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The Folklore of Alexandrite

Alexandrite was discovered in fairly modern times. Since it was found in the early 1800s in Russia, not much lore has built up around this incredibly rare gemstone.

Alexandrite ring sitting on a rock by the sea

When this gemstone was first discovered in emerald mines in the Ural Mountains, they assumed it was emerald. However, the mineralogist who found it later noticed that the gemstone changed colors depending on the type of light it was in.

Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light. The shifting colors are the result of alexandrite’s uncommon chemical composition that includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald.

According to legend, alexandrite was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday. Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom.

Since its discovery, people have felt this June birthstone brought good luck and abundance. Some have even believed it brought happiness and love into their lives.

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

If you’re looking for alexandrite jewelry for yourself or for someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of alexandrite and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.