Alexandrite - The Gemstone for June Birthstone Jewelry
Lovely Alexandrite Birthstone Jewelry
Alexandrite, which is used in June birthstone jewelry, is one of the uncommonest of gems to surface on the earth. It's recognized as the June birthstone and is the precious stone used to celebrate both the 45th and 55th wedding anniversaries. It belongs to the chrysoberyl group and is made from a mix of titanium, aluminum, iron, chromium and the chrysoberyl mineral.
Color Changing Properties of Alexandrite
This June birthstone is very much valued because of it's ability to drastically switch colors. Compared to other gem such as diamonds and sapphires, alexandrite is a relatively new precious stone on the market, having only been discovered roughly 150 years ago. The Alexandrite precious stone was first discovered in the Russian Ural Mountains in the early 1800's and was named after the Emperor of the Russian Empire, Czar Alexander II. This birthstone was given the name “magic gem” because of it's mystical show of colors.
The color of this gemstone varies with the the wavelength of light and
the chemical bonds that exist in the gem. In natural light alexandrite
exhibits a bluey green moss like color but when seen under lamp or
candle light this color changes to a warm raspberry tone. This
transaction is referred to as the alexandrite effect. It is a result of
the chemical combination of chrysoberyl, which is a rare oxide mineral,
and chromium. Alexandrite gets it's colors from chromium.
Alexandrite Gemstone Quality
It's crucial to take into account the intensity of the color change when evaluating an alexandrite. The gem is thought to be rarer and more valuable if the color change is complete and intense. A further aspect to think about is the cutting quality of the gem and it's clarity. Alexandrites that are found in Russia are thought to be of superior color and quality, consequently making them more valuable. The majority of the alexandrites on the market are less than 1 carat since bigger sizes are too expensive by most people.
Caring for Your Alexandrite Jewelry
it's necessary to keep alexandrites away from extreme heat exposure since this can have an effect on their ability to change color. When cleaning these gemstones soapy warm water may be used or alcohol or a specially made jewelry cleaning solution. If ultrasonic or steam cleaning are required properly qualified jewelers should be used.
Sources of Alexandrite
The initial source of alexandrite in the Ural Mountains of Russia has long since run out, though the mines are still open and turn out a few tiny stones every year. These days there are two major producers of alexandrite gems, Brazil and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). In the 1990’s Alexandrite stones were also discovered in countries such as India, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Myanmar (Burma) and Madagascar. Sadly, none of these locations has produced as vivid and intense colors as the gems from Russia. Gemstones from these locations have their own characteristics: for example the grayish tones of stones from Ceylon and yellow tones in gems from Brazil.
In spite of the short history of this “magic gem” it has already been attributed with a variety of magical and mystical properties. It's a rare and striking gemstone and would make a magnificent June birthstone jewelry gift for a cherished one who has a June birthday.
For the meanings of birthstones see Birthstones and Their Meanings
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