Alexandrite is a gem variety of the mineral chrysoberyl discovered in 1830 in Czarist Russia. Since the old Russian imperial colors are red and green, it was named after Czar Alexander II on the occasion of his coming of age. Alexandrite is most noted for its color changing from shades of green in daylight to a rich purplish red color in incandescent light. Natural alexandrite is extremely rare and expensive. Laboratory created Alexandrite has a higher level of perfection than it’s naturally occurring counterpart.
Today, fine alexandrite is most often found in period jewelry since newly-mined gems are extremely rare. You'll see fine gems offered at auction with impressive estimates. The original source in Russia's Ural Mountains has long since closed after producing for only a few decades and only a few gemstones can be found on the market today.
Material with a certificate of Russian origin is still particularly valued by the trade. Some alexandrite is found in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Brazil, but very little shows a dramatic color change. For many years, Alexandrite was almost impossible to find because there was so little available.
We currently offer laboratory created alexandrite, a stone changing color depending on the ambient light, just like naturally occurring alexandrite.
Here is a photo of a silver ring with lab-created alexandrite, white CZ, and green sapphire (as illuminated by photo flash):
Check out more jewelry with alexandrite.