Alexandrite rings buying guide
by Shweta Dhanuka
In natural sunlight or fluorescent light alexandrite appears green. Green colour is attractive and natural, even no trace of brown and gray should exist. On the other hand in indoor bulb light or incandescent light it changes from green to red automatically and naturally.
Russian Alexandrite is a rare stone discovered on the birth of Alexander II in the year 1830 in Russia. Thus, it is named so in his honor (he became Czar of Russia in 1855) . It is among the very few semi-precious gemstones having the unique property of miraculous colour change. The beauty of the stone is further enhanced if set in a finger ring. Alexandrite rings are very attractive. It appreciates the looks and personality of the wearer. If you planning to buy this beautiful gemstone then this article is for you!! Look for the quality and value of alexandrite suitable for the ring on the basis for 4Cs viz. colour, cut, clarity and carat weight.
Colour is the most important quality aspect of alexandrite. It’s colour change capability distinguishes it from the rest of the stones. It shows two variations in colour under the different light source viz. natural light and artificial light.
Alexandrite stones from Khazargems
While buying this gemstone look for it’s surprising colour change phenomena. In natural sunlight or fluorescent light alexandrite appears green. Green colour is attractive and natural, even no trace of brown and gray should exist. On the other hand in indoor bulb light or incandescent light it changes from green to red automatically and naturally. Red colour is also bright and attractive. This bright colour change implies that the particular stone is pure alexandrite from Russian mines.
It is also possible that few alexandrite gems show bluish green shade in sunlight while purplish red or dark purple colour in incandescent light. Such stones are pure too. They are from the mines located in other parts of the world like Brazil, Burma, Tasmania, India etc. Only point to take care is that these stones would cost less than that of pure Russian alexandrite.
Alexandrite exhibits colour change as it contains iron, titanium and chrome. These minerals are responsible for this change. And this phenomena is dependent on the strength of the light source. Stronger the light more bright shall be the colour. When it is placed in the ring, the colour change is more clear and precise than in any other jewelry item.
Alexandrite being 8.5 Mohs on hardness scale, is quite easy and uncomplicated to cut. Rings having wide variety of shapes and styles are available in the market all over the world. Cuts like oval, pear, cushion are quite common for the rings. Rings having heart and emerald cut alexandrite are equally popular. However, large round cut should be avoided as it results in high weight loss of the gemstone.
Third most important C is clarity of the gem. Alexandrite possesses few tiny inclusions that reflect back the light. Negative crystals are common inclusions found in all the varieties.
Last but the most crucial factor is carat weight. The value of the gem in terms of money is largely dependent on this factor. One carat is equal to 0.20 grams. Gems less than 0.75 carat are quite common and sold everywhere. More than 2 carat weight is rare and fetches a huge price.
The carat weight of alexandrite stone in rings start from 0.25 carat to 0.55 carats. However, few rings can also have stones of larger weight i.e. 0.80 carat to 1.80 carat. Larger weight stones are set along with other precious and semi-precious stones. Combination of alexandrite with diamonds is quite common.
Apart from these important 4Cs factors, there are few other points as well to be taken care of while making the purchase of ring holding alexandrite stone. It might further help you in buying the right ring with the true stone.
Alexandrite Stone Size
When selecting the ring with stone, look for proper balance. The width of the ring and the stone size must complement each other. In other words, there should be the balance between the two. Large stone size mounted on the thin ring will not give the desired attractive look as it lacks the balance. Similarly, thick ring having small stone less than 0.40 carat would not be in proportion to each other. Hence, is not suitable.
Alexandrite Stone setting
Gemstone rings are made up of either 14K or 18K yellow gold. Alexandrite also goes well with white gold. Thus, instead of yellow gold 18K white gold can also be used for making alexandrite rings.
While selecting the ring, always look at the back of the ring i.e. inner part of the ring. It too should have a finished look, beveled correctly and polished as that in the front. The stone should be attractive from back/below as well. It should exhibit the similar colour change in different light source.
At the back of the ring, the metal should be cut in square or oval pattern allowing light and air to pass through. If alexandrite is set with diamonds or other stones then it should be set closely together. The setting should be in such a way that all the gems are secured and there is no probability of gems getting dropped out of the ring. The prongs must be evenly balanced around the ring.
Finally, be aware of the imitations. Alexandrite do has synthetic forms available in the market. These imitations contain few elements that show the colour change in respective light source. The colour exhibited in sunlight will have more shades of blue than green while in incandescent light it would show traces of violet along with red colour. Therefore, it can be identified as an imitation and should be very cheap in comparison to true alexandrite.
True and pure alexandrite is procured from the Ural Mountains of Russia. These are rarely found and show bright green and red colours only. Other genuine alexandrite are found in Hematita mines of Brazil, island of Sri Lanka , Burma and Tunduru. These stones would be bluish green in daylight and red purple or dark purple in incandescent light. Andhra Pradesh region in India and few parts of Tasmania and Zimbabwe also yield good quality of true alexandrite.
Alexandrite is the highly priced gemstone in the world. As mentioned earlier, the price would be dependent on carat weight and the intensity of the colour change. Stone with few inclusions, intense colour change and more than one carat weight would be the most expensive. Further, if it happens to be a pure Russian alexandrite then the price would touch the sky.
If alexandrite from Brazil, Sri Lanka, India , Zimbabwe and other places exhibits strong colour change then it would be expensive too but less than the pure Russian stone. But, in case the colour change shows any trace of brown then it shall lower the price of the stone.
Precaution & Care
It is always recommended not to remake the jewelry having stones again and again. Once made should be treasured for the lifetime. But, in case it has to be changed then be extra conscious while getting alexandrite remounted. Jeweler’s torch emits heat that deteriorates the colour change capability of the gemstone.
Avoid wearing alexandrite rings while working with chemicals and other harsh solutions. Also it must be protected from sharp blows, scratches and rapid temperature changes else these might affect the colour change of the stone.
Russians believed alexandrite brings good omen. Hopefully, it can do it even today. So Happy Wearing !!!!