Alexandrite is a semiprecious stone whose main characteristic is given by the property to change colour according to the light it is exposed to. This is how each crystal becomes green in daylight and red when exposed to the artificial light present in the interior.
Alexandrite is a crystal discovered in 1830 (by some authors in 1834) in mines near the Tokovaya River in the Ural Mountains of Russia by a French miner Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold (1792 – 1866) who thought it was an emerald. With the two colours of the ancient Imperial Russia, red and green, the crystal was named after the tsar that reigned at that time, Alexander II (1818-1881). Legends tell that this crystal was discovered on the day when the Russian tsar has reached the age of majority. This explains why he was named Alexandrite, and later became the nationalist stone of Tsarist Russia.
Alexandrite is named by the admirers of crystals “emerald day and ruby at night”. What is absolutely remarkable for this crystal is the surprising ability to change its colour: natural light is green or blue-green in artificial light – red, red-purple or red-raspberries. This colour change is due to iron and titanium content (chrysoberyl chrysanthemum elements), but also to chromium impurities.
It is precisely these chromium impurities that cause the colour change. An even more rare variety of Alexandrite, called Cymophane, shows the “cat-eye” effect. Thus, no wonder Alexandrite is considered one of the most expensive in the world, rarer than ruby, sapphire, diamond, and emerald. Being so rare and obviously valuable, Alexandrite quickly became one of the most expensive semi-precious stones and the main landmark is precisely how the stone changes its colour according to the light it was exposed to. The bigger differences between shades, the higher will be its price. Alexandrite is a rare gem, whose price may even exceed that of the diamond. But in order to preserve its beauty, specialists recommend that maintenance is done only using a neutral soap for cleaning as well as a soft toothbrush for less accessible areas.
The Russian legends of Alexandrite
Although relatively recently discovered, Alexandrite has a noble history, and Russian legends attribute its many qualities:
- is considered a bearer of luck, prosperity, and love, is wielded as a talisman;
- makes a bridge between the physical world and the spiritual world;
- is the stone associated with the crown chakra and has healing properties, but also for strengthening imagination, intuition, and creativity.
- In alternative medicine and in bioenergy or info-energetic practices, Alexandrite plays a role in the treatment of liver diseases, swollen nodules, limbs, and side effects of leukaemia.
- Chemical composition: Be A|2 o4 (Beryllium aluminate oxide)
- Hardness: 8.5 (out of 10)
- Gloss: vitreous
- Crystal system: orthorhombic
- Colors: Green, Red, Violet, Blue, Yellow, Pink
- Other names: Chrysoberyl
- Signs: Scorpio, Aquarius
- Months: June, November
- Chakra: 4, 5, 6, 7
- Polarity: Yang
During World War II, it was known as the “Stone of the Widow”, as wives who wore these crystals lost their wives. The curse could have been broken, though, if Alexandrite was worn in pair with another crystal. Writer Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov (1831-1895) is the first to attribute to Alexandrite magical powers. In the novel titled “Alexandrite, a mysterious interpretation of a true fact,” this crystal is called prophecy. During the same period, the French Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), author and magician, made a parallel between the colouristic duality of Alexandrite and that of the blood (venous and arterial).
The Tibetan “Chzhud-Shi” treaty talks about “Vayduriam,” a cat with the cat’s eye effect. This rare form of Alexandrite was considered a sacred stone with the ability to help the initiated people understand the language of magicians, birds and animals, and the uninitiated were given visions and healing of all diseases. Hindus believe that Alexandrite protects against scabies (skin disease), lepers and even alcoholism.
Signs and Alexandrite
Alexandrite is the crystal according to the signs of Scorpio and Aquarius, but do not confine yourself to this division. If you feel an attraction to this crystal, do not hesitate to use it! Alexandrite resonates well with those born under the influence of number one and those born in June or November. It is the stone recommended for chakras 4 (heart), 5 (neck) and 6 (Third Eye) and 7 (chakra sacral).
Alexandrite is the official stone of the 55th anniversary of a marriage
- Countries of origin – Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Tanzania, India (Andhra Pradesh), Myanmar (Burma), Madagascar and Zimbabwe;
- The category to which it belongs – chrysoberyl;
- Colour – green or blue-green in natural light; red, red-purple or red-raspberries in artificial light; Depending on the light, the colours can also be green, red, orange and yellow;
- Hardness – 8.5 on the Mohs scale, where 10 is the toughest;
- Transparency – transparent to opaque;
- Gloss – glass, vitreous;
Types and properties:
The peculiarity of changing colour is Alexandrite’s best clue. If the stone does not change colour, we talk about a common chrysoberyl. Depending on the area of origin, the colours of Alexandrite vary:
- Brazilian Alexandrite is not as green as Russian, but rather blue to purple, but the colour change is specific;
- Alexandrite of Sri Lanka is green-khaki during the day and red-brown in artificial light;
- Tanzanian Alexandrite (from the Tunduru area) has cat-eye reflections;
- Alexandrite in India, Burma, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe is darker, but without a dramatic change in colour.
Alexandrite is generally untreated. Synthetic Alexandrite has been on the market since the 1960s, but synthetic production is expensive, and the crystals used are ruby or sapphire to which either chromium or vanadium is infused to obtain colour. Alexandrite Imitates spinel, sapphire.
Vibration, Help, and Protection
Chrysoberyl stones bring peace of mind and improve confidence in one’s own person. Alexandrite is often associated with royal power, wealth and abundance. Is a stone used and recommended especially for artists because it helps create and inspires imagination.
- Physical and mental health – stimulates tissue regeneration and enhances self-healing power; beneficial for diseases of the nervous system; purify the blood, fortify blood vessels; beneficial for the liver, pancreas, spleen; reduces symptoms of dizziness and loss of balance, specific problems related to inner ear disorders; effective in detoxifying and fighting against resistant infections;
- Dreams – intensify them; it is said that a dream that includes Alexandrite is an internal struggle for change;
- Feelings – Alexandrite is the stone associated with self-control and discipline; increases the concentration force and strengthens the ability to learn; brings luck in love;
- Spirituality, meditation, prayer – also called the “Strong People’s Stone” because it brings events-tests that, once past, bring rewards to measure.
Care of Alexandrite
With rather high hardness, Alexandrite does not need any special care. Water with liquid soap under warm water (at room temperature) and charge to the Moon or Sunlight are sufficient. Avoid using chemicals and make sure there are no traces of soap on the stone. A soft brush can also be used to remove the accumulated misery in hard-to-reach areas. Do not forget to treat it, like the other crystals, with respect and love! If you store it together with other crystals, be careful not to scratch them. Alexandrite is tougher and can easily quartz, tourmaline, spinel, and zircon.
The most admired stones of Alexandrite
The most admiring Russians loved this crystal and used it especially in the making of jewellery. Tiffany Specialist George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932) was fascinated by Alexandrite, the company producing a series of platinum rings and Alexandrite. They have also been used in England to make Victorian jewellery. Two remarkable Alexandrite stones are at the Mineral Museum of Moscow (Russia), being the largest crystal of Alexandrite: 5kg, 25 * 15cm; the second crystal you can admire at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, is also known as the largest Alexandrite faceted: 66 carats.
Alexandrite is a crystal for connoisseurs, a stone of experts. If you are in possession of an Alexandrite who comes from Russia, you are really lucky, being also a long-term investment. One of its magical properties is that it helps you find solutions to situations where logic can not help you. Is that right?
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