Alexandrites – The Chameleon of Gemstones

Alexandrites the extraordinary June birthstone is the chameleon of gemstone


Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones

Often described by gem aficionados as “emerald by day, ruby by night”, alexandrite is the very rare colour-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable.

The Uniqueness and Rarity of Alexandrites

Alexandrites change their colour depending on the light they are exposed to, a bluish green in daylight and plum red under candlelight. Thanks to this interesting property, alexandrites are known to be emerald by day and ruby by night. It is almost like you’re flaunting a whole different gemstone during the day and a completely different one by the night.
The chameleon-like qualities of alexandrites make them rare, unique, and one of the world’s most desired gemstones. The colour change is often known as the ‘alexandrite effect’. A perfect, unadulterated natural alexandrite will show excellent transformation properties – and this is very hard to find!

Importance of the June Birthstone

Alexandrite is the rarest, most valuable birthstone of June. June is when the weather is warm and summer is in full swing. It’s the perfect birthday month! The stark color-changing properties of this gemstone make it one of nature’s interesting marvels.  If you are born in June, have a loved one born in June or have kids born in June, Alexandrite is the ideal memento to have.

Apart from the June birthstone, alexandrites are also meant to be an anniversary gift for those who complete 55 years of marriage. This rare, brilliant gemstone is the best gift you can give on such special occasions. It is a symbol of your love and affection for your special ones.

Alexandrites are believed to bring love, luck, and good fortune to anyone who flaunts their jewelry. Closely associated with the crown chakra, this gemstone promotes intuition, creativity, imagination, and immense love for the universe. The magical stone fills the lives of the wearers with joy, hope, and most importantly, a purpose. The stone is also known to bring harmony between the world of opposites – the physical and spiritual worlds.

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones

How Can a Stone Change its Colour?

Do you ever wonder how a stone can change its colour? The composition of alexandrites is what influences its color change. While naturally occurring alexandrite is a combination of different minerals, the presence of chromium is what causes it to change color so magically.

An alexandrite that displays 100% color change is considered highly desired. But finding this is a task. It is nearly impossible to find any natural alexandrite that displays 100% change in color. As long as their color changing properties are good enough, they can be categorized as alexandrites.  However brands like Safiya have specialized in creating exquisite jewelry using only natural alexandrites sourced from the Hematita mine in Brazil, which is known to produce some of the best alexandrites in the world today.

Apart from their color-changing properties, alexandrites are also known for their pleochroism. This means that the gem also appears in different colors from different directions! Surprised? Well, we’ve been telling you since the beginning. This stone is not your ordinary gemstone! It is special, unique and resplendent!

Origin of Alexandrites

The first bulk of alexandrite deposits was discovered way back in 1830 in the Ural Mountains in Russia. The stone holds a lot of importance in Russia as it reflects the military colors of imperial Russia – red and green. This amazing gemstone was named after Alexander II, the heir apparent to the throne. It is no secret that this gemstone became instantly popular, not only in Russia but across the world.

The global demand for this unique gemstone shot up, which led to extensive mining of alexandrite deposits in the Ural Mountains. The alexandrites found in the Ural Mountains were spectacular. No other alexandrite can rival the ones found here. Extensive mining led to the depletion of the alexandrites in the Ural Mountains. The alexandrites we get these days are mostly sourced from Sri Lanka, East Africa, Brazil, and India. The alexandrites from these countries are unique in their own ways and come in different hues, shades, and color transition properties. The closest match to the impeccable ones found in the Ural Mountains are the ones found in the single mine in Brazil.

Today, jewelry featuring alexandrites from the Ural Mountains are rarely seen, if at all, it may pop up at one of the famous auction houses.

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones

Why Are Natural Alexandrites Better?

As it is difficult to find natural alexandrites, many jewelers have started creating these colour-changing stones in laboratories. The composition of natural alexandrites and lab-generated ones are similar. But no matter how similar they are, lab-generated alexandrites aren’t the real thing. And that’s precisely why natural alexandrites are preferred over their lab-generated counterparts. Most elite jewelers work only with natural alexandrites, as these gemstones come with a beautiful charm of their own. Natural alexandrites are also prized for being part of the geological heritage of our planet, as they are not found very easily.

Every lab-generated alexandrite is the same, but every naturally formed alexandrite is unique. The formation process in the laboratory is the same for every gemstone, but when it comes to nature, every piece will be unique, thanks to its formation process. Lab-generated alexandrites are easy to find as they are manufactured in bulk. But finding a naturally formed alexandrite is difficult and the price is reflective of this! If you wish to give alexandrites to someone special, it’s best you choose the naturally formed alexandrites, as they are unique, and rare – just like your loved one!

