Have you ever given an alexandrite engagement ring any thought?
These enigmatic gemstones have recently experienced a boom in popularity, which has many people wondering about their fascination.
Alexandrite is a distinctive and popular option for engagement rings because to its intriguing color-changing characteristics. Read on!
Is Alexandrite Good for Engagement Rings?
Consequently, if you’re on the hunt for something that is genuinely unique, proceed further because I’ll provide you all the information you require regarding alexandrite engagement rings and provide the answers to different questions like:
- Can I wear alexandrite daily?
- Are natural alexandrites uncommon?
- What causes alexandrite engagement rings to change color?
What is Alexandrite?
Alexandrite is a precious gemstone that belongs to the chrysoberyl family and is one of the birthstones for the month of June, alongside pearl and moonstone. It is a rare variety of chrysoberyl, and the family itself is quite small, consisting of only green chrysoberyl, cat’s eye chrysoberyl, and alexandrite.
The origin of this rare stone can be traced back to the Ural Mountains in Russia, where it was first discovered. However, most of the mines that produced alexandrite have already been depleted, with only a few carats of the stone still being mined. The mines were shut down for a period of time, but have since reopened, although the amount of alexandrite being produced is limited.
Natural alexandrite also comes from other different locations including Brazil, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
A well-known mineralogist by the name of Nils Gustaf Nordenskjold discovered the alexandrite stone. At first, emerald, a dark green variant of the mineral beryl, was assumed to be the cause.
It turned out that this stone was fairly unique and exceptional in some ways.
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What Is Unique About Alexandrite?
One of the few unusual stones with the capacity to change color is the alexandrite gemstone. The rarity of color shift stones is shared by gem-quality alexandrite. Additionally, sapphires and diamonds can change hue.
Pleochroic stones are those that absorb light at various wavelengths and change color. Alexandrite is a unique pleochroic stone because it can change color under various lighting conditions.
A gem’s hue typically changes under sunlight and incandescent light. It is known as “the alexandrite effect” and is the effect that is most associated with alexandrite. An alexandrite engagement ring may appear blue green, blue or green, when viewed in the sunlight. It appears reddish purple, crimson, or reddish tones of brownish under a candle or flame.
Are Alexandrite Engagement Rings a Good Choice?
There is no denying the beauty of gemstones and their huge varieties to pick from. It makes sense that many people are choosing other gemstones for their engagement rings instead of the traditionally recommended diamond solitaire.
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The issue with selecting a different gem for your engagement ring instead of a diamond is how wearable it is in general. The durability of a gemstone depends on a variety of things. The stone’s hardness is the most crucial factor.
The mineral hardness scale, also known as the Mohs scale, is used to determine a gemstone’s hardness. If you’re a frequent visitor, you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it because we bring it up often throughout our Learning Guides.
Mineral hardness, however, is equivalent to scratchability for the rest of you. One of the elements that affect a stone’s wearability is its scratch resistance. It’s important because it indicates how well the stone will withstand airborne dirt and dust particles.
Without a high level of hardness, mined metals and natural stones cannot withstand use for a very long time without becoming damaged. In general, a stone is deemed hard if its hardness rating is 6 or higher, making it suitable for daily use.
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The wearability of an alexandrite engagement ring is highly regarded. It is harder than an emerald (7.5-8) but less hard than a sapphire (8.5). Poor cleavage means that it shouldn’t simply split, fracture, or break in one direction. The exquisite cleavage of diamond engagement rings makes them more susceptible to chipping after a violent fall or hit.
Alexandrite engagement rings are therefore a wonderful colored stone substitute for diamonds. They endure quite well in day-to-day use.
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Lab Created Alexandrite vs. Natural Alexandrite Stone
Alexandrite engagement rings are becoming more and more popular these days. However, when they discover lab-created alexandrite rather than alexandrite that was mined from the ground, many people are disappointed.
Naturally, lab-created gemstones are blatantly mistaken for phony gemstones. However, they aren’t. Despite having a lab-created origin, they are identical to their natural counterparts in terms of all traits and grades. The same is true for artificial and natural alexandrite.
The primary distinction is that laboratory-created stones lack the monetary worth like their naturally occurring counterparts. Depending on how rare the natural stone is or how challenging the synthesis process is, they are also significantly less expensive.
Buying an Alexandrite Engagement Ring
With better color change than if it were natural, lab-created alexandrite engagement rings are simpler to find. The cost of the natural one would be significantly higher. The criteria for determining which alexandrite stone is better, though, are constant between the two.
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Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are the determining aspects in a diamond’s quality. It’s a little different with jewels of different colors. You can categorize them as A, AA, or AAA quality. However, you won’t know if it’s accurate or not if you don’t understand what the gemstone quality grade implies.
As a result, we can also utilize the 4Cs to describe colored gemstones.
The value of a colored gemstone is typically not determined by its cut quality, but for alexandrite, a good cut is crucial for a strong pleochroic effect. To achieve this effect, the gem cutter must skillfully facet the stone into a specific shape and angles it in the light to preserve its color change. Without a proper cut, the color shift will not be impressive.
In the case of alexandrite, windowing is a critical flaw to avoid. This occurs when the center of the stone is not well-faceted, causing light to enter and not reflect back out. The result is a center that appears like a window, allowing you to see through the stone when held over a newspaper. A poorly cut alexandrite with windowing is not desirable.
It’s important to consider the shape of an alexandrite engagement ring stone as well. Fancy shapes, such as pear or oval, are popular because they have a larger surface area than round brilliants. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the stone is not misshapen, regardless of its shape.
