The last couple of years, we have explored two of the three June birthstones – the pearl and moonstone. Not to be forgotten is the third June birthstone (and gemstone for the 55th anniversary) – alexandrite. Legend has it that alexandrite was named for Alexander II, the emperor of Russia from 1855 – 1881, due to being discovered on his birthday in 1834. Imperial Russia loved alexandrite because the green and red colors mirrored their military colors, which changes colors under different light sources, appearing green in sunlight and fluorescent light and purple or purplish red in dim light or incandescent light. It is also called an “emerald by day, ruby by night” due to the changing of colors in different lights.
Unfortunately, alexandrite lost its popularity after the Russian mines were exhausted until new sources for it were found in Brazil in 1987. The gems from the newer sources, Brazil, Sri Lanka, East Africa, are not as vividly colored as the Russian gemstones.
Alexandrite remains a very rare gem, more rare than diamonds, which makes it extremely expensive, even with lower quality gems. Alexandrite has been lab grown since the 1960s, but is an expensive process making even lab-grown stones quite costly. Alexandrite is thought to bring good luck, fortune and love. Stop by Bridgewaters to find your new favorite gem!