When it comes to engagement rings, diamonds are often the go-to choice for their timeless beauty and value. But for those seeking something a little more unique and special, alexandrite engagement rings might be the perfect option.

This rare gemstone is known for its ability to change color, making it look different depending on how it is set.

In daylight, alexandrite appears greenish-blue to dark yellow-green, but in incandescent or candlelight, it looks pink to red. Because of this attractive quality, it stands out from traditional diamond engagement rings and is a popular choice.

Whether you are an “outside-the-box” kind of person or simply looking for something truly one-of-a-kind, alexandrite engagement rings are worth considering.

What is Alexandrite?

A pair of Ursula's glowing in 14k rose gold
(Image Source: Instagram/oorejewelry).

So, what exactly is alexandrite, and how does it differ from other gemstones?

Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl, a gemstone that is relatively rare and valuable. Its rarity adds to its exclusivity and appeal, making it a standout choice among traditional diamond engagement rings.

But what sets alexandrite apart from other gemstones is its color-changing properties. Depending on the lighting conditions, alexandrite can appear in different colors, ranging from greenish-blue to dark yellow-green in daylight and pink to red in incandescent or candlelight.

This captivating characteristic makes it a highly desirable choice for an engagement ring, as it adds an extra layer of uniqueness and interest.

In terms of value, alexandrite is considered a high-end gemstone, similar to diamonds in cost. However, it is important to note that alexandrite is a very different gemstone from diamonds in appearance and value.

While diamonds are known for their clarity and brilliance, alexandrite is more known for its color-changing properties and rarity. This makes it difficult to compare the two gemstones directly, but it is worth considering both options to see which fits your style and budget better.

The Pros and Cons of Alexandrite Engagement Rings

Chatham lab alexandrite with a diamond halo and leafy band
Chatham-lab alexandrite with a diamond halo and leafy band.

As with any major purchase, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before committing to an alexandrite engagement ring.

So, what are the benefits of choosing an alexandrite engagement ring? 

One of the most appealing features of alexandrite is its unique appearance and exclusivity.

For those looking for something eye-catching and one-of-a-kind, alexandrite might be the better choice over a diamond, as it feels a bit more special and exclusive.

Additionally, alexandrite has a Mohs hardness of 8.5 out of 10, making it relatively durable and able to withstand everyday wear and tear. This makes it a good choice for those with active lifestyles or professions that require manual labor.

On the other hand, there are a few potential downsides to consider when choosing an alexandrite engagement ring.

One is that it can be difficult to compare alexandrite to diamonds, as the two gemstones are very different in appearance and value. This may make it more appealing to those looking for something unconventional but less appealing to those who prefer diamonds’ traditional look and value. 

Alexandrite is also relatively expensive compared to other gemstones, so it may not be the best choice for those on a tight budget.

Alexandrite Hardness (The Mohs Hardness Scale)

10Diamond
9Corundum
8.5Alexandrite
8Topaz
7Quartz
6Feldspar
5Apatite
4Fluorite
3Calcite
2Gypsum
1Talc
Gems Ordered By Mohs Hardness.

Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl, a mineral that is known for its hardness and durability. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which is used to measure the scratch resistance of different materials, alexandrite is rated at 8.5. This makes it a relatively hard and durable gemstone, suitable for everyday wear.

What to Look for in an Alexandrite Ring

0.81-carat bluish-green color change to reddish-purple chromium bearing chrysoberyl, a.k.a alexandrite.
0.81-carat bluish-green color change to reddish-purple chromium bearing chrysoberyl, a.k.a alexandrite.

When shopping for an alexandrite engagement ring, there are a few key factors to consider.

The first is the stone’s color, as the finest alexandrite is green to blue-green in daylight and red to purple-red in incandescent light.

Stones that are too dark or too light with weak saturation are more common and generally less expensive.

It is also important to consider the metal and setting choices, as certain metals can enhance or detract from the different shades of alexandrite. 

Yellow gold and white metals are both popular choices, depending on whether you want to highlight the warm or cool tones of the stone.

To ensure you get a high-quality alexandrite, it is important to purchase a certified stone from a reputable laboratory.

These labs grade gemstones and provide unbiased information about the stone you purchase.

