Alexandrite is one of those really special gemstones that can actually change color depending on the type of light they are displayed under. Alexandrite may be one of the June birthstones but finding one may cost you a small fortune if you were thinking of investing in one. What makes the alexandrite so expensive? The answer to this is that alexandrite’s chemical makeup. It can only be formed beryllium and aluminum combine with the trace elements of titanium, iron and chromium. The most important of these three is the chromium because it is what causes the color-change effect in the Alexandrite. Chromium unfortunately is not commonly found in nature thus making the Alexandrite very rare. The chances of chromium being in the right place at the right time to combine with the other two trace elements is seldom found making this June birthstone so valuable.
Alexandrite was originally mined in the Russian Urals near the Tokovaya River and in 1834 was named after Tsar Alexander II. It is believed that the first discovery was made on his coming of age birthday so was named after him as an extraordinary birthday gift. The principle colors of this precious and rare gemstone have become the colors synonymous with Russia and the Alexandrite also happened to be the tsarist Russian national gemstone. In this day and age, the chance of finding Alexandrite jewelry is rare while you might still have the opportunity of finding antique Alexandrite jewelry. There have been other sources of Alexandrite over the centuries but most of them fall short when it comes to the magnificent color-change that the Russian Alexandrite gemstones display.
When looking at an Alexandrite, one way to distinguish whether it is fine or not, is by the amount of color change that can be seen. This June birthstone should display a vivid bluish-green color in daylight as opposed to a purplish-red color under incandescent light. If your Alexandrite displays a distinct color change under the various lights then you know that you have got yourself a rare and magnificent specimen. Your color change Alexandrite should also not display any traces of brown or grey coloring as this diminishes its value. If you know beyond a shadow of doubt that your Alexandrite has its origins in Russia then you will also know that your June birthstone is extremely rare and extremely valuable. This is one gemstone that you do not want to leave lying around, not only because it is so special but because of its price tag as well.
For those of you who have never seen a true Alexandrite, one of the largest Russian faceted of these June birthstones can be viewed at The Smithsonian Institute today. The largest gem-quality Alexandrite that was ever found was an uncut crystal of 122,400-carats and is known as the Sauer Alexandrite. This gem was found in 1967 in Bahia, Brazil. Small quantities of alexandrite can still be found in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India, Myanmar ad Brazil today but are not of the best quality and no match for the Russian Alexandrite.