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Alexandrite Information

Alexandrite - the rare color-change CHRYSOBERYL mineral variety

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Chrysoberyl (BeAl2O4) is a rare oxide mineral. It most often occurs in shades of yellow to green to brown.

There are two very rare varieties of chrysoberyl; the color changing alexandrite, and the chatoyant cymophane (more commonly known as cat's eye chrysoberyl).
Alexandrite gemstones are highly prized as gems owing to their unique optical properties.

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Alexandrite is a very rare mineral variety of chrysoberyl (BeAl2O4), which occurs in granitic pegmatites and in mica schists.

Small scale replacement in chrysoberyl of alumina by chromic oxide results in the formation of the variety alexandrite and is responsible for alexandrite's characteristic green to red-violet color change.

Alexandrite is characterized by its high hardness and specific gravity and its color change in daylight versus incandescent light. Some well formed crystals can be recognized as chrysoberyl by their characteristic twinning.

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Alexandrite was officially discovered in 1831 in an emerald mining region of the Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union. This alexandrite mining location in the Urals was mostly mined out by the end of the 19th century.

Alexandrite is said to have been first discovered on the day that the Russian czar Alexander II came of age. Thus it was named "alexandrite" in his honor by the mineralogist Nordenskjold. It is an interesting coincidence that the Russian national colors are green and red.

In 1988, a significant deposit of gem grade alexandrite was discovered near Nova Era, Brazil. This location is now the world's main source of superior color change alexandrite gemstones.

Alexandrite is used as a gemstone. Faceted alexandrite gems with good color change are considered very valuable, even when visible inclusions are present. Microscopic tube-like cavities with parallel orientation cause the chatoyancy in cats eye alexandrite gems.

The astrological sign of alexandrite is scorpio.

The traditional birthstone jewelry gift choice for the month of June is natural alexandrite jewelry designs including natural alexandrite earrings. Another June birthstone is moonstone.

Natural alexandrite is the symbolic gemstone for the 45th wedding anniversary.

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Alexandrite Gemstones Alexandrite Rings Wearing natural alexandrite jewelry is said to help balance one's emotional state, to provide confidence, to increase self-esteem and to help bring about change.
The use of alexandrite jewelry in the form of alexandrite rings, a pair of alexandrite earrings, or wearing an alexandrite necklace is also said to bring happiness and success, and to intensify feelings of love and sensuality.

Alexandrite is said to be usefull to help treat pancreatic disorders, swollen lymph nodes and ailments of the spleen, as well as in the treatment of afflictions occurring with leukemia.

For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.

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Last Updated: April 20, 2016
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