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June Alternate Birthstone – Alexandrite

Hypnotic, enchanting, mesmerizing. These have all been words to describe the stunningly beautiful alexandrite.

 

First discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830, this gem helped celebrate the coming of age of Czar Alexander II (best known for the abolition of serfdom). The name was bestowed upon this recently discovered chrysoberyl as a tribute to the youthful royal, and its green and red colors matched the Russian flag.

 

Alexandrite is a strongly pleochroic gem, meaning different colors can be seen when viewed in different directions. The typical colors are green, orange and purplish-red. Pleochroism, however, is not the cause of the color change phenomenon. It is actually caused by the stones unusual light absorbing properties. There are other gems that have color changing abilities as well, but alexandrite’s is by far the most stunning. It has been called “Emerald by day, ruby by night”.

 

Alexandrite is associated with balanced life, self-esteem, and the ability to experience joy. It also has a harmonizing effect on relationships. But at the end of the day, it’s really super cool to have a gemstone that changes color based on what kind of lighting you are surrounded by!

 

Alexandrite is very rare, there are only 5 places in the world where they have been found; Russia, Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Sizes above 1 carat are extremely rare and very costly. Usually, the finer quality alexandrites are more expensive than comparably sized rubies or sapphires. Even though they have a tendency to be small, they are excellent gems in terms of wear. As with all gemstones, they should be checked and cleaned every 6 months by your favorite jewelry professional.

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