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Alexandrites, more rare than diamonds, are perhaps some of the rarest gemstones on the planet. First discovered in 1834 in Russian emerald mines, they were named after the Russian tsar, Alexander II. It is hardly used in modern jewelry because of the extreme rarity. While Russia used to be the sole-source for these precious gemstones, they are now found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Burma, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Unknown to many, alexandrite shares the month of June as its birthstone with pearl. It is also a popular gift for the fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.

What To Consider When Purchasing An Alexandrite:

1. There are many simulants and synthetic alexandrites on the market; therefore, choose a jeweler you can trust that will guarantee it is a natural alexandrite.

2. Purchase an alexandrite with an independent report that states its nature of origin. The best alexandrites now come from Sri Lanka, Brazil and Russia.

3. Pay close attention to the color. These stones should be green in fluorescent lighting and reddish-purple in incandescent lighting. The more distinct the change of color, the more valuable the stone. 4. Because it rates an 8.5 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness, it can easily be worn in many different types of jewelry.

5. Clarity is always important when choosing a gemstone. A slight amount of inclusions is normal; however, the less the inclusions, the more expensive the stone can be.

6. Make sure the alexandrite has not had any heat treatment. This process disables the stone from changing color, which is its most unique feature.

7. Examine the cutting quality. If the stone is cut well, it will have excellent proportions that will enhance its attractiveness.

8. Like diamonds, it is extremely rare for alexandrites to come in large sizes; therefore, higher premiums are paid for large stones.

9. The two most common shapes for alexandrite are cushion and oval. To find a shape other than these two is a rarity.

10. Choose a stone that you love. Regardless of what the gemological world says, it is most important for you to like the stone; otherwise, there is little point in the purchase at all.

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