Alexandrite: The Transformer Gem
A truly distinctive, unorthodox, and a rare natural phenomenon of a gem is what alexandrite is known to be. Ever since it was first discovered in 1834 in the Ural region of Russia, this stone has been causing sensation in all gem lovers.
The most exceptional aspect of alexandrite is its unusual color depth that displays such versatility no other gem is capable off. The range of color can go from translucent green to bright red, all depending on the lighting and angles from which we look at it. This occurrence is known as the pleochroic effect. Tanzanite also has this effect except that its colors range from light to dark blue, indigo, and violet, but alexandrite possesses the power to completely transform and change colors that are by no means similar in scheme. There is even a saying that alexandrite is “emerald during the day and ruby at night.” Unlike opal in which all colors coexist together and overflow each other, the colors in alexandrite replace each other completely. Such exceptional transfiguration of color is unheard of in any other existing gem.
Another cool thing about alexandrite is that it does not belong to any mineral group but rather it is its own mineral called chrysoberyl. On Mohs scale, its hardness is at 8.5, so it is very resistant and durable gem. It is rarely found in large sizes and availability is scarce, making alexandrite extremely expensive and valuable gemstone.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s that alexandrite was also discovered in Brazil (Minas Gerais), Burma, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, India, and Madagascar. Today these countries along with Russia, the country of its origin, are the main producers of alexandrite.
Being the powerful gem that it is, alexandrite is said to be the stone of self-control, focus, and learning, as well as love, good luck, and fortune. There is a strong belief that alexandrite carries a good omen.