Know your birthstones: June- Alexandrite

Know your birthstones: June- Alexandrite

It's June! 
Spring is dwindling, the trees have filled out, flowers blooming and colours everywhere! 
With the lengthening days, the promise of summer hangs in the air. 

Tieing into the lush colours of the season, is this month's birthstone Alexandrite

This stone does not disappoint in jaw dropping beauty and stands uniquely in it's own category with the ability to change colours depending on the nature of the lighting it's displayed under.
Human vision is most sensitive to green light and least sensitive to red light. It therefore appears greenish in daylight and reddish in incandescent light which emits less green & blue.
Stones showing a dramatic colour change and strong colours (red to green) are very rare and highly sought after. Stones showing less distinct colours (yellowish green to brownish yellow) may also be considered Alexandrite

Where did Alexandrite come from?
According to a popular but controversial story Alexandrite was discovered by the Finnish mineralogist Nills Gustaf Nordenskiõld and named Alexandrite in honour of the future Emperor of All Russia, Alexander II Romanov.
His discovery occurred as a result of an examination of a new mineral sample he received from Perovski, which he mistakenly identified as emerald.


Traditionally Alexandrite 5 carats and larger were thought to only be found in the Ural Mountains, but have since been found in larger sizes in Brazil. Other deposits are found in India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Sri Lanka. 
Sizes over 3 carats is very rare. 

Labs can produce synthetic lab grown stones with the same chemical and physical properties as natural Alexandrite. Although the colour change can be from blue to red, it doesn't truly resemble that of natural Alexandrite from any deposit. 
Corundum laced with vanadium or spinel aren't chrysoberyl. It's ore a simulated Alexandrite rather than synthetic and has a purple-mauve colour change, There's never any green however so it doesn't really look like Alexandrite. 

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