It is also important to avoid treated or synthetic alexandrite, as these stones may have been altered to change their color, clarity, or durability.

The price of alexandrite is also important, as it can vary significantly depending on the stone’s color, clarity, and size.

The finest alexandrite is generally more expensive, but it is important to determine if you are getting a good value for your money.

A reputable jeweler can help you understand the different factors that impact the price of alexandrite and ensure that you get a high-quality stone for your budget.

  • Which metals pair well with alexandrite? Yellow gold brings out the warm tones of red and purple while contrasting the cool tones of green and teal. On the other hand, a white metal will highlight the cool tones. It depends on your personal preference for warm or cool tones and which you want to complement.
  • What is the cost of an alexandrite ring? The color of the stone largely determines the price of an alexandrite ring. The finest alexandrite is green to blue-green in daylight and red to purple-red in incandescent light, with medium to medium-dark tone and moderately strong saturation. Stones that are too dark or too light with weak saturation are more common and generally less expensive. According to experts, alexandrite stones that change to red are more valuable than those with purple or brownish tones. It is worth investing in a high-priced alexandrite that displays warm and cool colors and reds.
  • How can I be I’m getting a high-quality alexandrite ring? Diamond experts recommend purchasing a certified stone from a reputable laboratory that grades gemstones. This will provide unbiased information about the quality of the gemstone you purchase. By following this advice, you can feel confident that you are investing in a high-quality alexandrite ring.
  • What are the best settings for an alexandrite ring? It is generally recommended to choose a hard precious metal for the setting of an alexandrite ring, as alexandrite is softer than a traditional diamond and may need extra support. Harder metals, such as platinum or white gold, can help ensure that the alexandrite is held securely in place and can withstand everyday wear and tear. However, it is a matter of personal preference, and you should choose the setting that best suits your style and budget.

Best Alexandrite Engagement Rings

Alexandrite ring, featuring an oval cut color-changing lab Alexandrite.
Alexandrite ring, featuring an oval cut color-changing lab Alexandrite. (Image Source: Instagram/sundayislandjewelry).

Here are a few examples of some popular alexandrite engagement rings:

  1. Solitaire Alexandrite Ring: This simple and elegant ring features a single alexandrite set in a classic solitaire setting, showcasing the unique color-changing properties of the gemstone.
  2. Alexandrite and Diamond Halo Ring: This ring features a center alexandrite surrounded by a halo of diamonds, adding extra sparkle and shine to the design.
  3. Alexandrite and Diamond Three-Stone Ring: This classic three-stone ring features a center alexandrite with two diamonds on either side, symbolizing the past, present, and future of the relationship.
  4. Alexandrite and Diamond Split-Shank Ring: This ring features a center alexandrite with a split shank design, accented with diamonds for added sparkle.
  5. Alexandrite and Diamond Vintage-Inspired Ring: This vintage-inspired ring features an alexandrite center stone with intricate diamond detailing and a filigree design, adding a touch of antique charm to the design.

It’s important to keep in mind that the best alexandrite engagement ring will depend on your personal preferences and budget. Try on a few different styles to see which one you like best.

How to Care for Your Alexandrite Ring

Caring for your alexandrite ring is relatively simple, as it is a hard stone. Here are some recommendations for cleaning and maintaining your alexandrite ring:

  • Use a soft brush (such as an old toothbrush) with mild soap and room-temperature water for basic cleaning. This can be considered a “car wash” for your ring.
  • For more thorough cleaning, visit the jeweler where you purchased the ring. They can steam, sonic clean, and even polish your ring. This can be considered a “full detailing” for your ring.
  • You can also clean your alexandrite ring at home by placing it in a water bowl with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Remember that alexandrite is hard but not as hard or durable as a diamond. To ensure its longevity, remove your alexandrite ring before heavy cleaning, exercising, swimming, or coming into contact with chemicals.

Following these simple care instructions, you can keep your alexandrite ring looking beautiful for years to come.

Where to buy Alexandrite engagement rings?

A Chatham alexandrite engagement ring with a diamond halo and twisted leaf band.
A Chatham alexandrite engagement ring with a diamond halo and twisted leaf band. (Copyright © Instagram).

