A couple of years ago I was telling a client about my favorite gemstone, the miraculous color changing Alexandrite, which is the mineral Chrysoberyl . At the time of our conversation, I didn’t realize that he would get intrigued with the idea of having one for a future gift for his wife.
He contacted me shortly thereafter and asked me if I could find an Alexandrite stone to make a ring. As I started looking for Alexandrites from different reputable color gemstone experts, I found that high quality large stones are very difficult to find and purchase. At first my search was totally dedicated to finding a gemstones that had Russian origin. The first Alexandrites were discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830’s and were named in honor of the Russian Czar Alexander II, who absolutely loved Alexandrites. These spectacular color change stones found in the Ural Mountains were mined extensively and the source was exhausted. Today most Alexandrite production comes from Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil. Many of these stones however do not possess the distinct color change of the Russian sourced gems. Most of the modern gemstones with the most distinct and clear color change from the Brazilian mines.
When I first started my search, I was bound and determined to find a Russian mined stone for the spectacular ring we wanted to make. I did find a few stones in the 1.5 to 2.0 carat range that were available from older collections. After I found the location of these older Russian Alexandrites, my client decided that he definitely wanted a stone between 2.0 to 3.0 carats in size. I switched my search to Brazilian production and I still found the availability to be minute. As I started to get the word out in the industry that I was looking for a true distinct color change stone in the 2.0 to 3.0 carat size, some stones became available. Finding a stone with good color change, cut properly and was in the 2.0 to 3.0 carat size range became like finding a need in a haystack. During this search I learned about there are many online resources and even collectors’ groups detailing the history and attributes of the Alexandrite gemstone.
The first stone I found was a gorgeous 2.39 carat oval Alexandrite with a spectacular grading report from the Gubelin Gem Lab. This is a very astute organization that only the finest of gemstones are sent to for identification. The report documented that the color in daylight is bluish-green and the color in incandescent light is purple. The report comments mention that the gemstone displays a strong color change. After seeing and identifying this stone, I purchased it to begin the project. After I found this stone and showed it to my client, he decided that he wanted a full set made of a pendant and ring. So I started to search for a second matching stone. After many months of searching I found a spectacular 2.62 carat oval Alexandrite with the same color change and dimensions. This second gemstone came with a report from the Gemological Institute of America. Believe it or not, upon seeing the second stone, my client decided that a pair of earrings to complete the set was desired. So I started a search for two more stones matching the two I had already purchased. The search for the last two gemstones was particularly hard because I was searching for two stones with the same characteristics and size. After months of searching I found one 2.53 carat and one 2.20 carat oval gemstone that were a wonderful match, both with reports from the Gemological Institute of America. These were truly a lucky find. And so the earring project started for a later time and date.
I have had an absolutely wonderful time searching and learning more about this mysterious gemstone. Since I was born in June, I have always had a passion for finding a stone for myself and making a ring to be worn on my little finger. Every time I have found the perfect stone for myself it turns into a project for one of my clients who becomes intrigued with the mystery surrounding Alexandrites. I hope in the near future to find another wonderful stone to make my ring.