Emerald by Day, Amethyst by Night
Chemical Composition: BeA12O4
This is one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world today. It is a member of the beryl family called a chrysoberyl. In regular daylight the color appears as shades of green but under incandescent light the color changes to appear in shades of reddish purple. The most valuable alexandrites are those with the richest colors and most pronounced color change. This color change is even apparent in the gemstones natural, uncut state.
In the world of gems, alexandrite is a fairly new discovery. Quality stones are extremely scarce and command top prices on the gemstone market. They are available artificially grown now but the artificial stones still cost between $300 to $500 a carat which actually is a huge difference from the $1500 and up charged per carat for the real thing! Natural stones over 5 carats are almost impossible to find. One of the largest cut alexandrite in the world, 66 carats, is in the Smithsonian Institute. The finest stones are found in the Ural mountains of Russia but the mines there are almost played out, luckily they also occur in Brazil, the U.S., Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Lore & History:
Alexandrite came by its name because it was supposedly discovered on the birthday of Csar Alexander II of Russia, in either 1830 or 1831 (sources vary). It is interesting to note that alexandrite's colors are red and green, the same as those of the Russian Imperial Army and as such was considered to be a true good luck charm to those in the Russian aristocracy. It can be found in much of the jewelry of that period as it was well loved by Russian jewelers and in great demand by the upper class of the mid to late 19th and early 20th century. The original alexandrite mine in the Urals closed after only a few decades of production and the stones was nearly impossible to find on the market and extremely expensive when found. In 1987 a new source for the gemstone was found in Brazil, in a place called Hematite. Due to it's renewed availability the stone has regained its popularity once again. New lab techniques have also made it possible to create quality "lab grown" alexandrites that rival the natural stone's rich shades and color changes.
Used to aid tissue regeneration, especially of the central nervous system. Treats pancreatic disorders, swollen lymph nodes, and spleen ailments.
Use in meditation and ritual for emotional balance, to increase ones self esteem, increase confidence and to bring about change, happiness, and success. Use in spells to increase feelings of love and sensuality, to bring luck and riches, and to prevent others from "attaching" and drawing your energy without permission. Thought to be most powerful when the suns rays are shining on it.
June Birthstone, and the stone to commemorate the 45th and 55th wedding anniversaries. Scorpios will find affinity with this precious gem.
Where to wear:
When worn on the left hand, it is said to help inhibit undesirable energies from other people's emotions as well as inanimate sources such as microwaves or power lines. When worn on the chest, Alexandrite suspends intense emotional states, allowing you to operate in a more neutral way. When worn in the ears, it inhibits excessive intellectual processing to allow you to maintain an outwardly-directed focus. (from gemstones.com)
Used as a laser material. The first solid state laser medium capable of tunable operation at room temperature. Has enabled development of new laser sources with capabilities that were previously "impossible".