Gem of the Tsars, Emerald by Day and Ruby by Night, Emerald by Day, Amethyst by Night
Alexandrite is a member of the chrysoberyl family, and it is identified by a colour change when viewed in different lights. In sunlight alexandrite will appear as a teal to rich green colour, but under candlelight it can be purple, red, orange or any shade in between. It has a Moh’s hardness rating of 8.5, making it a hard gemstone.
Alexandrite is a fairly new discovery, and is one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones around today. It was named for Tsar Alexander II, who was crowned in 1855. It was actually found by Nordenskiöld, although he initially identified it as emerald. Puzzled by alexandrite’s hardness he returned to examine it further in the evening, and discovered that by candlelight the colour had changed to red instead of green.
The finest alexandrites – identified by a colour change from rich emerald to a purplish-red – come from the Ural mountains of Russia, but alexandrites are also found in places such as Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The color change is so pronounced as to be noticeable in the gems even in a rough, uncut state.
Alexandrite’s colour change has been immortalised in the adjective ‘alexandritic’, meaning any gem which shows a change in colour when viewed in natural and incandescent lighting. For example, sapphire and garnet may be described as alexandritic, and indeed alexandrite ranks alongside sapphire and ruby as one of the most coveted – and most expensive – gemstones.
Alexandrite is good for healing the body, and tissue regeneration, particularly the central nervous system. It can be used to treat problems related to the spleen, pancreas or lymph nodes.
Worn as a necklace, alexandrite can help to repress intense emotions, allowing you to operate in a more calm and neutral way. Wearing it as earrings will stop you from overthinking, or daydreaming, allowing you to keep focussed on the task at hand. Alexandrite worn on the left hand can dampen the effects of any undesirable energies you may encounter.
Alexandrite can be used for confidence, self esteem and success, love, luck and sensuality. Alexandrite can heighten intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination. Its two colours mean you can use it to attain balance physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. You can also use alexandrite to bring about change, and for happiness and riches.
Legend & Lore
Alexandrite is wrongly reputed to have been discovered on the birthday of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Its two colours are the same as those of the Russian Imperial Army, and as such it was regarded as a good luck charm by the Russian aristocracy. Also thanks to the two colours of Alexandrite, and despite its cost, Russians believe you should not wear only one piece of Alexandrite jewellery as it will invite loneliness.