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Alexandrite

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Alexandrite This is a variety of chrysoberyl, like cat's eye, distinguished by a play. of colours which has earned it the name of "chameleon stone". Its natural colour ranges from dark to pale green, but in the light may appear anything from red to yellow, to orange, to mauve even, depending on how the rays strike it.

It is a very attractive stone, but rare and therefore very costly, and only the top quality is worth buying. It is, however, an excellent investment because it is much prized by jewelers and collectors.

Pure alexandrite is always faceted, or cut en cabochon if flaws are present (in this case be careful not to confuse it with other "chameleon" chrysoberyls or labradorite). Its value is on a par with the four precious stones and when well set is a match for even the finest diamond. The best specimens come from Russia, but it is also found in Ceylon, Burma, Brazil, Madagascar and the USA.

Techinical Specification

Name
Moh's
Specific Gravity
Structure
Cleavage
Refractive Index
Double
Disp.
Pleochro
Fluorescence
Alexandrite 8.5 3.70-3.73 Orthorhombic Imperfect 1.744-1.755 0.011 0.015 v Weak None

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