Alexandrite Gemstones

Alexandrite is part of the Chrysoberyl family or group of gemstones. Alexandrite is transparent, and has amazing colour-changing properties. Depending on the lighting around it, Alexandrite may appear anything from green to reddish brown. This makes the stone highly desirable and valuable. Alexandrite is often used in jewellery making, including rings, necklaces and bracelets. The colour changing properties may bring a range of particular challenges in the design process, but can be used to dramatic effect.

Alexandrite Gemstones available to buy on eBay

About Alexandrite

This beautiful stone was discovered in the 1800s, on a very precise date, in fact. A mineralogist called Nils Gustaf Nordenskiƶld found the gemstone in Finland on the seventeenth of April, 1834. This date also happened to be the sixteenth birthday of tsarevitch Alexander. In honour of the day, the stone was named Alexandrite, and Alexander himself went on to become Tsar Alexander the second in Russia.

Alexandrite is part of the Chrysoberyl family or group of gemstones. This group includes the Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye, Alexandrite, and the less well known Chrysoberyl gemstones.

Alexandrite Gemstone

Alexandrite

Alexandrite is particularly sought after because of its colour changing properties. In standard daylight, the colour is a greenish blue, whereas indoors, in artificial light, the colours tend to look more red or reddish brown. These colour changing properties are best seen in thicker Alexandrite stones.

Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye

You may also see this referred to as Alexandrite Cat's Eye, perhaps because the Alexandrite name has become more popular and recognisable. A Cat's Eye gemstone has a distinctive white or silver looking glint, like a cat's eye, running down the middle of the stone. A Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye is usually cut as a cabachon shape (smooth and rounded). The colour is different to the Alexandrite, and can include light golden brown, honey, and yellowish green.

Chrysoberyl

This is the least well know of this family group. It is a clear, transparent stone, and often larger than Alexandrite, but cut or faceted in similar shapes. Because it is less well known, it can be cheaper than Alexandrite, and so perfect for jewellery making. Chrysoberyl colours range from pale yellow to yellowish green and yellowish brown. You may see these days gemstones confusingly labelled Chrysoberyl Alexandrite, especially since Chrysoberyl is cheaper than Alexandrite, yet still part of the same gemstone group. Something with an Alexandrite but a Chrysoberyl price may seem very appealing. If you aren't sure, always check with the vendor exactly which category the gemstones falls under.

Typical Alexandrite Uses

Alexandrite gemstones are normally faceted (cut) and can often be seen in Brilliant, Cushion, and Mixed faceting. The Chrysoberyl Cat's-Eye gemstones are often seen in Cabochon form, which allows the cat's eye more prominence. When faceted, Alexandrite gemstones are perfect for a range of jewellery making

Alexandrite Occurrences and Origins

Today Alexandrite is still found in Russia, where it is believed it was first discovered. There is also Alexandrite found in Brazil, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.