Alexandrite may not be a very well known gemstone, but it has definitely shot up in popularity in the past decade. More and more brides are going for non-traditional rings, and this includes a non-traditional gem. If the norm is a clear white diamond, seeing colored gems as the centerpiece has become more and more popular. Alexandrite is one of the best stones to get, because it changes colors depending on the light !
Because of their shift in color, alexandrite gems have always been though to have mystical powers and a deep meaning. Here’s what an alexandrite engagement ring would mean, and what you should know before getting such a ring.
Alexandrite engagement ring meaning
Alexandrites are though to represent duality because of their color change properties. This is often interpreted as a deep connection between body and soul, helping you align better with your need and in touch with your emotional well-being. Due to this alexandrite can be viewed as an especially powerful stone for those looking for balance in their lives, but especially looking to balance themselves.
Alexandrite is one of the birthstones for the month of June ! So if you or your loved one have strong ties to June, an alexandrite ring may be even more powerful. Examples of a June connection are:
- one of you is born in June
- getting engaged or married in June
- having your relationship anniversary in June
In a relationship alexandrite may help the couple weather emotionally turbulent times, and keep themselves centered on the love they share. Marriage can be tough sometimes, so having the help of alexandrite can be a real boon.
What is alexandrite ?
Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl that forms in pegmatite, the type of rock that results from volcanic activity. This is an aluminate of beryllium, but is not related to the beryl family of gemstones.
Alexandrite’s first discovery is debatable, with some claiming it was discovered by a Finnish mineralogist and named alexandrite in honor of Alexandre II Romanov, Emperor of Russia at the time. Other claim the discovery was in fact made by Yakov Kokovin. Whomever discovered the gem first, the result is the same. This gemstone quickly drew attention due to its color-shifting ability.
This fascinated people for decades, and make alexandrite a very sought-after gem. It’s actually a very rare gem, especially when looking for a high-caliber one that show a dramatic color change in a specific range of colors.
Read also: Cubic Zirconia VS Zircon
Why does alexandrite change color ?
Alexandrite changes color due to its crystal structure, which allows it to reflect both blue and red light equally. Human eyes are adapted for green light, which is slightly warmer than blue light. So our eyes will pick up green with hints of blue better than pure blue, which is why alexandrite appears green in neutral to cool light (sunlight). In incandescent light – indoors – it will appear reddish-yellow.
This gemstone can come in different calibers, with the most common and least expensive showing yellow-green in daylight, and brown-red in indoor light. The finer specimens show a dramatic shift from teal to magenta when shifted from daylight to indoor light.
Is alexandrite good for an engagement ring ?
Yes, alexandrite is very good choice for an engagement ring. Aside from its ability to help you align your body and your soul, it makes for a truly spectacular center stone. There are colored gems, there are clear ones like diamonds, and then there are the unique color-shifting gems, like alexandrite. If this doesn’t make your friends stop and fawn over your ring, we don’t know what will.
Can you wear alexandrite every day ?
Yes, alexandrite can be worn every day, which is very important for an engagement ring. This gemstone scores a 8.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, just below sapphires and rubies. This means alexandrite will withstand most scratches and should not chip unless hit with something far tougher, like a diamond.
Is alexandrite expensive ?
Natural alexandrite is an expensive gemstone, as finding one that is large enough to be cut into a gem is rare and a fine quality one is even rarer. Prices for a fine Brazil-mined alexandrite can range between $28.000-30.000 for a single carat. Poorer quality alexandrite can be as little as $3000 per carat, with a significant drop in color intensity and the range it can shift.
Unlike most colored gems, alexandrites are never heat treated or irradiated to get a better color. So whatever color and clarity you’re looking at, it’s completely natural and it came as-is from the mine.
Please remember that nearly all gemstones can also be lab-grown. Many alexandrite jewelry pieces are actually made with simulated or lab-grown alexandrite, which brings the price down to less than $1000 for then entire ring in many cases. So if you do find an alexandrite engagement ring under 3 digits, it is likely lab-grown alexandrite. Beautiful all the same, and also has amazing color play, But not the real deal.
What metal pairs best with alexandrite ?
Yellow or rose gold work best with alexandrite, as they bring out the warm notes hiding within the gemstone. These two metals also manage to give alexandrite a more regal and vintage appeal, no matter the overall style of the ring you choose. In the end, it’s the slight purple hues within the alexandrite that work best with yellow and rose gold, not the blue or green.
What is the best color alexandrite ?
The best color alexandrite is the one that appears teal (greenish-blue) in sunlight and magenta (reddish-purple) in in incandescent light. This is the finest quality alexandrite possible.
Brazil alexandrite gets the best color play, especially for a natural stone. The exact reason for this is unknown, but throughout the years and after examining many specimens, mineralogists have concluded that Brazil alexandrites are simply superior in quality and show a far greater color range than any other. You can find alexandrite mined form other parts of the world, including the Ural mountains in Russia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania.
Lower quality alexandrite will show less blue and more green, and will sift into brownish red instead of purple-red.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.