Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Genuine alexandrite

Many people who have either inherited or bought a ring that is purported to be an alexandrite OR a Russian alexandrite end up disappointed. They usually have synthetic corundum laced with vanadium to produce the colour changing properties. From the turn of the century synthetic corundum was used in place of genuine gems. The science of imitating alexandrite has advanced and flux grown alexandrite is common. Only 2,000 kg of rough were mined in the Urals in the 1800s. Much of this was lost in faceting, leaving few genuine gems. Since the original find in Russia, other sources of alexandrite have been found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Australia and Myanmar. None of these finds have been long lived. In 1987 in Brazil there was a find at Minas Gerais that lasted 4 months.

55.88ct synthetic alexandrite
Synthetic alexandrite, synthetic amethyst, synthetic tanzanite, synthetic diamond.
The value of alexandrite is the strength of color change, the size, and the clarity. Location (unless verified Russian) doesn’t play a part.

Fine alexandrite will always fetch top dollar and that’s the main reason why the gem is often misrepresented.