The marketing tagline “Emerald by day, ruby by night” has been cleverly used for alexandrite ever since it was designated as the national stone of tsarist Russia. This tagline is fitting because high-quality alexandrites display emerald green hues in natural light and ruby red hues under incandescent light.
The quality of alexandrite is determined by the strength of its color shift and the purity of its green and red hues, with better quality stones commanding higher prices. In the case of alexandrite, color is more important than clarity or carat weight.
An alexandrite engagement ring stone that exhibits a color shift from bluish green to reddish brown is deemed less valuable. Conversely, if the stone displays both red and green hues without a notable shift or if the colors appear muddied, it is considered less valuable than the bluish green variant.
Clarity refers to the degree of natural inclusions in a gemstone. Like other gemstones, finding eye-clean alexandrite is challenging. The best quality alexandrites are free of inclusions, and lab-created ones are almost always eye-clean, making it difficult to distinguish them from natural ones.
Alexandrite Carat Weight
In terms of carat weight, gem-quality alexandrite is rare and challenging to find. Today, most alexandrite is used for cabochons, and cat’s eye alexandrite is another rare stone. However, cat’s eye alexandrite is more common than natural faceted alexandrite.
Considering this, it’s evident that higher carat weight alexandrites are the rarest and most expensive. Alexandrite is one of the world’s rarest gemstones, with stones over a carat being incredibly uncommon.
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It’s not uncommon to see alexandrite rings where the stones are used as accent stones or combined with multiple lines of diamonds to create fashion or anniversary rings.
How to Clean Alexandrite Engagement Rings
Cleaning an alexandrite engagement ring is a straightforward process. Begin by cleaning it with a solution of mild soap and warm water. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt or buildup, and ensure to clean the prongs and basket (if present) underneath the center stone, where lotions and dirt can accumulate.
For a more thorough cleaning, you can use jewelry steam cleaners and ultrasonic cleaners to clean your alexandrite ring safely. However, heavy cleaning is not necessary as long as you clean it regularly with soap and water. After cleaning, make sure to dry it with a soft cloth.
Alexandrite Ring Prices: How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
The price of an alexandrite ring can vary depending on the strength of the color change of the stone. Additionally, the specific colors of the stone are also important in determining its value.
Despite most natural alexandrites being less than one carat in size, they are still expensive due to their unique appearance and rarity. Top-quality alexandrites with a strong color change can cost around $15,000 for a one-carat stone, and stones over one carat can reach up to $60,000 per carat.
Lab-created alexandrites are also quite pricey and can be comparable in price to high-quality diamonds.
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Where to Buy an Alexandrite Engagement Ring?
When searching for an Alexandrite engagement ring, it’s important to note that most of the options available online or in stores are lab-created. Popular chain retailers like Kay Jewelers and Jared may have limited selections.
One highly recommended option for purchasing an Alexandrite engagement ring is Brilliant Earth, a reputable online diamond retailer. They offer a wide variety of beautiful Alexandrite jewelry and engagement rings, allowing you to customize your own ring with their inventory of certified loose Alexandrite stones and ring settings.
Choose from white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum bands for your Alexandrite engagement ring. With 360˚ videos of their loose lab-created Alexandrites, it’s easy to see their ever-changing hues and choose the perfect stone for your ring. Additionally, they offer preset Alexandrite engagement rings and wedding bands.
Choosing Alexandrite Side Stones for an Engagement Ring
One great feature of Brilliant Earth’s alexandrite rings is that the stone isn’t always the centerpiece. If you love color, consider opting for an engagement ring with alexandrite side stones instead of a center stone.
Brilliant Earth offers a wide range of options for lab-created alexandrite engagement rings that are responsibly sourced and come with a warranty plan. All their alexandrite stones are also certified by the GIA, so you can be sure of their authenticity.
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If you’re after a natural, high-quality alexandrite, you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone. Unless you live in a major city with a reputable jeweler, searching online is your best option. Keep in mind that top-notch natural alexandrite comes at a high price, and locating a trustworthy online seller can be difficult.
It’s worth noting that distinguishing between natural and lab-created alexandrite can be tough for the average person. However, a skilled jeweler will be able to spot the difference based on the type of inclusions in the synthetic stone.
While the average person may not be able to tell the difference between a lab-created and natural alexandrite, a skilled jeweler can distinguish between the two based on the type of inclusions present in the synthetic stone.
As for natural alexandrite stones, I am not aware of any approved retailers who sell them. However, if you do decide to purchase one, make sure to only buy from a reputable source that provides a legitimate grading report from a respected grading lab.
Be sure to read the return and restocking policies carefully before making a purchase from an unfamiliar source. You may also want to consider seeking advice from social media or Reddit to see if anyone else has experience with the seller.
Alexandrite engagement rings are gaining popularity due to their durable nature and stunning color-changing effect that can match the beauty of other gemstones.
Although finding a natural alexandrite is challenging, it can also be difficult to locate a lab-created one as they are not commonly found in the inventories of chain retailers. Be prepared to search for this unique gemstone.
In conclusion, after going through the information about alexandrite engagement rings, it is hoped that you have gained all the necessary knowledge and are now equipped to make an informed decision when purchasing one.
With the understanding of the rarity of natural alexandrite and the availability of lab-created options, along with the recommended reputable jewelers to purchase from, you can choose the perfect alexandrite engagement ring to suit your taste and budget.