There are several places where you can buy alexandrite engagement rings:

  1. Jewelry stores: Many jewelry stores, particularly those specializing in fine or designer jewelry, may carry a selection of alexandrite engagement rings.
  2. Online retailers: Many online retailers specialize in alexandrite engagement rings, such as Blue Nile, James Allen, and Whiteflash. These retailers often offer a wide selection of alexandrite rings and can provide detailed information about the gemstones and their quality.
  3. Auction houses: Some auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, may occasionally offer alexandrite engagement rings as part of their jewelry auctions.
  4. Estate sales: Alexandrite engagement rings may also be available at estate sales or through vintage and antique jewelry dealers.

Before purchasing an alexandrite engagement ring, it is important to do your research and consider the seller’s reputation. It is also recommended to have the gemstone evaluated by a professional, such as a gemologist, to make sure that it is genuine and of high quality.

Natural Alexandrite Engagement Rings

Natural alexandrite engagement rings feature a genuine, natural alexandrite gemstone as the main stone.

Alexandrite is a rare and valuable gemstone known for its color-changing properties, which cause it to appear in shades of green, blue, red, or purple, depending on the lighting conditions.

Natural alexandrite is often considered more valuable and desirable than synthetic or imitation alexandrite, as it is a genuine, rare gemstone that has not been altered or treated in any way.

Genuine Alexandrite Rings

Genuine alexandrite rings are rings that feature a natural, genuine alexandrite gemstone.

Genuine alexandrite is often considered more valuable and desirable than synthetic or imitation alexandrite, as it is a natural gemstone that has not been altered or treated in any way.

When shopping for a genuine alexandrite ring, it is important to consider the quality of the gemstone, including its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

It is also a good idea to purchase a certified stone from a reputable laboratory or jeweler, as this can help ensure you get a genuine and high-quality alexandrite.

Other factors to consider when shopping for a genuine alexandrite ring include the ring’s metal and setting and the overall design and style.

Genuine alexandrite rings can be used for various occasions, such as engagement rings, anniversary gifts, or as a special treat for oneself.

Alexandrite engagement ring meaning

4.0 Carat Cushion Cut Alexandrite Yellow Gold Halo Engagement Ring in Sterling Silver
4.0 Carat Cushion Cut Alexandrite Yellow Gold Halo Engagement Ring in Sterling Silver.

The meaning of an alexandrite engagement ring can vary depending on the individual’s personal beliefs and associations. However, some common meanings associated with alexandrite engagement rings include:

  1. Love and commitment: An alexandrite engagement ring often symbolizes love and commitment between two people. The rarity and uniqueness of alexandrite can represent the depth and exclusivity of the relationship.
  2. Change and transformation: Alexandrite is known for its ability to change colors under different lighting conditions, which can symbolize the changes and transformations that occur within a relationship.
  3. Creativity and individuality: Alexandrite is a unique and unusual gemstone that can appeal to those who value creativity and individuality. An alexandrite engagement ring can symbolize these values and the couple’s desire to be different from the norm.
  4. Good fortune: Some believe that alexandrite brings good luck and fortune to those who wear it. An alexandrite engagement ring could therefore symbolize the couple’s hopes for a bright and successful future together.

The meaning of an alexandrite engagement ring will depend on the individual’s personal interpretation and the context in which it is given.

Vintage Alexandrite engagement ring

A vintage alexandrite engagement ring is a ring that features a natural, genuine alexandrite gemstone and is designed in a vintage or antique style.

Vintage alexandrite engagement rings can be made with various vintage-inspired settings and designs, such as filigree, milgrain, or Edwardian-style settings.

Vintage alexandrite engagement rings can be a great choice for those who appreciate the charm and elegance of antique jewelry.

The Facts About Alexandrite

Here are a few fun facts about alexandrite:

  1. Alexandrite is a rare gemstone that is known for its ability to change color depending on the light source. It appears green in daylight or fluorescent light and red in incandescent light.
  2. Alexandrite was originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s and was named after the Russian Czar Alexander II. It is now also found in other countries, including Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil.
  3. Alexandrite is considered a birthstone for June, along with pearl and moonstone, and is also the gemstone for the 55th wedding anniversary.
  4. Alexandrite is relatively hard and durable, with a rating of 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It is suitable for use in jewelry, including engagement rings.
  5. Alexandrite is a relatively rare gemstone, and fine-quality material is highly prized. It can be more expensive than other gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
  6. Alexandrite is believed to have healing properties, including enhancing creativity and improving decision-making skills. It is also thought to bring good luck and prosperity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Beautiful and Timeless Alexandrite Rings

Does alexandrite make a good engagement ring?