If you’re looking to invest in the real alexandrite, do ensure you head to a reliable jeweler. You don’t want to end up paying an exorbitant amount and purchase a lab-generated gemstone instead! A reliable gemologist can help you identify a real alexandrite.

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones

How to Select the Best Birthstone Gift?

Now that you’ve decided to give your loved one the beautiful alexandrite birthstone, it’s time to have a look at how you can select the perfect one. Let’s walk you through some factors:

Color Properties and Value

Color is the most important element in any gemstone. In alexandrites, the emphasis is all the more on the color as it has color-changing properties. The quality of alexandrite is determined by the extent to which it changes colors. A high-quality alexandrite will have almost 100% color change, and the quality wanes as the degree of color change decreases. If the stone’s color instantly changes at light exposure, you know you have the perfect Alexandrite right there! Anything above 30% color change is acceptable – but below 30% is not something you should invest in, as it’s not an alexandrite in the first place.

Natural or Artificial

Natural alexandrites are perfect – they have a whole different charm and make the perfect gift for your loved ones. However, your budget also needs to be considered, as natural alexandrites cost more. If you’re looking to invest in an alexandrite on a reasonable budget, you can always consider purchasing a real alexandrite but a smaller stone or a design that has a cluster of small stones.  Lab-created alexandrites simply don’t have the charm as a naturally occurring one.


While alexandrite is a hard gem, if you use harsh methods to clean it, you may end up damaging it.   If you’re looking to clean your alexandrite jewelry at home, use only warm soapy water. Soak in the jewelry for a couple of minutes and wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Avoid using brushes and other tough materials to clean your alexandrite jewelry as it may damage the stone instantly. Once you’re done wiping the jewelry with a soft cloth, you can rinse it again with cold clean water and wipe it before you can wear it again. Alternatively, you can also store it back in the case.
For extensive cleaning, it’s best to hand over your expensive alexandrite jewelry to professional cleaners. Professionals are well-versed with the properties of different gemstones and know what works best to clean.


The best part about gemstones is that you can include them in as many jewelry designs as you wish. Whether it’s a necklace, a ring, bracelet, or a pair of earrings, alexandrites are the perfect fit for it all. The color-changing properties of alexandrites make it difficult for us to pick the perfect metal that would go with them. If you’re looking for a casual and understated look, you can pair the alexandrite with any of the white metals. For a more warm, charming look, you can set the alexandrite in rose gold.

Yellow gold looks amazing with alexandrites as it perfectly complements the pristine green and sparkly red of the alexandrite. You can design it your way if you want to create just the perfect look.  Safiya offers its own custom jewellery making service. Check it out here.

That’s it! You’re good to go. When in doubt, it’s advisable to seek opinions from the pros!


Alexandrites are mesmerizing precious stones. They are the perfect blend of unique, rare and durable precious stones, making them apt for jewelry. Flaunting this stone is a matter of pride. After all, not everyone is lucky enough to find a natural alexandrite with excellent color changing properties that easily. And if you have it, well, flaunt it all you want!

If you’re looking to invest in real alexandrite jewelry, you can definitely check out our designs. Just like the alexandrite itself, our pieces, too, are unique and feature fresh, eye-catchy designs. We have a wide range of jewelry featuring natural alexandrite and there’s something for everyone in our store. Simple, modern, elegant designs – we have them all! You can also let us know your design requirements and we will craft a special piece for you, too!

Catering to our customers and ensuring they get the jewelry they desire is our goal. We do everything we can to turn even the vaguest of your ideas into reality. Reach out to us right away so that we can design your dream natural alexandrite studded jewelry!



Check out our top three June birthstone pieces available for you or click here to view our entire collection.


1. Third Eye – 14K Yellow Gold Natural Alexandrite Ring

A stream of Diamond accent stones hugs the round-shaped Alexandrite stone set on a lush 14K Yellow Gold band. The delicate detailing on the band enlarges the ring for an elegant look. This beautiful design can sit alongside your engagement ring as a shaped wedding band or can just be enjoyed as a stunning design on its own. BUY NOW

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones


2. Serpent Eye – 18K White Gold Natural Alexandrite Ring

Strikingly contemporary and reminiscent of eternal love, the ancient motif of a snake has been brought to life by our designers to celebrate the marquise cut of the stunning Alexandrite gemstone. BUY NOW

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones


3. Hidden Galaxy – 18K White Gold Natural Alexandrite Ring

Featuring four beautiful princess cut Natural Alexandrites invisibly set to look like one big stone, the Hidden Galaxy ring is special. Imagine the alexandrites transforming colors during the brilliant sunset as you sip cocktails and enjoy the company of envious friends. With surrounding Diamond sparkle and luxurious White Gold cladding, this ring is masterfully crafted to be equally stylish and impressive. BUY NOW

Alexandrites - The Chameleon of Gemstones





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