Posted on June 16 2020
The Alexandrite gem is the third gemstone for June birthdays and is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Also, it is the 55th wedding anniversary gemstone.
Alexandrite is well known for displaying one of the most remarkable color changes in the gem world. In sunlight and fluorescent light, the gem shows a vivid grass green color. In incandescent light, it will display an intense raspberry red color. Sometimes this June gemstone creates another phenomenon called chatoyancy or the cat' s-eye effect. Few gems are as fascinating – or as stunning – as cat' s-eye Alexandrite.
The first significant Alexandrite deposits were discovered in 1830 in the Russian Ural Mountains. The gem was named after Alexander II (1818–1881), who was the heir apparent to the throne. Alexandrite caught the country's attention because its red and green colors mirrored the national military colors of imperial Russia. Eventually, the deposits in the Ural Mountains were mined out. Now, Alexandrite comes from Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa. The newer deposits contain some fine-quality stones, but many exhibits less-precise color change and muddier hues than the 19th century Russian Alexandrite's.
The Alexandrite gem is relatively hard and has excellent toughness and has no cleavage, so it will not break when struck. This makes it an excellent choice for rings and other mountings that are worn daily. It is best to clean your June birthstone in warm, soapy water, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe as well.
The modern June birthstone is so rare that it may outrank nearly all other known gemstones making is very expensive. The more apparent color change, the more valuable the Alexandrite. That is why the price of certain Alexandrite gems is very cost-prohibitive.
Just how expensive is this stone?
Christie's is one of the major auction houses that sells the highest quality Alexandrite gemstone jewelry. One of the most expensive Alexandrite's was from Sri Lanka. It was a ring that weighed 18/23 carats and sold for $557,000.00. That price would be just over $30,000 per carat.
In October 2007, a 19.05-carat Alexandrite and Diamond ring sold for $959,400. That comes out to over $50,000 per carat!
Again in 2011, an Alexandrite and Diamond Ring that weighed 15.58 carats sold for $931,000 or just under $60,000 per carat! Lastly, in 2017, a smaller size Alexandrite, 9.99 carats, from Brazil sold for $313,000.00
Few people have seen a natural alexandrite. Because of its scarcity, especially in larger sizes, fine-quality Alexandrite is one of the more expensive colored gems.
Currently, I don't have any Alexandrite jewelry. However, I am searching for one for a client. I am also asking my jewelers if they have finished pieces with Alexandrite. So, stand by for next June to get your unique "emerald by day, ruby by night" gemstone.