ALEXANDRITE: June Birthstone

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ALEXANDRITE: June Birthstone

If you were born in the month of June, you actually have not one but three birthstones to choose from – the classic Pearl, the magical Moonstone, and the very extraordinary gemstone, Alexandrite. We’ve written a post on the beauty of pearls and moonstones previously, so in today’s post, we’re exploring Alexandrite in detail.


Alexandrite, besides being a birthstone for June, is also the gem for the 55th wedding anniversary. Alexandrite is a very interesting and rare gemstone. It has a dramatic color change that is sometimes described as “emerald by day, ruby by night.” Other gems also change color in response to a light-source change, but this gem’s transformation is so striking that the phenomenon itself is often called “the alexandrite effect.” Alexandrite is one of the most phenomenal gemstones available today. 



Alexandrite is the rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes color in different lighting. Most prized are those alexandrite birthstones that show a vivid green to bluish green in daylight or fluorescent light, and an intense red to purplish red in incandescent light. Major alexandrite deposits were first discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains. The gem was named after the young Alexander II (1818–1881), heir apparent to the throne. Alexandrite caught the country’s attention because its red and green colors mirrored the national military colors of imperial Russia. 


Abundant alexandrite deposits were first discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Those first alexandrites were of very fine quality and displayed vivid hues and dramatic color change. The spectacular Ural Mountain deposits didn’t last forever though and were eventually mined out. Now, most alexandrite comes from Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa. The newer deposits contain some fine-quality stones, but many display less-precise color change and muddier hues than the 19th century Russian alexandrites. Because of its scarcity, especially in larger sizes, fine-quality alexandrite is one of the more expensive colored gems. You’ll still find estate jewelry set with some of the famed Ural Mountain alexandrites. They remain the quality standard for this phenomenal gemstone.




Alexandrite, with its chameleon-like qualities, is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Its color can be a lovely green in daylight or fluorescent light, changing to brownish or purplish red in the incandescent light from a lamp or candle flame. This is a result of the complex way the mineral absorbs light.

Fine alexandrite is green to bluish green in daylight and red to purplish red in incandescent light. Its color saturation is moderately strong to strong. Stones that are too light do not reach the quality of color intensity seen in fine-quality gems. Stones that are too dark lack brightness and appear almost black. 

Color and color change are the most important quality factors for an alexandrite and are the primary driver of value.


Alexandrite tends to contain few inclusions. There’s a dramatic rise in value for clean material with good color change and strong colors. Fine quality alexandrite is considered to be more valuable than blue sapphire, emerald, and ruby. The stones that exhibit chatoyancy, or the cat's-eye effect, are even more valuable. 

  • CUT

Alexandrite are most commonly fashioned into what are called mixed cuts, which have brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions. Brilliant cuts have kite-shaped and triangular facets, while step cuts have concentric rows of parallel facets. Alexandrite’s pleochroism makes it a challenge for cutters. When fashioning alexandrite, cutters orient the gem to show the strongest color change through the crown. It’s crucial to position the rough so the fashioned stone shows both purplish red and green pleochroic colors face-up.


Alexandrite is rarely found in large sizes. Most fashioned alexandrites are small, weighing less than one carat. Larger sizes and better qualities rise in price dramatically. Because of its scarcity, especially in larger sizes, alexandrite is a relatively expensive member of the chrysoberyl family. 


This June birthstone is relatively hard—8.5 on the Mohs scale. It has excellent toughness and no cleavage, which is a tendency to break when struck. This makes it a good choice for rings and other mountings subject to daily wear.  An alexandrite engagement ring would be a unique gift for a bride-to-be born in June. Although it is best to clean your June birthstone in warm, soapy water, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe as well.


Alexandrite is believed to bring luck, love, and good fortune to those who own it. Many believe that the stone brings harmony and activity between the physical and spiritual worlds. Alexandrite is closely associated with the crown chakra, which leads those to believe that the gemstone promotes a strong sense of creativity, imagination, intuition and the love of the universe. Alexandrite is also known to bring joy, purpose, and hope. Practitioners who believe in crystal healing state that alexandrite can promote healing in the pancreas, spleen and neurological tissues.


June is a month for celebrations, whether it's a wedding, anniversary, graduation or birthday. And what better way to celebrate than with a June birthstone. Those who were born in June are lucky to have three gorgeous birthstones to choose from. Now that you know how to pick one of these June birthstones for yourself or a loved one born in the month of June, visit Devon's Diamonds & Decor to shop for birthstone jewelry in Boca Raton.

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