Russian Alexandrite: Gemstone and Jewelry


Russian Alexandrite is a fascinating gemstone that is admired by many around the world. It is a rare gemstone that comes with unique optical properties and mesmerizing color changes. Alexandrite is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander II, who was in power when the gem was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830. They were blown away by the way the stone changes its hue from blue-green in daylight to reddish-purple under incandescent light, a phenomenon dubbed ‘the Alexandrite effect.’

This unique color change makes Alexandrite a favorite amongst many collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. Russian Alexandrite is an excellent investment for any precious stone lover, and many gem collectors love the elegance and uniqueness that comes with owning one. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Russian Alexandrite and its history, characteristics, properties, and usage in the jewelry industry. Russian Alexandrite.


History And Origin: 

The discovery of Russian Alexandrite dates back to 1830 when a Finnish mineralogist named Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld unearthed the gemstone near the Tokovaya River in the Ural Mountains. At the time, the Ural Mountains were known for its precious and semi-precious stones, including emeralds, sapphires, and topaz. However, Alexandrite was different from all of them, due to its unique color-changing properties and rarity.

The gem's scientific name is chrysoberyl, a mineral species that occurs in granite rocks, mica schists, and pegmatites worldwide. Alexandrite is regarded as the rarest and most valuable member of the chrysoberyl family, and it is only mined in a handful of countries, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. However, the Russian Alexandrite is the most coveted and valuable of all alexandrite varieties, due to its incredible color-changing qualities.

Russian Alexandrite has a special story associated with it as it was named in honor of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, who came into power in 1855, and was known for his liberal policies, reforms, and humanitarian leadership. The story goes that the stone was discovered on the day of his future wife's birthday, Princess Maria Alexandrovna, and was thus named Alexandrite in honor of the princess.


Characteristics and Properties: 

Russian Alexandrite is a fascinating stone that is loved for its unique color-changing properties, durability, and beauty. The size and shape of Alexandrite vary significantly, with the largest known Russian Alexandrite weighing in at 129.8 carats. The gem's color changes are a result of the way it absorbs light and reflects different colors as light passes through it.

During daylight hours or under fluorescent light, Russian Alexandrite appears as a bluish-green or greenish-blue color. However, when exposed to incandescent or artificial lighting, the stone shows a rich and lush red or purplish-red hue that can be quite striking. These color changes are a result of the way the gemstone absorbs and reflects light.

Russian Alexandrite has a unique optical property called pleochroism, which means that the stone shows different colors and shades depending on the angle at which it is viewed. Russian Alexandrite is also highly durable, with a rating of 8.5 on Mohs' scale of hardness, making it one of the toughest stones on Earth. It is also quite dense, with a specific gravity of 3.71.

The stone has a perfect cleavage, but this does not often pose a problem, as it is often fashioned into cabochons or faceted into simple shapes. Russian Alexandrite is also a type II clarity stone, which means it often has inclusions or blemishes, but these do not impact the gemstone's value or beauty.


Usage in the Jewelry Industry: 

Russian Alexandrite is one of the most sought-after and treasured gemstones in the jewelry industry. It is a favorite amongst collectors, gemologists, and jewelry enthusiasts. The gemstone has been used in various jewelry designs, including rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings. Because of its unique color-changing properties, Russian Alexandrite is often used in pieces that will be worn under different lighting conditions, such as engagement rings.

The gemstone has been a favorite of Russian royalties, including Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra, who had a collection of Russian Alexandrite jewelry. Many famous jewelry designers, including Fabergé, have also used the rare stone in their signature designs. Russian Alexandrite has also been used in some of the world's most prestigious jewelry auctions, including Christies, Sotheby's, and Bonhams.


Investing in Russian Alexandrite: 

Russian Alexandrite is one of the rarest, most exclusive, and valuable gemstones in the world. It is also an excellent investment opportunity for those looking to invest in precious stones. Because of its rarity and scarcity, Russian Alexandrite prices vary significantly, but they have consistently increased over the years, making it a worthwhile investment.

The value of Russian Alexandrite is affected by various factors, including color, size, clarity, and origin. Russian Alexandrite stones that have excellent color change, high clarity, large sizes, and come from its original source, the Ural Mountains, command the highest prices. Russian Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains is the most valuable as its quality is unmatched by any other stones from different mines worldwide.

When considering investing in Russian Alexandrite, it is essential to source it from reputable dealers and gemologists who can verify the stone's authenticity and origin. It is also wise to have an appraiser assess the stone's quality and grade to determine its true value.



Russian Alexandrite is a fascinating gemstone that has been treasured by many throughout history. Its unique optical properties and mesmerizing color change make it one of the most sought-after and valuable gemstones in the world. Alexandrite stones from Russia, specifically the Ural Mountains, are the most valuable and treasured due to their superior quality, rarity, and historical significance. Investing in Russian Alexandrite is an excellent opportunity for precious stone collectors and investors who seek exclusivity, rarity, and long-term growth potential. The demand for this gemstone continues to grow, and as the supply diminishes, its value is expected to increase. Therefore, it is an excellent time to invest in Russian Alexandrite, a beautiful, rare, and unique gemstone.

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