Birthstone Jewelry For June – Alexandrite
Alexandrite, which is used in June birthstone jewelry, is one of the uncommonest of gems to surface on the earth. It is recognized as the June birthstone and is the gemstone used to commemorate both the 45th and 55th wedding anniversaries. It belongs to the chrysoberyl family and made of a mix of iron, chromium, titanium, aluminum and chrysoberyl mineral.
Color Changing Properties of Alexandrite
This June birthstone is greatly valued because of it’s capacity to significantly change colors. In comparison with other gem for example diamonds and sapphires, alexandrite is a fairly new gem to the market, having only been found close to 150 years ago. The Alexandrite gemstone was first discovered in the Russian Ural Mountains around 1830 and was named after Alexander II the Czar of Russia. This precious stone was given the name “magic gem” because of it’s mystical display of colors.
The color of this gemstone depends on the wavelength of the illuminating light and the chemical bonds that exist in the gem. In sunlight alexandrite displays a a color that is blue green like moss but when seen under incandescent light from a candle or lamp the color transforms to a lovely raspberry hue. This transformation is referred to as the alexandrite effect. It’s a result of the chemical mixing of chrysoberyl, which is a rare oxide mineral, and chromium. the lovely color of Alexandrite come from chromium.
Alexandrite Gemstone Quality
It is important to consider the strength of the color change when evaluating an alexandrite. The precious stone is considered rarer and of higher value if the color change is more complete and intense. A further factor to bear in mind is the clarity and cutting quality of the gem. Alexandrites that are found in Russia are believed to be of better quality and color, consequently making them more expensive. The majority of the alexandrites on sale are below 1 carat since larger sizes are too expensive by most people.
Caring for Your Alexandrite Jewels
it is best to keep alexandrites away from extreme heat as this can impinge on their color change effect. When cleaning these gemstones soapy warm water may be used or alcohol or any commercially available products. If ultrasonic or steam cleaning are necessary properly skilled jewelers should be used.
Sources of Alexandrite
The original source of alexandrite in Russia has now virtually been mined out, though the mines are still working and produce a small number of tiny stones every year. These days there are two chief sources of alexandrite gemstones, Brazil and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). In the 1990’s Alexandrite stones were also found in countries such as Zimbabwe, India, Burma and Madagascar. Sadly, none of these new sources has managed to produce as intense and vivid colors as the gemstones produced in Russia. Stones from these sources have their own characteristics: for example the grayish hues of Ceylon stones and Brazil stones having yellow tones on the green color.
Despite the relatively short history of this attractive gemstone it has already been attributed with a variety of mystical and magical properties. It is a rare and gorgeous gemstone and makes a wonderful June birthstone jewelry gift for a loved one with a June birthday.