When minerals super heat, combine, and are compressed in the earth’s core, the result is a variety of stones and gem stones of every color of the rainbow and a variety of crystalline structures. While diamonds have long been the collector favorite and are unusually hard and difficult to damage, in the past few years, other lesser-known gems have entered the spotlight. One of these, frequently found in blue, purple, and teal hues is alexandrite. The gem, however, actually changes color depending on what type of light you put it under! More and more, this gem is sought for gifts like alexandrite necklaces and valued by all those who make it a part of their jewel boxes.

What Alexandrite Is

Alexandrite was discovered in the Russian mountains in the early-19th century. It’s a type of the mineral chrysoberyl, but has no relation to the mineral beryl. However, alexandrite contains much beryllium, where it gets its mineral classification name. Some birthstone classification systems name alexandrite the gem for the birth month of June, along with pearl. This stone is bright and comes in a number of prominent main colors.

Colors

Of alexandrite, many gem collectors say it’s “emerald by day and ruby by night.” The gem changes color because of a unique ability to absorb certain yellow wavelengths of light. Under halogen, especially, the gem looks a completely different shade. This means that depending on the light level, anyone wearing the gem will feel like they just put on a fresh piece of jewelry. It’s versatility and seeming magic is one of the reasons people love it.

Hardness

Gems that are relatively harder make better choices for jewelry because they’re less likely to get scratches and dents over the years. While diamond is the hardest gem, the price reflects this quality. Alexandrite is the third-hardest gemstone of the more common varieties, right above topaz. This is yet another reason that buying and wearing alexandrite is a good choice.

Gift Potential

Because this magic, color-changing stone is unique, durable, and a less-common choice for jewelry gifts, it makes a thoughtful and interesting present for loved ones. An alexandrite necklace works in silver, white gold, or yellow gold settings. Going to a party or spending a night out on the town, your jewelry with alexandrite will change under different lights. As a gift, it makes an interesting and unexpected choice that anyone will be thrilled with.

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