Mother Nature presents us with one of her most mesmerizing magic tricks in the form of the color-shifting gemstone, Alexandrite. This alluring precious stone is the official birthstone for anyone celebrating their birthday in June. Those born in June are an endearing crowd and a lucky one too! June is one of the few months to have more than one significant birthstone. Along with Alexandrite, Moonstone and Pearl are also recognised as official birthstones for the month of June which makes selecting gifts of birthstone jewelry extra fun with so many beautiful items to choose from.
The Color-Changing Magic of Alexandrite
Alexandrite is often described as emerald by day, ruby by night. This refers to the gem’s fascinating color-changing properties. Alexandrite appears green or blue-green in daylight but shifts to a light red or purple-red hue in incandescent artificial light. A variety of chrysoberyl, it is one of the hardest gemstones, second only to corundum and the diamond. In fact, Alexandrite is both rarer and more expensive than diamonds.
Discovery and Namesake
This rare gem was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1830 and was named after young Alexander II, heir to the throne. Alexander II inherited the throne as Czar and was celebrated for emancipating the serfs, but was later assassinated in 1881. To date, Alexandrite has been found in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Brazil, Burma, Madagascar and the US.
You can see the magic of this rare gem for yourself. The largest cut gem specimen of Alexandrite, named the Sauer Alexandrite, weighs 66 carats and can be viewed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Alexandrite History and Lore
The first Alexandrites that were discovered were of exceptionally fine quality, presenting a wondrous showcase of vivid hues and dramatic color change. Since its discovery, Alexandrite was believed in Russia to be a stone of good fortune, as well as prosperity and longevity. The rare gem’s hypnotic beauty riveted the country and endeared itself even more as its shifting red and green colors mirrored the military colors of imperial Russia. It was still considered to be a beneficial talisman up until the late nineteenth century.
Alexandrite is believed to be a gem of joy and act as a powerful agent of inner transformation. Its unique characteristic of changing color when different wavelengths of light are shone on them, is believed to symbolize adaptability, inner transformation and the balancing of the heart and mind. Its rarity and unique ability defines this birthstone of June, which is also believed to expand the imagination, strengthen intuition and enhance creativity.
Mercurial Charm and Enduring Appeal
It’s hard not to gaze upon an Alexandrite and wonder if there is not some sort of magic at play. Glowing saturated shades of green, purple and red, this gem has enduring appeal that has seen a recent rise in popularity as more people fall in love with the beauty of colored precious gemstones.
Alexandrite is a rare gem, full of character and wonderfully unique, making it an extra special gift for your one-of-a-kind loved one. The beauty of alexandrite jewelry is truly special and the sentiment behind the stone is, at its heart, so joyful and uplifting. Oh, and what’s not to love about its charming color-changing magic trick? Alexanderite is also the official gemstone for the 55th wedding anniversary, a beautiful tribute to uplifting and enduring love.
Whether you’re looking for a beautiful item of Alexandrite jewelry that embodies the unique spirit and charm of your loved one, or celebrating life-long love and want to honor your partner by gifting them an heirloom-worthy piece, we invite you to explore our beautiful range of hand-crafted jewelry.