The Alexandrite – emerald green by day and ruby red by night

Alexandrite is truly a phenomenal gemstone: thanks to its fascinating property of so-called
changing, it offers an exciting color spectrum. This special feature makes alexandrite
extremely popular as a piece of jewellery – at PLACEOFGEMS we are happy to fulfil your
individual wish and create a very special alexandrite piece of jewellery for you personally.

The alexandrite effect – a pronounced play of colours in daylight and artificial light

The most characteristic feature of an alexandrite gemstone is its alternation, i.e. it appears in
a different color depending on the lighting. While it shows emerald green to bluish green in natural daylight, this changes in artificial light or candlelight.
Then the alexandrite changes to its complementary color and acquires a ruby red, raspberry red or purple appearance – the technical term for this phenomenon, which also resulted in the term ’emerald by day and ruby by night’, is pleochroism. Responsible for its formation are deposits of chromium. Unfortunately, alexandrites, in which this effect is strongly pronounced, and which have an intensive iridescent, are an absolute rarity.
The first alexandrite deposit, the one in the emerald pits in the southern Ural Mountains, discovered in 1830, was a source of these rarities; however, it was exhausted within a few decades. In the case of alexandrites, which come from other regions, such as sri Lanka.B, the change is not so significant, there is only a color change between a blue-green and a violet. In 1987, however, fortunately, a new source of very high-quality alexandrite gemstones was discovered, which is located in the city of Hematita in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

Alexandrite and its origin

Alexandrites were formed millions of years ago – the prerequisite was that two different
types of rocks occur together, containing aluminum, beryllium and chromium. This was very
rarely the case, which is why there are so few alexandrites today.
When the first alexandrite gemstone was found in 1830 by the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskjöld (1792- 1866), he named it after the future Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881). Thus, the alexandrite gained notoriety in Russia under the name Gemstone of the Tsar.

Alexandrite and its other characteristics

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl, which is considered the third hardest mineral with a Mohs hardness of 8.5. Many alexandrite gemstones have inclusions, which, however, do not mean a reduction in value. On the contrary, they are rather proof that it is a unique natural product. Nevertheless, alexandrite gemstones that are as transparent and translucent as possible are in demand.

The Alexandrite Cat's Eye

A special feature are alexandrite cat’s eyes, which are mainly found in Tanzania. Here you
can see a continuously bright shimmering stripe on the surface. This optical phenomenon got its name from the fact that such an alexandrite is reminiscent of the slit-like eye of a cat sparkling in the dark.


PLACEOFGEMS and the large alexandrite selection

At PLACEOFGEMS you get Alexandrite either as a loose gemstone or in combination with a beautiful piece of jewelry. Simply choose your favorite from many different alexandrites. We offer you different types of grinding – such as round grinding, oval cut, marquise cut and many more – as well as carat numbers and qualities to choose from.
For example, do you opt for a 1-carat alexandrite in the beautifully unusual marquise cut or rather in the fascinating emerald cut? Let yourself be enchanted by other coloured gemstones at PLACEOFGEMS Your desired piece of jewelry is already present in your mind, but you can’t find it anywhere? Then you’ve come to the right place: PLACEOFGEMS has specialized in unique individual productions – share your ideas with us and together with our competent team we realize every wish, no matter how unusual. With great attention to detail, sophistication and versatile craftsmanship, we create refined creations from initial design drafts that meet your expectations.
Convince yourself and be inspired by a variety of designs and learn more about the beautiful one-off productions themselves and their creation process. There are no limits to your ideas and creativity. Of course, all models – whether rings, pendants or earrings – can be made with gemstones of your choice. Contact our competent service team without obligation and let us participate in your wishes.


On April 23, 1830, the very day on which the future Tsar Alexander II came of age.

It was named after Tsar Alexander II.

Mineral group
Variety of chrysoberyl, which is considered the third hardest mineral with a Mohs hardness of 8.5.

Rarely pure, inclusions are normal and not a flaw – they make each stone unique, natural.

Color change, also called pleochroism: green by day and red by night.

Quality Factors

Alexandrites usually have inclusions visible to the eye. Especially pure gemstones are therefore very valuable and coveted.

The color is of great importance, especially with alexandrite. The more intense the color change, the
higher the value.

Carat indicates the weight of a gemstone and corresponds to 0.2 grams. The more carat, the more valuable the alexandrite.

The cut is responsible for the shine of the gemstone and increases the value of the alexandrite the
better it has been executed.

Emerald by day, ruby by night

The most fascinating property of the alexandrite gemstone is the so-called changing. In daylight, the alexandrite appears green, in candlelight or artificial light it changes its color to a soft to strong red. Due to this impressive pleochroism, the alexandrite bears the title ‘Emerald by day and ruby by night’.

Occurrence of alexandrite

These deposits are almost exhausted. However, the Russian stones areparticularly popular due to their rich color; they change from intense emerald green to a strong purple red.
Sri Lanka and Tanzania
Sri Lanka and Tanzania are also important occurrences today, but show a less intense play of colors.
There you can also find the particularly rare alexandrite cat eyes – these are alexandrite gemstones with a linear glow of light on the surface, reminiscent of the slit-like pupil of a cat.

Jewellery with alexandrite

We are happy to make your personal piece of jewelry. Of course, models such as rings, pendants or earrings can be made with the gemstone of your choice.