Alexandrite – International Crystals Encyclopedia


Originthe place or situation from which something comes, the beginning of something’s existence, the point from which it starts out, the thing from which it is ultimately derived.

Alexandrite is an extremely rare gem stone that was originally discovered in the Sanarka River in the southern Ural Mountains in Russia.

The chemical composition exhibits variants of chrysoberyl consisting of chrysoberyl cats eye, transparent chrysoberyl yet has the addition of chromium as an impurity along with iron and titanium which accounts for its distinctive ability to change colour. Only this type of Chrysoberyl that can display these colour changes can be termed as Alexandrite.

Alexandrite is a strongly pleochroic | trichroic gem that changes colour in reference to the light source. In daylight they can be green (Russian) before changing to red in incandescent light.

All crystals belong to a different group according to the basis of the relationships of their axes. There are 7 systems and 32 classes of symmetry. Alexandrite crystals belong to the orthorhombic system.


Historythe past considered as a whole, the whole series of past events connected with someone or sometihing, a continuous typically chronological record of importance.

Alexandrite has a recently modern history and has been documented as being discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia as late as the 1830’s.

The gem is said to have been named after the Russian Tzar Alexander and as it displays the red and green colours symbolic with the old colours of Imperial Russia, it became the national stone of Tzarist Russia.

Top quality mined Alexandrite was extremely rare and as the Russian mines depleted, was extremely scarce. A similar hue was found later in Brazilian mines in the 1980’s  yet were not as great as the quality of colour that the Russian gems possessed.


The stone of a quality comparable to the Russian one is highly sought by jewellers due to its aesthetic value and rarity. It is mainly supplied by specialist dealers.


Specificationthe act of describing or identifying something precisely, a detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.
Alexandrite has a good hardness of 8.5 and is valued in relation to the greater distinction of colour change from green to red. Some of the less valued Alexandrites change from green to a brownish colour instead.

The crystals feature cyclic twins called trillings which have a hexagonal appearance however are featured due to the formation of a triplet of twins at distinctive angles.

Natural Alexandrite gems are rarely found in jewellery due to their value and scarcity however there are synthetic lab formed types available on a more common basis.



Varietiesa number or range of things of the same general class that are different or distinct in character or quality.
Alexandrite is a type of Crysoberyl and so falls in with other Crysoberyl types including:

·         Yellowish-Green Crysoberyl

·         Cats Eye or Cymomphane

However the only other variety of Alexandrite is that which is created synthetically or simulated to replicate Alexandrite through the use of corundum traced with elements like vanadium.


Esoteric Attributesa quality or feature as characteristic of or possed by something.
Crystals by their very nature are able to receive and focus energy in different ways. Their molecular structure enables them to be used to amplify and convert energy and hence crystals have been used for centuries to aid healing and transmute energy both in the metaphysical and physical world.

Because each crystal family has different formational backgrounds, each also has different vibrtional frequencies that can be harnesed and used for specific purposes. Each therefore have specific qualities that can be used to help a person heal on the many different levels of their being.

The following is a list of healing attributes associated with Alexandrite crystals.


Mental: Alexandrite is said to strengthen willpower and inspiration. It promotes the imaginative powers igniting confidence in risk taking and a greater perception of the inner voice..
Emotional: Alexandrite intensifies and heightens dreams and heightens the perception of emotion.
Physical: The Alexandrite gem is known to stimulate the liver and aid physical inflammations. It is also an aid for nerve disorders and to strengthen the senses.



Crystal Chart – Alexandrite

Crystal: Alexandrite
Mineralogy: Chrysoberyl
Geometric form: Orthorhombic
Formation: Tertiary
Family: Quartz
Birthstone: Ayurvedic Birthstones – Alexandrite is not associated with Ayurvedic Birthstones


Astrology Birthstone (Zodiac) –Alexandrite is associated with the month of June and the Scorpio sign as an alternate Zodiac stone.

Appearance: Very hard (8.5) and brittle.  Has a trillings formation similar to a hexagonal shape and is distinctive by its ability to change colour most valuable when from green to red.
Aura: Alexandrite is said to have regenerative powers and, as well as re-inforcing self-esteem it escalates spiritual evolution and aligns the mental, emotional and etheric bodies.
Colour: Alexandrites mined in Russia are distinctive in their colour change from a green hue to a red hue however many mined elsewhere exhibit a change from a light green to a brownish colour..
Chakra: Alexandrite relates to the Heart and Root Chakras



International Crystals – References and resources:


Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals, Earthdancer Books, 2009

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Crystal, 6th ed. 2014

World of Earth Science, Quartz, 2003

Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Crystal Healing, 2001

New Oxford American Dictionary

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