Alexandrite gemstone is a variety of chrysoberyl that changes color in different lighting conditions. The color change is due to the presence of chromium in the stone. In natural sunlight, alexandrite appears greenish-blue, while in artificial light it looks red or purple.
Alexandrite gemstones are said to bring good luck, success, and prosperity. They are also believed to boost creativity and inspire confidence. The stones are also thought to help with weight loss and strengthen the immune system.
The stone was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s and was named after Tsar Alexander II. The stone is now found in several countries, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.
Why Does Chromium Cause a Color Change?
To understand that, we need to take a brief detour into the world of physics and light.
When light strikes an object, it can do one of three things: it can be reflected, absorbed, or transmitted. The color of an object is determined by which of these three things happens to the light that hits it.
For example, a white object reflects all colors of light equally, while a black object absorbs all colors of light. An object that transmits all colors of light appears clear.
The color of an object can also be affected by the addition or subtraction of certain elements. For example, adding chromium to glass makes it appear green.
So How Does Chromium Cause a Color Change in Alexandrite?
The answer has to do with how chromium interacts with light. When light strikes chromium, some of the light is absorbed and some are reflected. The exact amount of light that is absorbed or reflected depends on the wavelength of the light.
Different wavelengths correspond to different colors of light. For example, blue light has a quite shorter wavelength than red light. But when red light strikes chromium, very little of it is absorbed. This makes the chromium appear red.
So, when alexandrite is exposed to white light, it appears green because the chromium is absorbing some of the blue light. But when alexandrite is exposed to red light, it appears red because very little of the red light is being absorbed by the chromium.
This color change is why alexandrite is such a popular gemstone. It can appear green in daylight and red in artificial light, making it perfect for jewelry that needs to look good in both conditions. Stores like GemPundit offer this gemstone in its natural form without breaking the bank for you.
Impact of Natural Light on the Color Change in Alexandrite
When sunlight hits an object, all of these colors are absorbed except for the color that is reflected back to our eyes.
Different molecules absorb different colors of light. For example, chlorophyll, the molecule that gives plants their green color, absorbs all the rainbow colors except green. This is why plants look green: they reflect green light back to our eyes and absorb all the other colors.
The iron and chromium molecules in alexandrite work in a similar way. In sunlight, they absorb all the colors except greenish-blue, which is reflected back to our eyes. In artificial light, they absorb all the colors except red or purplish-red, which is reflected back to our eyes.
So, the next time you see a piece of alexandrite jewelry, take a closer look at it in different kinds of light and see the color change for yourself!
How to Identify the Right Color of an Alexandrite Stone?
If you’re trying to determine the color of an alexandrite gemstone, it’s best to look at it in both natural and artificial light.
In natural light, an alexandrite stone will appear greenish-blue. However, in artificial light, the gemstone will look red or purplish-red. If you see an alexandrite gemstone that is uniformly one color, it is likely not a genuine alexandrite.
When looking at an alexandrite gemstone, you should also pay attention to the color change. The color change is not always immediate; sometimes, it takes a few seconds for the gemstone to adjust to the different lighting conditions.
If you’re still unsure about the color of an alexandrite stone, you can always consult with a jeweler or gemologist. They will be able to help you identify the right hues of the gemstone.
Finding the Right Stone
Now that you know a little bit more about alexandrite, you may be wondering where to find the right stone. It is a fairly rare gemstone, so it can be difficult to buy alexandrite stone online.
There are many reputable online jewelers and stores like GemPundit that sell a variety of alexandrite gemstones.
When shopping for an alexandrite gemstone, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the stone. The four main factors that affect the quality of an alexandrite stone are color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
The color of alexandrite is the most important factor to consider. As we mentioned before, a genuine stone will change color in different lighting conditions. The more pronounced the color change, the higher the quality of the stone.
The clarity of an alexandrite stone is also important. Alexandrite stones that are free of blemishes and inclusions are considered to be of higher quality.
The cut of alexandrite is important because it affects the stone’s ability to reflect light. A well-cut alexandrite stone will be more brilliant and sparkly.
Finally, the carat weight of alexandrite is also a critical factor to consider. Alexandrite stones are typically small, so a stone that is one carat or larger is considered to be of high quality.
When shopping for an alexandrite gemstone, it’s important to keep these factors in mind. By doing so, you’ll be able to find the right stone for you.