A Writers Guide to Alexandrite

Crystal of alexandrite, uncut

crystal of alexandrite, uncut

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl, an aluminate of beryllium. Chrysoberyl is the third-hardest gemstone. It’s very rare.

The alexandrite effect is the color changing feature of these gems. Unlike the property of pleochroism that involves looking at the stone from different angles to see the color shift, the alexandrite effect depends on the ambient lighting to see the color shift. This property is the result of a small scale replacement of aluminium by chromium ions in the crystal structure. Alexandrite tends to be green, yellow, or pink by daylight and red by incandescent light.

Alexandrite is named after the Russian tsar, Alexander II (1818-1881). Popular legend says that is was discovered on Alexander II’s birthday in the Ural Mountains of Russia.

Alexandrite was first thought to be emerald due to the deep green color.

Poets have described this gem as “emerald by day and ruby by night”.

Cut Alexandrite

cut alexandrite

History and Lore

  • George Frederick Kunz, the master gemologist at Tiffany & Co., created a series of alexandrite rings in the late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Alexandrite can be found in England’s Victorian jewelry.

Famous Alexandrites

  • Whitney Alexandrite: a 17.08-carat modified cushion cut gem from the Hematita Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • keeping internal organs running smoothly
  • relieving to pancreatic disorders
  • relieving swollen lymph nodes
  • promoting tranquility
  • promoting longevity
  • promoting a positive psyche
  • promoting inner happiness
  • bringing good luck
  • enhancing love spells

Discharging & Recharging

To recharge alexandrite, let warm water run over the stone, then place in the sun for a while. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.gemstone index

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  1. Ooo, you're back to your gem posts. Fun!

  2. The green colors remind me of the sea, similar in color to the varying shades of the moving waves.

  3. Always fascinated by your gem posts. Good stuff.

  4. Colour-shifting gems — very magickal indeed!

  5. My mother has a Russian alexandrite ring. I've always been intrigued by it.

  6. Alexandrite is my mother's favorite gemstone. Not sure if it cured her from any ailments though. LOL
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  7. Oh, I'm with L Diane. So happy to see a post on gems again. These were so amazing during the A-Z challenge.

    Great idea, Holly. I might do a weekly post with my theme of flash fiction with a twist. It could be fun.

    Nice to see you back.

  8. Hey, there's a rock named after me!
    Glad you're posting again, Holly.

  9. Hi Holly .. so good to see you again .. and Alexandrite looks beautiful .. very interesting stone to see and read about .. thanks – Hilary

  10. Are these additions or repeats? I really love your reference guide.

  11. It looks like a beautiful gem! And wow, the third-hardest gemstone?

  12. Alexandrite is one of my favourite gemstones (after rubies…and emeralds)

  13. I love your gem posts! Yay!

    It's always so fascinating for me to see the difference between cut and uncut stones. I would never have thought based on that first picture that the cut stones would be so pretty. And love the variance in color.

  14. Inner happiness is always good. 🙂

  15. I did not know there was such a stone. They sure are beautiful. I've never seen a green and purple stone before.

  16. Oh so pretty! And it regulates your internal organ as well? How can you do wrong wearing this?

  17. It's so pretty! Sounds like it's a good one to have around. 🙂

  18. This is one of my favorite stones–I love the complex coloring. 🙂

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  19. So pretty. Your posts are a great resource for one of my old ideas. If I ever get back to that book, this is where I'm coming!

  20. Alexandrite is a very pretty gem! I love these gem posts that you do. 🙂

  21. Bringing good luck. I think I need one of those stones and to help keep a positive psyche.

  22. Holly is back! yea! Missed you.

    What a beautiful gem. It's properties are really interesting. I should get me some for luck and happiness. 🙂

  23. It's so pretty! I've missed these posts. Thank you!

  24. Hello! I popped over from Michael DeGesu's blog. Fascinating information! I'm not sure I've ever heard of alexandrite before, but I'm always interested in gems and herbs with mystical properties. Never know when the information might come in handy!

  25. Yup, I thought it was time to add a gem.

  26. Michael, I think that’s a great idea.

    Yes, Alex it was named after you. (Let’s not break it to him.)

    Clarissa, all new! I’m thinking of adding a new one every month or two.

    Thanks everyone from the welcome back.

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