Tuesday, June 8, 2010


No its not a mood ring!

I grew up in Belarus and have always known Alexandrite as an awesome gem stone that everyone knew about, and everyone was obsessed with (almost as much as amber, and we do love amber!).

Years ago, my mom gave me a small collection of family jewels, and one of them was a big Alexandrite ring, which I am in love with. Every time I wear it, I get plenty of comments, most however range in the "I love your ring, is it an emerald or amethyst? I thought it was green before, is it purple?" No neither, and yes both!

It seems no one here knows about Alexandrite. According to legend, Alexandrite was discovered by Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld in the Ural Mountains of Russia on April 17, 1834, the 16th birthday of tsarevitch Alexander, who would become Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The stone was named Alexandrite in his honor. Nordenskiöld first thought the stone he unearthed was an emerald, but looking at the stone under candle light, he discovered that it changed from green to raspberry red.

Quickly, the stone became a beloved jem stone in Russia, as its colors so closely matched the colors of imperial Russia. The stones have become fairly rare, especially stones over 5 carats with good coloration, however synthetic Alexandrites are now being created for those who want to have a sample of the amazing stone without the crazy pants pricetag.

Synthetic stones tend to be either bluish grey or rosy amethyst in daylight and turn to a purple in incandescent light, while natural stones are bluish green and turn to a reddish purple (the closer to a ruby color, the better the stone), However, some very good synthetic stones have been created, and the only way to determine a synthetic stone is with microscopic examination.

Either way, whether natural or synthetic, Alexandrite is an amazing and rare gem stone which seems to have slipped completely under the radar due to its rarety.

All photos by my fantastical friend Victoria Anne Boardman, check out her blog here.

No comments:

Post a Comment