Alexandrite Stone - Meanings, Types, and Care Guide
Alexandrite is one of the rarest colored gems today. More specifically, Alexandrite is a gemstone that has a very rare color-change effect from the Chrysoberyl variety. Although its name is Chrysoberyl, which is an aluminate of beryllium, it is not really included in the Beryl mineral group but is classified as its own mineral group.
The history of Alexandrite stone is quite controversial, dating back to the time of the Russian Empire. The stone was named by the Russian Tsar, Alexander II (1818 - 1881), but was discovered by a Finnish mineralist, Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792-1866).
When Nordenskiöld first discovered the Alexandrite precious stone in 1834, it was originally considered an Emerald because it was found in the Emerald stone mine located in the Ural region of Russia, near the Tokovaya River.
The legend then said that the gemstone was found on the birthday of the Tsar and was named Alexandrite in his honor, although this factual nature is still debated. Though Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld actually wanted to name the stone with the name "Diaphanite".
How To Identify Alexandrite
Through spectroscopic analysis and testing, Alexandrite stones can be distinguished from other similar stones. Other Chrysoberyl specimens may also contain chromium dyes, but if they do not have the ability to develop color, they are only identified as Chrysoberyl instead of Alexandrite, that is one of the characteristics of the original Alexandrite stone.
Green Alexandrite stone, the color is due to the presence of chromium substances. Chromium is the same element that also gives color to Emerald, another green Chrysoberyl variety.
Alexandrite stone from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is known to show the development of brown to brownish-yellow color. The purple Alexandrite stone originating from Zimbabwe is usually darker in color and has very little color development. Specimens from Tanzania tend to have young colors and have a fairly good color development. Blue to purplish Alexandrite stones from Brazil is known to have very saturated colors.
Compared to Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and Diamond, the Alexandrite Stone is still classified as a newly discovered species about 150 years ago. Although relatively new in history, many have written about the links of Alexandrite rocks with magical and mystical things.
Russian writer Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov, first recorded as a person who associates Alexandrite stone with magical things in a novel entitled "Alexandrite, Mysterious Interpretation of a True Fact".
Alexandrite is known as a stone of luck and love. It is suitable for use by those who have the Gemini zodiac and the birth months of June - August. In addition, it is known to have a positive energy that is able to provide happiness to the wearer. So, Alexandrite is highly recommended as a gift of gemstones to a lover.
The level of hardness of Alexandrite stone is at number 8, 5 on the Mohs scale so it is classified as hard and durable. So that this stone is suitable for everyday use. However, it is still important to know how to properly care for this jewelry or stone. Alexandrite stones can be cleaned using warm water and ordinary soap. Wipe it enough by using a soft cloth or brush with soft fur. Avoid using cleaners that contain hard chemicals and make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all remaining soap residue.
Alexandrite stone is strong enough to be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaner. But must always be careful when using this method. Furthermore, always remove Alexandrite jewelry before carrying out strenuous physical activity or while doing housework.
Alexandrite stones are harder than many other gemstones, which means Alexandrite can easily scratch other softer stones such as Quartz, Tourmaline, Zircon, and Spinel. Therefore, wrap it with a soft cloth when storing Alexandrite gemstones, and keep it apart from other gemstones.