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Alexandrite Gemstones

Alexandrite happens to be not only rare, but the very first crystal to be discovered. Found in 1834, perhaps the finest feature that this gemstone provides is its ability to alter in color. This characteristic is extremely unique as it appears green or blue/green during the day, and red, reddish/purple, or even a raspberry red in dim lighting.
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Alexandrite is a rare gem that was first discovered in 1834 and named after the tsar of Russia, Alexander II. These gemstones were found within emerald mines located by the Tokovaya River in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The colors of this stone vary from green to red, the same colors that represented Imperial Russia at the time of its discovery. It was these facts that caused the stone to become tsarist Russia's national gemstone. The stone's ties to Russia's past can be seen in the use of the stone in historic Russian jewelry. The stone's popularity also carried over to parts of Western Europe including England where it is found in historic Victorian jewelry.

One of the most noticeable and fascinating features of the alexandrite gemstone is the stone's color changing properties. Depending on the type of lighting the alexandrite stone can display anywhere from a bluish-green color to a deep red with a hint of purple. It is because of this optical sensation as well as the rarity of the stone that makes Alexandrite such a valuable type of gemstone. Alexandrite is similar to chrysoberyls, however it also contains chromium in addition to the iron and titanium. It is this impurity that is the reason behind the stone's ability to change colors. This type of stone was created millions of years ago and could only be created in a certain type of geological condition. This is a factor in the rarity of the Alexandrite stone.

Since the stone's discovery in Russia the only other location that Alexandrite has been found is near Sri Lanka as well as Brazil. However, the colors found in these stones from Sri Lanka are not as preferred as those found in the Russian based stones. It was the discovery of the stones in Minas Gerais Brazil in 1987 that brought back another wave of the Alexandrite stone. While these stones do not have as strong of colors, there is clearly a color change.

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