My fused glass Alexandrite birthstone collection for June. I create three different versions the one on the left is green and red, and I’m sorry my photography doesn’t do any of them justice. These are Stunning! They are also transparent so again they don’t show up very well in my simple picture. The middle is red and green as well and again really pretty. The right is red and a teal. Any of the three are perfect for those born in June or who just want an extraordinary piece.
According to my research including from the Gem Society Organization, Alexandrite is a relatively modern gem; it was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during Czar Alexander II reign and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities. It is green in daylight and fluorescent light then changes to a purplish red in incandescent light. The more distinct the color change, the more valuable the stone. Finely faceted alexandrites above one carat are thus among the most expensive gemstones in the world, rarer than fine ruby, sapphire or emerald.
Alexandrite in top quality, however, is very rare and hardly ever used in modern jewelry. Due to its rarity, jewelers use synthetic versions. (Synthetic gemstones are man-made alternatives with the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone. The Alexandrite reminds me of dichroic glass because dichroic glass changes colors when you tilt it to a 45 degree angle.
Alexandrite is very scarce: due to its chemical composition. It is a chrysoberyl, a mineral consisting of colorless or yellow transparent chrysoberyl, chrysoberyl cat’s eye and color-changing alexandrite. It differs from other chrysoberyls in that it contains iron, titanium, and chromium as a major impurity. Chromium is the element which provides the color change.
Nowadays it’s not only from Russia
Russia has remained the primary source of alexandrite since gems from the mines of the Urals. When the Russian deposits were thought to have been exhausted, interest in the unique color miracle decreased. But in 1987 that changed, when alexandrites were discovered in Hematita in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Brazilian alexandrites showed both a distinctive color change and good clarity and color, albeit the color is not as strong a green as a Russian alexandrite.
How to Care for Alexandrite
Alexandrite ranks 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. It is stable under normal wearing conditions, and is resistant to the effects of heat, light, and common chemicals. It is rated “excellent” for everyday wear however use caution and protect it from harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures and scratches. The best way to clean the stone is with mild dish soap and warm water, using a soft toothbrush. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe.
Some advantages of Fused Glass faux stones over typical gemstones. Fused Glass is less expensive, more durable (than some birthstones), and can be larger and various shapes than typical gemstones. Moreover, Fused Glass gemstones can be made into anything not just earrings, pendants, and rings but also key chains, bookmarks, pillboxes etc. Decals can also be added to Fused Glass faux gemstones. As for cleaning a Fused Glass faux Alexandrite, clean with a jewelry cloth, alcohol, or water. Additionally if Fused Glass is scratched, it can normally be repaired without much additional cost, as for actual gemstones they are not as easy to fix.
Please let me know if you would like a Fused Glass faux Alexandrite. If you would like something other than a pendant i.e., a wine stopper, night light, etc., just email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can create a custom fused glass piece.