“Emerald by day, ruby by night,”

Alexandrite is well known for displaying one of the most remarkable color changes in the gem world — green in sunlight and red in incandescent light. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable. Alexandrite results from small scale replacement of aluminum by chromium ions in the crystal structure, which causes intense absorption of light over a narrow range of wavelengths in the yellow region (520-620 nm) of the visible light spectrum. Because human vision is most sensitive to green light and least sensitive to red light, alexandrite appears greenish in daylight where the full spectrum of visible light is present, and reddish in incandescent light which emits less green and blue light. Although crystals of chrysoberyl are not uncommon, the gemstone variety of Alexandrite, is one of the rarest and most expensive gems. A beryllium aluminum oxide, chrysoberyl is hard and durable, inferior in hardness only to corundum and diamond. It generally occurs in granites or granitic pegmatites. Alexandrite exhibits chatoyancy, the simplest way to explain this optical phenomenon is: a visible white stripe in the center of the gem that makes it appear as a cat’s eye. The largest faceted alexandrite weighs 66 carats. This one-of-a-kind specimen with vibrant green and red hues is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. It is, undoubtedly, a majestic cushion-cut rock that is originally coming from Sri Lanka. Alexandrite is rarely treated, unlike almost any other member of the gemstone family, alexandrite is a one that is typically untreated. Hence, the reason why it is considered an exceptionally precious possession. However, imitations do exist, but they can be easily identified with the use of special tools and techniques that modern appraisers employ in their work.




Variety of 





Varies in color with incident light: green, blue-green, or pale green in daylight; mauve, violet to red, purplish in incandescent light.








Named after Czar Alexander II of Russia.


Ural Mountain, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar, Tanzania.


BeAl2O4 + Cr

VK 17