Alexandrite (Chrysoberyl)

  • Alexandrite (Chrysoberyl)
Named after Czar Alexander II, Alexandrite was discovered in 1830 by miners in the Ural Mountains. The rare variety of chrysoberyl has become one of the finest color-change gemstones and one of the most prized in Russian Aristocracy.

Its varied coloration comes from trace amounts of chromium and the most valuable specimens are medium to medium dark with moderate saturation. Green to bluish green in daylight and red to purplish red in incandescent light are the most sought after colors - drawing the interest of many gem connoisseurs and collectors. Although it was only discovered recently, its rarity and beauty have seen the stone sell for astronomical amounts. In one example, Christies Geneva sold a top quality Brazilian 11.66 ct alexandrite for #421,501 USD in 2011.

While the mines in the Ural Mountains have since dried up, fine alexandrite is now mined in Brazil. However, these mines’ yield is limited and their production irregular. Other producers that have emerged include Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania.

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