There is no denying the fact that shiny sparkling diamonds are forever, but have you ever come across a mysteriously captivating gemstone such as ‘alexandrite’?!
There is a famous saying for alexandrite “an emerald by day and a ruby by night”. Alexandrite’s rarity and this unique feature i.e., its ever-changing hue differentiates it from all other stones and makes it super special. It has all those qualities needed to be a perfect engagement ring.
What is an Alexandrite?
Alexandrite is a very rare variety of gemstone from the chrysoberyl family. It is well-known for the fact that it is a pleochroic stone. A Pleochroic gem shows two or three colors when viewed from different angles, which means that alexandrite appears with a different color depending on the angle and its setting.
During the daytime or in the daylight, alexandrite appears greenish-blue to dark yellow-green, but under incandescent light, it appears to be pink to red.
History of Alexandrite
Alexandrite was first discovered in 1834 in emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in the Urals. As per legend, Alexandrite was discovered on the same day Russian tsar Alexander II came of age. Due to its display of red and green colors, which were also recognized as the colors of the old imperial Russia, it was adopted as the national stone of tsarist Russia. Alexandrite’s regal history along with its rarity makes it extra special and exclusive.
Why Should You Consider Buying Alexandrite Rings?
- Alexandrite rings are exceptionally beautiful and different. If you are the one who wants to stand out from the crowd, then the Alexandrite ring is a better choice over diamonds.
- Alexandrite score 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes them quite durable and a good choice for an engagement ring.
- Though comparison between two gemstones is not always fair, alexandrite score over diamonds due to their color-changing property.
Overall, if you are someone who is looking for something unique and unusual, then there is no comparison to alexandrite rings.
How to Buy Alexandrite?
Buying a gemstone requires a lot of research and exploration, especially when you are buying something that has an emotional value attached to it such as an engagement ring.
There are a few key factors that you must consider before buying an alexandrite ring.
As color change is the most exclusive and distinctive feature of alexandrite, the intensity of the color change is the most important factor in alexandrite pricing. It is generally considered that alexandrite should be emerald green to peacock blue in day, and a ruby red or amethyst hue by night. The most prized stones undergo a complete shift from lovely green to luscious red.
The brighter the colors and the more dramatic the change from bluish-green in daylight to purplish-red under incandescent light, the more valuable the gemstone.
The color change quality scales include three options: “weak”, “moderate”, “strong.” The finest stones display the sharpest color change i.e., around 85%. Moderate quality stones bring around 50% color change, while color change is slightest in the weakest stones
A good quality alexandrite has fewer inclusions. In rare cases, needle-like inclusions create a cat’s-eye. Negative crystals and parallel rutile silk are common inclusions.
Alexandrites are available in a variety of shapes and cutting styles in the market. However, most common cuts are ovals and cushions, but round cuts and other cuts such as emerald cuts are equally popular. Since it is a rare gemstone, cuts that save weight are mostly opted for.
Like most gemstones, alexandrite is weighed in carats. Price increases significantly basis the larger the size and higher the quality of the gemstone.
For smaller alexandrite stones, pear, marquis, and round are more popular choices, whereas, oval, cushion and emerald shapes are more desirable when it comes to large sizes.
Settings for Alexandrite Rings
Since alexandrite is less durable than diamonds, it is a good idea to opt for settings that hold the stone firmly in place. Bezel setting offers great protection as the metal surrounding the alexandrite protects the gem from external damage.
Yellow gold makes the great pair with alexandrite, as it highlights the red/purple warm tones of the stone and contrasts the green/teal cool tones. You may choose white metal over yellow for a complete contrast. Overall, the choice of metal should depend on one's preference for warmer or cooler tones.
Pricing for Alexandrite Rings
Since color change quality is the most striking feature of alexandrite, the color of the stone has a great impact on the pricing. The stronger the color change, the more expensive the stone would be. Stones that change to a red hue are more valuable than purple or brownish tones. As per the experts, a high price should be paid for alexandrite that displays both a warm and cool color and displays red hue.
Types of Alexandrite Rings:
Natural Alexandrite Engagement Rings
A fine quality natural alexandrite stone will usually change its hue from green to red for different light sources. This change of hue is unique in a manner that there is no overlapping or mixing of hues, and it appears that the gemstone has transformed completely from one shade to another.
Natural stones with the unique property of changing color are extremely rare and are some of the most sought after. In lower-quality alexandrites, overlapping of colors during color change is observed. For example, color change resulting in the mixing of purple hue with green rather than displaying a distinct purple to green hue.
Lab-Created Alexandrite Engagement Rings
Lab-created alexandrite is similar to natural ones in all aspects, except the fact that they are grown in a laboratory. The hardness, color change, and chemical composition of lab-created alexandrite are the same as the naturally occurring alexandrite.
However, in terms of color, the lab-created variety displays a green hue, which is inclined more towards a bluish hue as compared to the natural alexandrite. And its red hue tends to incline more towards the purple hue. The color change quality of true lab-created stones is more striking than the natural ones.
Taking Care of Your Alexandrite Ring
Like any fine jewelry, alexandrite jewelry also requires good care. Being a hard stone, caring for alexandrite does not require a lot of effort.
- Use a soft brush and room temperature mild soapy water to clean your alexandrite rings.
- For any deep or intricate cleaning, it is better to take the ring to a jewelry store where steam or ultrasonic cleaners are used for cleaning, and polishing of the ring is also done.
- Remove your ring before doing any physical activity that may cause harm to it such as exercising, cleaning, washing hands, heavy lifting, etc.
- Avoid applying high pressure to your rings to avoid any scratches or loosening of the stone from the setting.
- Keep your alexandrite ring away from any strong chemicals and exposure to high heat.
- It is a good idea to store alexandrite rings separately in small boxes or bags to avoid any scratches.
Shop for Alexandrite Engagement Rings
There are numerous places online and offline where you can buy alexandrite engagement rings. However, to make sure you are getting the best stone, it is advised to buy a certified stone from a reputable store that sells graded gemstones. Further, the market is flooded with alexandrite simulants. Therefore, it becomes more important to buy from trustworthy jewelers that have tested and examined the stone.
Shopping in person has its benefits but online shopping certainly outshines those with its entire world of alexandrite jewelry to explore. Multiple filters for budgeting and sorting, ease of comparison, hi-tech images at different angles are just a few of the benefits of online shopping. And what’s more?! You can do all that without stepping out of home, just at the click of a button.
Etsy is one of the most trusted and renowned global online marketplaces. They have an exquisite range of alexandrite jewelry, suiting a wide range of styles and budgets.
Shop now to add this mystical allure to your jewelry collection!