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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
Alexandrite orthorhombic 3.72 8.5 1.746-1.755 none known





By definition,chrysoberyl must be in the hues
of red and green to be called alexandrite.

Clarity: Type II
Optic Character :
DR, Biaxial Positive
Cause of Color: Chromium & Vanadium
Fluorescence: Inert to Moderate Red (LW)
Fracture : Concoidal

Luster : Vitreous to Greasy
Cleavage :
Durability: Excellent!
Characteristics for Identification:
Fingerprint Inclusions, Silk (rutile),
Color Change
Australia, United States, Russia (Ural Mountains),India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon),
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania

In 2000, India began mining quite exceptional examples of alexandrite. Geologically, there appears to be a possible association of the pegmatite responsible for the alexandrite in the Ural Mountains and the material being mined in the area of Andrha Pradesh in India, due to tectonic movement.


Alexandrite is a phenomenal variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Because of a trace amounts of chromium and vanadium, alexandrite appears different colors depending on whether it is viewed in natural or incandescent light. In daylight, the stone appears to be green; in artificial light it appears to be raspberry red. It was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830 on the birthday of Czar Alexander of Russia. Another extraordinary coincidence was that the national colors of Russia were red and green. Today, alexandrite is found in India, Brazil and to a lesser extent in Africa. Alexandrite has long been associated with great luck and prosperity.

Chrysoberyl Family

Catseye Alexandrite

Catseye Chrysoberyl

Alexandrite is often confused with:

Color ChangeSapphire
Color Change Garnet
Lab Alexandrite
Lab color change Sapphire
Natural and Lab Spinel


alexandrite faceted

More information is available through
The Gemology Project.