Ruby by Day, Emerald by Night – Alexandrite


The history of alexandrite is noble as the stone itself. This gemstone was first discovered in Russia’s Urals in the emerald mine in 1834. It was discovered when Russian tsar Alexander became of age and it was instantly named after him. However since the colors of alexandrite were green by day and red by night, those also corresponded with Russians colors it became their national gemstone. The extreme high quality along with the beauty of this stone quickly made it popular and it was used to make a lot of jewelry – the most popular being alexandrite rings that were even created by the Tiffany’s jewelers.

However once all of the supplies of alexandrite gemstone were exhausted in the Ural’s the interest quickly dropped as well. While it was found in other places also the fact remains that the one found in Russia had the highest quality in terms of hardness – it ranked an 8.5 on MOHS, but it also had the strongest change of color as well. The other non-Russian alexandrite barely changed its colors at all. The good news is that finally in 1987 a new source of alexandrite was discovered in Hematita in Minas Gerais, Brazil that almost corresponded with the quality of the one in Russia used to make alexandrite jewelry and alexandrite rings. The hardness was not as high as the Russian source but the color changing aspects were there.

Today the interest from commercial jewelers for this amazing gemstone and for making alexandrite rings and alexandrite jewelry is very low. This has of course affected the price as well and now you can find limited supplies of alexandrite really cheap but if you know the dealers who stock them. Today it turned out to be a real gemstone enthusiast item but if you are interested in owning one I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it right away.

Not too long after high quality alexandrite rings and alexandrite jeweler was produced worldwide. Even some of Tiffany’s finest jewelers fell in love with alexandrite and the possibilities it holds. The specific thing about this gemstone was not only that it had two complete different but very live and vivid colors during the day and during the night but also that it was a rather hard and durable gemstone. For comparison you might know that diamond ranks a 10 on MOHS but alexandrite is not that far behind it with an 8.5 grade. This made the gemstone ideal for making alexandrite rings, jewelry and other accessories as it was not prone to chipping or cracking and it was extremely resistant to the daily ware and tare.

However things took a turn for the words for alexandrite the day that the Russia’s supplies got exhausted. The alexandrite found in other countries was no match to the Russian one as it barely displayed any change of color and it was not even half as resistant to the jewelers quickly lost interest. Finally in 1987 a beautiful high quality alexandrite was found in Brazil, while it was not as hard as the one from Russia it was still really good but the gemstone never got as popular as it once was. Today only real gemstone enthusiasts and lovers are proud owners of this hard to get alexandrite rings and jewelry.