purplish red) under dim, incandescent light. 

How hard is alexandrite?

Alexandrite is relatively hard. On the Mohs scale of hardness which ranges from one to ten, alexandrite ranks at 8.5. That means it won’t scratch easily and you can wear it daily.  

How can I tell if my alexandrite is real?

Alexandrite simulants are neither natural nor synthetic but may exhibit similar characteristics. To identify alexandrite from these gems, observe the color shift. 

💡 Take Note: While real alexandrite changes from green to red, alexandrite simulants will change from deep purple to lavender or similar colors without the green. 

A gem lab test is the surest way to know. The test will reveal your gem’s components and tell if you have a genuine alexandrite or some other color-shifting gemstone. 

Alexandrite is more expensive and valuable than other color-shifting gemstones, so it’s crucial to know if what you’ve got is the real alexandrite. 

How to care for alexandrite jewelry

To care for your alexandrite jewelry, follow these tips:

  • Use warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush to clean your jewelry every two to three months. 
  • Always rinse your alexandrite jewelry in clean water and dry it with a soft cloth after each wash.
  • Alternatively, use ultrasonic or steam jewelry cleaners to give your alexandrite jewelry a deep clean every two to three months. 
  • Keep your jewelry away from cosmetics or hair products, as the chemicals will reduce the gem’s shine. 
  • Protect your jewelry by removing it before working out or doing other physically demanding work. 
  • Avoid swimming with your jewelry on as chlorine is a harsh chemical and may damage it. 

Where to buy real alexandrite stones

Since alexandrite simulants are common, it’s best to shop at renowned stores where you’re sure you’re getting a real gem. Here are some of our best store picks.

The Rare Gem

Alexandrite Interlocking Flower Ring - Alexandrite Guide: Read About the Gem of Different Colors

The Rare Gem specializes in selling just two gemstones; sapphire and alexandrite. You’ll find a lovely collection of beautiful, authentic alexandrite jewelry. 

Kays Fine Jewelry

14KT Gold 5-Stone Princess Cut Natural Alexandrite Ladies Ring

Among other pieces, Kays Fine Jewelry deals in alexandrite jewelry. They make custom designs, so you can specify the style and metal you want for your jewelry.

Brilliant Earth

Teardrop Lab Alexandrite Pendant

Brilliant Earth has a good reputation for selling authentic gemstones. You’ll find a nice collection of alexandrite stones set in different types of jewelry, like the necklace above. 


Alexandrite Ring

Chatham sells specifically lab-grown alexandrite, making their pieces more affordable. They have a wide variety, so you’ll have various options.

Frequently asked questions

If you still have questions, here are a few more things to know about alexandrite. 

Is synthetic alexandrite worth anything?

Yes, synthetic (or lab-grown) alexandrite is valuable. However, natural alexandrite is extremely rare and expensive, so it’s hardly on the market. Synthetic alexandrite is the more available type, but it’s also valuable.  

What is the best cut for alexandrite?

The oval cut is the best. It accentuates the stone’s size, making it look even more beautiful. 

Are there different shades of alexandrite?

While some alexandrites have a distinct red and green color, some are light-shaded and may have a brown or gray tint; these types are less expensive. 

The Dazzling Gem

Alexandrite is an appealing gemstone with an interesting color-changing property. But there’s more to this gemstone than its beauty. It also has impressive durability and classic symbolism. 

Although expensive, alexandrite is highly valuable and worth a shot if you’re looking to invest in gemstones.

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