June Birthstone: Spotlight on Alexandrite
Alexandrite is one gemstone that does spectacularly well in the spotlight… and just as well out of it! Its most famous quality is its apparent ability to transform color, from a deep forest green in daylight, to a purplish-red in the evening (or when exposed to incandescent light). Its color depends on the way light reflects off the chromium inside the crystal, which is a type of chrysoberyl (frequently seen as cat’s eye).
Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia in 1831 and named for Alexander II, heir to the Russian Empire. It is still extremely rare, chiefly originating in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and parts of southeast Asia & eastern Africa.
Myths have evolved around alexandrite’s mysterious abilities, touting legends of mystical powers and magical influence. Believe them or not, alexandrite is certainly an enchanting alternative to the more feminine and traditional pearl birthstone. This daring, dramatic jewel is like having two gemstones in one!
It is a relatively durable gem, suitable for rings and other jewelry that is likely to receive more surface wear. Clean your alexandrite jewelry often and gently with lukewarm soapy water and a soft cloth. Above all, enjoy looking at your magical gem in every light – you’ll always be surprised with something new!
Looking for the other June birthstones?
Check out this post: Birthstone of the Month: Pearl (and Moonstone!)