What better way to celebrate June than with its exquisite and official birthstone; alexandrite. Alexandrite continues to captivate the minds and hearts of gemstone lovers all over the world. The gemstone has several impressive and rare qualities such as its chameleon-like ability to transform from a deep green to a beautiful red color. The color-change effect is due to alexandrite transmitting green and reddish purple light equally. Incandescent and daylight light sources are richer in different wavelengths (red or blue and green respectively) and this has a direct effect on what color the gemstone appears to the human eye. The colors seen in alexandrite are caused by chromium – the same element that causes the red of ruby and the green of emerald. The amount of color-change observed is often given as a percentage.
Alexandrite gemstones with a 100% color change will show complete color change on every axis – all facets change color. If half of the facets change color, the gem is classified as a 50% change and so on. Most highly priced alexandrite have a color change percentage of around 85-95%. For example, a stone that is teal green in daylight should technically become purplish red under the light bulb, with little green left when the lighting is changed. Watch the intense color change from green to deep purple in this 10.62 carat Brazilian alexandrite and diamond ring below. It is certified as excellent quality of color-change with prominent degree (90-100%) of color-change.
Today, fine alexandrite is incredibly rare due to the lack of natural production. The original source of alexandrites were found in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1800’s. However, that source has long since closed after producing for only a few decades. Currently, alexandrites are found in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India and Brazil. India continues to produce the majority of alexandrites today. Nevertheless, Brazil produces the finest quality alexandrites and remains the ultimate source for alexandrite collectors all over the world! We created “Alexis” the color-change lizard, seen below, from rough Brazilian alexandrites accented with black diamonds, diamonds featuring a ruby “tongue” and tsavorite garnet eyes.
While Alexandrites are an incredibly rare and valuable gemstone in all of their beauty, the Brazilian alexandrite is known to be remarkably special. The Brazilian alexandrite possesses all of the rare phenomenon alexandrites are known for and is considered the highest quality because it is unearthed in Brazil. Brazil has been known for its premier alexandrite sources in all of the world. Due to the scarcity of the alexandrites in Brazil, premium Brazilian alexandrites are incredibly hard to find as well as elevated in price.
Brazilian Alexandrites were first discovered near Hematita in the Minas Gerais State of Brazil in 1987. Hematita quickly became a reputable source for the degree of color change exhibited in these amazing gemstones. Brazilian alexandrites are known for both their excellent clarity and exceptional color change effect under a light source to this day. Above is our Brand Ambassador, “Alexis,” who was hand crafted from rough Brazilian alexandrite accented with diamonds, ruby and tsavorite garnet and below are some gorgeous examples of color-change alexandrite rings from our Omi Privé collection.
Brazilian stones appear reddish-purple to purple-red under incandescent light. Exceptional stones from the Hematita deposit show a blue primary hue and a greenish secondary hue when exposed to daylight. Brazilian alexandrite is generally bluish-green to blue/green in daylight. Most gems from Hematita contain a mixture of yellow, which visually dilutes the green in daylight. The less prominent the yellow secondary hue, the finer the stone is considered. Alexandrite gemstones are one of the most prized and favorite gemstones used at Omi Privé due to all of the rare characteristics comprised within this magical gemstone. One fun fact about Omi Privé jewelry is that we place one small alexandrite into the shank of all of our one-of-a-kind pieces as well as all of the pieces in our vault collection! If you are interested in seeing our collection of Brazilian alexandrite pieces, be sure to contact us on our Instagram or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!