June Birthstones | Alexandrite Overview

JUNE BIRTHSTONES

Alexandrite

Alexandrite Overview



A relatively modern gemstone, alexandrite was discovered in Russian emerald mines located in the Ural Mountains. Legends claim that it was discovered in 1834 on the same day that future Russian Czar Alexander II came of age, and was named to honor him.

Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes color from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light.

This chameleon-like color shift is the result of its uncommon chemical composition which includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald. The unlikelihood of these elements combining under the right conditions makes alexandrite one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones on earth.

The alexandrite mined from Russia’s famed deposits set the quality standard for this gemstone. Today most alexandrite comes from Sri Lanka, Brazil, and East Africa generally paling in comparison to the vivid colors of Russian gemstones.

With a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, alexandrite is softer than sapphire and harder than garnet—the other gemstones that can change color. However, due to its scarcity, alexandrite is more valuable than most gemstones, even rubies and diamonds.

Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.


Jeweler Map

Find a Jeweler

Search for an American Gem Society member jewelry store.

Search

SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Would you like to hear more about the latest news, tips, and trends on fine jewelry and gems? Look no further than your inbox! Sign up today to receive our e-newsletter, Brilliance.

Sign Up

Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society

8881 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117

info@ags.org (866) 805-6500