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The Chrysoberyl Species of gems

Updated on December 30, 2010

Chrysoberyl some of the most expensive of all gems

Alexandrite Pear



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.

Like the gems you have seen? - Would you like to own one?

Now is your chance!

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.

Cat's eye

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

Yellow/green 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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    • Wesley Paul profile image

      Wesley Paul 

      10 years ago

      Ms Got Rock,

      So you love Chrysoberyls too? I once sold a catseye for a thousand dollars but I think it was worth 10 times that price. I saw some in India, but they were dull and the eye was not clear. You can get a lot there.

      But Lanka produiced thebest ones. I sold one to a Japanese businessman, they love them. Got any good ones? ...Wesley

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I do like your lens. Well done. Here's 5-Stars! Please feel free to stop by my Unique Handmade Jewelry lens.



      Handmade Beaded Jewelry Gallery

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      another beautiful lens - 5 stars!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens! I love seeing the stones and dreaming of owning a real alexandrite!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great new 5 star lens!

    • fleurdelisrising profile image


      11 years ago

      My baby's birthstone! Fantabulous series of lenses, Lady G!


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