Jewellery Buyers Guide to Alexandrite Earrings

July 19, 2013 by webadmin  
Published in Beauty

Part of the Chrysoberyl family, Alexandrite is nature’s magic changeling – it’s captivating colour varies from green in sunlight to red in lamplight, effectively giving you an emerald and a ruby all rolled into one. Alexandrite earrings and pendants make for particularly perfect jewellery items featuring this gemstone, since they will capture the light beautifully.

The following guide will explore some interesting facts about alexandrite gems, as well as outline some top buyers tips when it comes to shopping for earrings.

Introduction to Alexandrite

Named after Czar Alexander II who emancipated Russia’s serfs in the 1800’s, alexandrite stands out from the crowd by being spectacularly pleochroic i.e. it displays varying colours when viewed from different angles and under different light sources. Additionally, some alexandrite also displays a gorgeous chatoyancy, or cat’s eye effect.

A highly rare gemstone, alexandrite was first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1834. Since it displays both red and green hues which are the principal colours of old Imperial Russia, it became the national stone of the Tsarist regime.

In gem quality form, alexandrite is very rare and scarce, plus its formation requires highly specific geological conditions. Finely faceted specimens which exceed one carat are among the priciest gemstones in the world and often cost more than rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

Main Sources of Alexandrite

The mines of the Ural Mountains in Russia were for a long time the primary source of alexandrite, until resources were mostly exhausted. Specimens in small deposits were found in isolated areas elsewhere, but they hardly ever displayed the dazzling colour change that the stone is famous for.

This changed in 1987, when quality alexandrite was discovered in Hematita (Minas Gerais, Brazil). While the colour of the Brazilian stones is not quite as strong a green as that of Russian alexandrite, their colour change is clearly discernible and they have good clarity. In contemporary times, Hematita has become one of the most important deposits of alexandrite in economic terms and some specimens there also display a chatoyancy which the Russian variety does not.

Other important sources of alexandrite are found in Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Newer deposits can yield good quality stones, however many have less-precise colour changes and muddier hues than the nineteenth-century Russian alexandrite.

Buying Tips for Alexandrite Earrings

·          Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia still sets the quality standard for this outstanding gem, although it is extremely rare and expensive.

·          The more distinct the change of colour that alexandrite displays, the more valuable the specimen.

·          A good quality alexandrite gem should feature a vivid bluish-green in daylight and a purplish-red in artificial light, without any trace of brown or grey hue (this is considered undesirable).

·          Measuring 8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, alexandrite is a very hardy stone which will withstand daily wear and tear well.

·          When buying earrings, check their weight as if they are too heavy they could become uncomfortable after lengthy wear or even damage your ear lobe.

·          The main earring designs are studs, hoops and drops. If buying the latter, ensure they are not so long that they catch on your collar.

·          Be aware that some people are allergic to certain types of metals. Even sterling silver is only 92.5% pure silver and 14 carat gold only contains 58.5% pure gold – the rest of the metal is comprised of alloys which might cause irritation to the skin. Those with strong metal allergies should only buy hypo-allergenic earrings made of either titanium or niobium.

Zodiac & Health Benefits

Along with pearl and moonstone, alexandrite is the gem for those born in June. It is also considered the ideal gift for a 55th wedding anniversary.

In addition, for those who believe in the healing power of gems, alexandrite is seen as a lucky stone of good omen. It is also is also thought to promote creativity and inspire the imagination, while in critical situations it is believed to strengthen the wearer’s intuition so they can find new solutions where logic fails.


Due to its remarkable colour changing abilities and rarity, alexandrite is prized amongst discerning jewellery collectors and designers. Alexandrite earrings in particular are an excellent choice to capture its magical pleochroic features. 

Author Bio: Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers. 

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