• Kim Rix

June’s birthstone: Alexandrite

Lucky June babies have two gorgeous gemstones to choose from as June’s birthstone can be Alexandrite or pearl.

June’s birthstone. Alexandrite

Alexandrite is one of a handful of very special gems called ‘phenomenal gems’, which are so called because they display unusual optical phenomena. Our first of June’s birthstones has a startling optical effect—it’s a colour change gem. As a result of the way it absorbs light, Alexandrite will appear red under incandescent light but green in daylight or fluorescent light. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who can’t decide between ruby and emerald! Alexandrite is not the only colour-change gem, but it’s the one with the most striking difference in colour.

Seeming to change colour in different lighting conditions isn’t Alexandrite’s only optical phenomenon. June’s birthstone is also pleochroic, which means that it displays different colours when viewed from different directions—in Alexandrite’s case, green, orange and reddish purple.

Alexandrite, said to have been named after Tsar Alexander II, is a rare variety of chrysoberyl and was first discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains. It’s now mined in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil, but the Russian gemstones are the most prized for their quality and even more for their rarity now the Russian mines have been depleted.

Since Alexandrite was only discovered in 1830, it hasn’t had time to acquire the rich mythology and folklore that surround the more famous gemstones. However, many believe that Alexandrite brings luck and good health to its wearer.

This Alexandrite ring from the Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection is from the Omi Prive design house. It’s a 7ct cabochon, the first of its kind. Faceted bottom. Origin is India with a 95% color change. Accented in Brazilian Alexandrite and diamond melee set in platinum. AGTA Spectrum winner in bridal category, 2028. Its name is, “Hi, I’m Alex and you are?”

Kim Rix, GG (GIA)

Gemstone Detective

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