Alexandrite is the very rare color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. It is the chameleon of all gemstones. It has the ability to change colors under different lighting. Due to its properties as well as scarcity of the stone, Alexandrite is very rare and therefore valued much more than diamonds and rubies.

Alexandrite was named after Czar Alexander II of Russia (1818-1881) after it was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld in 1830. It became Russia's national stone because not only was it founded there, but also because it bore the colours of its national flag which were red and green.

This amazing gemstone exhibits a unique show of changing its colors according to different rays of light to which it is exposed. This color change is the result of trace element of chromium in the gemstone.

During neutral light that is daylight, sunlight or flourescent light, this beautiful gemstone is in its primary color of yellowish, bluish or brownish green. It changes its color to reddish, pinkish or brownish purple in incandescent light which can be from candlelight, penlight or LED light. This phenomenon is known as the Alexandrite Effect. Alexandrite is described as emerald by day and ruby by night.

Alexandrite is strongly pleochronic which is an ability of the stone to absorb different wavelengths of light displaying brilliant colors when viewed from different directions. Some extremely rare Alexandrite may exhibit Cat’s Eye effect (or Chatoyancy) when cut en cabochon. These 2 properties combined significantly increase the price of the already highly valued gemstone.

Alexandrite has a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale and a high refractive index. It can be made into any type of jewelries and it has a brilliant shine. Its transparency is transparent to opaque and has a glass-like luster. However due to its clean cleavage, it can be quite brittle.

Alexandrite is the announcer of the Aquarian Age, to which, some believe, we have now entered.

Alexandrite, as stated above, was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830. However less than 100 years later, its supplies became scarce. In 1987 in the Minas Gerais of Brazil, Alexandrite rich deposits were discovered. Other important sources of Alexandrite include Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Tanzania, India (Andhra Pradesh), Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Alexandrite from different countries varies in the color-change effect. Sri Lanka Alexandrite exhibits a light brown to brown color change. Alexandrite from Zimbabwe are darker in color with touches of purple and have very little color change. Tanzanian Alexandrite come in lighter tones and have reasonable to good color change. The Alexandrite that comes from Brazil exhibits a blue to purple color change. The most sought-after Alexandrite are the ones that come with pure colors, and a strong color-change ability.

Other rare Alexandrite are Cymophane Alexandrite or the Cat's Eye Alexandrite; the pink Alexandrite, and the yellow Alexandrite. These are extremely rare.

Fine Alexandrite with vivid colors and flawless clarity are very rare. Due to its rarity, most natural Alexandrite are heat treated or irradiated to enhance its colours. There is also lab grown Alexandrite which have been sold in the market since 1960. Lab grown ones are very similar to the natural's physical and chemical properties. They are also very expensive as compared to other gemstones.

Alexandrite usually come in small sizes and the large sized Alexandrite can only be found in old jewelry from Russia. Alexandrite are usually used to create beautiful aureole jewelry designs and as background gemstones rather than the main center piece.

Alexandrite is a stone of change and transition. It gives you self-discipline and self-control. It can help you with concentration, and the ability to understand and retain knowledge. It pushes you to excel, with self-confidence, peace of mind and clarity of thought.

Alexandrite also helps you in developing and increasing your intuition, imagination and creativity.

It is a gemstone that brings good luck and good omen. It brings fortune and love to the wearer. It heightens the intuitive capacity and creativity of its wearer and is a bridge between this plane and the spiritual one.