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June's Birthstone: The Alluring Alexandrite

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June is a great month in which to be born. Some of my closest friends were born in June, so I find myself celebrating several people I love during this beautiful summer month. The air is warm, the pools are open, the beach is blissful, and all of the natural beauty around you is in bloom. Alexandrite is an appropriate birthstone for this month, as it is one of the most beautiful gemstones.

History of Alexandrite

Many gemstones were first found during ancient periods, but the alexandrite's history is a bit different. This rare stone was discovered in the 1800s by Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold, a French mineralogist. He was mining near the Tokovaya River in the Russian Ural Mountains and came across this unknown stone, which he assumed was an emerald because of its apparent green coloring. Once it was realized that this was a new type of stone, it was named the alexandrite after Alexander II, a Russian czar who legend claims came of age on the day it was discovered. After all, the gemstone showed both green and red coloring depending on the light, and these were the colors of imperial Russia. Many pieces of gemstone jewelry from the Victorian period were made with alexandrite. Alexandrite belongs in its own mineral group, the chrysoberyl family. It is a rare variety of this type of stone because it changes color depending on the light.

Mythical Traits of Alexandrite

The official stone of imperial Russia was believed to bring the wearer peace and good luck and be a link between the real world and the spiritual world for the wearer. It was also believed to bring love, focus of the mind, and creativity of the spirit. It is also linked to self-discipline, self-confidence, and control of one's mind and body. It was thought to bring intelligence, clear thinking, excellence, and concentration. When it comes to healing, the stone's warm restorative energy gives off strength and insight.

Alexandrite's Colors

The alexandrite effect is the change in the color of the stone under different lighting. Depending on the angle and type of light, it can appear red, orange, yellow, pink, or green. During the day, the gemstone will appear to be blue-green or green, similar to the emerald. But in incandescent light, it will look more pink or purplish-red.

Mining Alexandrite

Though the stone was originally found in Russia's Ural region, this area of the globe doesn't produce large quantities of good-quality alexandrite any longer. Although still very rare, the stone is currently mined in other parts of Russia, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Myanmar, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka.

Interesting Alexandrite Facts

Finding an alexandrite stone that is bigger than three carats in weight is extremely rare. Most commercial jewelers can only carry smaller stones because that is what is most often available to buyers. The alexandrite is more expensive than the three most precious gemstones (emeralds, rubies, and sapphires), and it is even rarer than diamonds. If you are looking for a top-quality alexandrite that is not synthetic, plan on spending more than $30,000 per carat.