by Shewata Dhanuka
When buying alexandrite pendent focus most on the stone. Start with the colour of the stone. Amazing colour changing characteristic of alexandrite gemstone separates it from all the other precious and semi precious gems. The true gem would be green in colour in sunlight or natural light while it would change to red in incandescent or artificial light that is in night.
Alexandrite is the most valuable gemstone in gem trade due to its unique property of changing colour naturally in different light sources. Pioneers and poets refer alexandrite as ‘Emerald in day and Ruby in night’ as in daytime the colour is green while in night the colour changes to red. It is named alexandrite because it was discovered on the same day Alexander II was born i.e in the year 1830 in the mines of Ural Mountain of Russia. Alexandrite is the only gemstone exhibiting the miraculous colour changing phenomena. It belongs to the family of chrysoberyl that displays colour change or the cat eye effect.
The beauty of the stone is further enhanced when it rests on the neck of the woman in form of the pendent. Alexandrite pendent makes the wearer the center of attraction. However, it is not easy to acquire a true stone in today’s complex market. Therefore, this article offers necessary information that would assist the buyer in making the purchase of genuine alexandrite pendent.
When buying alexandrite pendent focus most on the stone. Start with the colour of the stone. Amazing colour changing characteristic of alexandrite gemstone separates it from all the other precious and semi precious gems. The true gem would be green in colour in sunlight or natural light while it would change to red in incandescent or artificial light that is in night. Bright green and red colours are found in natural alexandrite from Russia. It is quite rare and as the mines of Russia are totally worked out, now alexandrite is procured from Sri Lanka, Brazil, Burma, Tasmania, India.
Gems from these countries would also emit colour change but with a slight change in shade. In sunlight the gem would appear green or bluish green and in incandescent light it would appear purplish red or bright purple. Iron, titanium and chrome elements present in alexandrite are responsible for the colour change. Market also offers synthetic or lab created alexandrite stone that even displays two distinct bright colours in different light sources but it would not have any trace of green or red.
After the intense colour change, look for the inclusions and flaws. Usually, it is a clear translucent stone with very minute inclusions. Sometimes opaque gems are also found but those should not be selected as opaque stones do not give the desired look and effect to the pendent. Stone above one carat weight possess negligible inclusions. Small sizes which are commonly used for pendent shall borne few obvious flaws.
It is 8.5 Mohs on hardenss scales therefore is easily cut in many different styles and shapes for the jewelry items. For pendent the most common shape is oval. Oval shape gets paired with other stones easily. Other cuts like pear, cushion, square and round are available too. Any cut can be selected but maximizes the beauty of the gemstone mounted in the pendent. It is important to note that round cut results in weight loss of the stone so should be less preferred.
Carat weight is yet most important factor in determining the worth of the gemstone in quantitative figures that is money. With the increase in carat weight the price of the stone increases. Pendent can have small stone of 0.20 carat to large stone of 2.0 carats.
Alexandrite being scarce in nature and exhibiting incredible colour change property is very expensive. Further, if the colour change is intense and bright then price shoots up. Stones with less than 2.0 carat weight are likely to be more expensive than the true diamonds. It is a semi precious stone but is priced more than the precious stones. It is a wonderful gemstone with captivating beauty that is owned by only those having bulging pockets.
It is a 45th & 55th anniversary gemstone. Being June birthstone it replaces pearls while few designers pair these together. Pendent having alexandrite paired with pearl and diamonds are most common. Pendent are made up 14K or 18K yellow and white gold. Sterling silver and platinum are also used and both gives similar look. Platinum pendent are more expensive than the silver. Any material can be used out of these four alternatives. Ensure that the hook through which the pendent is hanged in the chain is thick enough to hold the weight of the stones used in the design. It should not break because of the weight of the stone else the expensive gemstone can be lost.
Always check for the stone from the back of the pendent as well. It should exhibit same colour change under the different light sources. The colour should be as bright and intense as that in front. The metal should be cut in square or oval pattern allowing adequate light and air to pass through.
Pendent is a single jewelry item that it is close to the delicate neck of females. In order to augment the beauty of the neck and the stone the length of the chain should be kept less than 18 inches. Basically, chain 16 inch in length is ideal and known as ‘Choker length’. This length falls above collarbones and enhances the beauty of necklines. The pendent comes into direct touch with the skin and gemstone is clearly visible. If length of the chain is more then pendent having versatile alexandrite falls over the cloth and is not visible clearly. It tends to get hided between the folds of the dress thus, the beauty of the gemstone is lost. Finally, always take care that the clasp of chain is thick and tight so that it secures alexandrite pendent.
Chains made up sterling silver, yellow gold, white gold and platinum are easily available in the market. Wearer should select the chain made up of the same material as pendent like yellow gold chain with yellow gold alexandrite pendent. Else the difference in the colour of the chain and colour of the pendent material always distracts the view of the gemstone. Secondly, a thin chain should be preferred over the thick ones so that pendent catches the attention of the viewer in the first glance.
Alexandrite is a tough stone and is quite secured in pendent. Still care and precautions should be taken in order to retain this real beauty forever. It should be protected from the large temperature changes and sharp blows. Also the exposure to cosmetics should be avoided else it might effect the colour change. This gem should not be mounted again and again into different jewelry items as the jeweler’s torch produces heat that harms the colour change characteristic.
Pendent with this lustrous and extraordinary gemstone can win anyone’s heart at the first glance. It gives the opportunity of wearing two different colours in one single pendent. It is a lifetime beauty and can be said to be nature’s miracle.