6 Facts You Should Know About Alexandrite

  • Alexandrite is a special type of mineral called chrysoberyl that absorbs light in a complex way. Fine Alexandrite appear vivid blue-green or grey-green in daylight, and purple or red in incandescent light.

  • Due to Alexandrite's incredible colour-changing properties, some call it "emerald by day, ruby by night."

  • Alexandrite is the birthstone for the month of June.

  • Alexandrites rate 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means they are among the best gemstones for use in jewellery.

  • Alexandrite was discovered by the Finnish mineralogist NilsGustaf Nordenskjold. Nordenskjold initially identified the new gem as an Emerald. Later that evening, while looking at the specimen under candlelight, he was surprised to see that the color of the stone had changed to raspberry-red.

  • Alexandrite was initially to be named "diaphanite," from the Greek "di" - two and "phan", to appear. In a political move, Alexandrite was instead named in honor of the future Tsar of the Russian Empire Alexander II and presented on his birthday. 




June 19, 2014 by Perrine Comeille
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