The Chrysoberyl Species of gems
Chrysoberyl some of the most expensive of all gems
The Chrysoberyl species of gems includes Alexandrite one of the rarest and sought after of all color change gems. Other gems in the Chrysoberyl species are Cat's eye and green, yellow and brown Chrysoberyl.
Alexandrite one of the rarest and sought after of all color change gems
Alexandrite are rare, really rare much more rare then a diamond and can be far more valuable.
Natural Alexandrite is very rarely found in rough sizes larger than 1 carat. When a gem is cut 50% or more of the rough can be lost in the cutting and faceting. Finished Alexandrite gems in sizes above 1 carat are rare. Finished gem about 5 carats are exceedingly rare and would cost many thousands of dollars. A gem this size would be in a museum or in the Crown Jewels.
Because this gem is very popular and very rare, buying a Lab grown Alexandrite is often the only way to get one.
It is extremely difficult to tell the differences between a lab grown or natural mined Alexandrite.
However a Lab Grown gem will never increase in value like a natural stone would.
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Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl gems
Gem that have a strip of reflective light across the surface of the gem call cat's eyes.
Several other types of gem also display a cat's eye effect but Chrysoberyl is the most sought after because the effect is sharpest in these gems.
The honey yellow color is the most valuable of these gem but the green-yellow gem call also demand a high price.
Some Cat's eyes also have a color change effect like the one shown above, these are very rare.
Light green Cat's Eyes
Yellow and Green faceted Chrysoberyl gems
Although these gem have a good hardness and a nice clarity you almost never seen them in jewelry.
Like most Chrysoberyl rough crystal is usually small and large gems are scarce.
Pretty green Chrysoberyl
Modified round cut Chrysoberyl
Discovery and Naming of Alexandrite
No one has come to an agreement regarding the exact date that Alexandrite was discovered, but it was reportedly discovered in 1830 in the Emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in the Ural Mountains of Russia. It is said that it was discovered
on the day the Czar Alexander II came of age and this newly discovers stone was named for him. Alexandrite soon became the national stone of Czarist Russia because of its colors red and green, the principal colors of the old Imperial Russia.
Your Grandmother's Alexandrite Ring
So you inherited your Grandmother ring
Sorry, I have bad news for you. 99% chance that 100 years old Alexandrite ring, is really a fake.
Synthetic Alexandrite or synthetic corundum has been around about 100 years.
The material shows a characteristic purple-mauve color change, but does not turn green.
True Synthetic Alexandrite was develop in 1964 and is still widely used today.
These Alexandrite gems are more difficult to spot because the colors are convincing and because they are not clean. These stones are expensive to make and are grown in platinum crucibles. Crystals of platinum may still be evident in the cut stones.
The only way to tell if you have a true treasure is to have the item appraised by a reputable GIA Gem Lab, NOT a Jeweler. Jewelers may be good at making jewelry and selling it, but most Jewelers cannot tell a good fake from a natural gem.
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