Alexandrite is a good choice for an engagement ring due to its unique and eye-catching appearance, rarity, and durability.

Alexandrite is also a relatively hard gemstone, with a Mohs hardness of 8.5 out of 10, making it suitable for everyday wear and tear.

However, it is important to consider the potential downsides of alexandrite as an engagement ring.

Alexandrite is generally more expensive than other gemstones, such as diamonds, and it can be difficult to compare the two in terms of value. 

Alexandrite may also be more appealing to those seeking a non-traditional or unconventional engagement ring rather than those looking for something more traditional.

Whether alexandrite is a good choice for an engagement ring depends on the preferences and priorities of the wearer.

If you are drawn to alexandrite’s unique and captivating appearance and are willing to invest in a high-quality stone. In that case, it can make a beautiful and meaningful choice for an engagement ring.

How much does a real alexandrite ring cost?

The size of the alexandrite greatly affects its value. According to the International Gem Society, top-quality natural alexandrite gems up to one carat can sell for up to $15,000 per carat. For sizes over one carat, prices can range from $50,000 to $70,000 per carat. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and actual prices may vary.

Is alexandrite more expensive than a diamond?

An alexandrite of the highest clarity and 1-1.99 carats can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000. A diamond with a comparable clarity and carat weight would sell for between $24,000 and $29,000. Although the price ranges are similar, it is generally true that alexandrites tend to be more expensive than diamonds.

Is it safe to wear an alexandrite ring every day?

Alexandrite is a relatively hard gemstone, with a Mohs hardness of 8.5. It also has excellent toughness and does not have a tendency to break when struck, known as cleavage. These properties make alexandrite a good choice for rings and other jewelry that will be worn daily. However, it is still important to treat your alexandrite jewelry with care and remove it when engaging in potentially damaging activities.

How can I tell if my alexandrite is real?

There are several ways to determine if your alexandrite is real:

  1. Look for a certificate of authenticity: Many reputable jewelers will provide a certificate or appraisal for your alexandrite, stating that it is a genuine, natural gemstone.
  2. Check the refractive index: A specialist can measure the refractive index of your alexandrite and compare it to the range of 1.746 to 1.755, which is characteristic of real alexandrite.
  3. Observe the double refraction: Alexandrite is doubly refractive, meaning that it splits light into two rays as it passes through the gemstone. A specialist can observe this property using a refractometer.
  4. Compare it to a synthetic or imitation gemstone: Synthetic alexandrite and imitations, such as corundum, can be distinguished from natural alexandrite based on their physical and optical properties. For example, synthetic alexandrite has a refractive index that falls between 1.762 and 1.770, while natural alexandrite has a refractive index between 1.746 and 1.755.

It is generally recommended to seek the expertise of a specialist, such as a gemologist or a jeweler, to help determine the authenticity of your alexandrite.

What is the rarest color of alexandrite?

The rarest and most valuable color of alexandrite is one that exhibits a dramatic color change from an emerald green to a raspberry red when viewed under different lighting conditions.

This color change is caused by the absorption and scattering of different wavelengths of light by the gemstone’s chemical composition and crystal structure.

With this color change, alexandrite is often considered the most valuable and sought-after, as it is extremely rare and displays a wide range of colors.

Other colors of alexandrite may include shades of green, blue, yellow, or brown, depending on the lighting conditions and the specific properties of the gemstone.

What is the best color of alexandrite?

The best color of alexandrite is subjective and depends on personal preference.

Some people prefer a more vibrant and striking color change, while others prefer a more subtle or muted change.

Generally, the finest alexandrites are considered to be those that exhibit a dark, vivid green color in fluorescent light and a raspberry-red color under incandescent light.

These colors are often considered the most desirable and valuable, as they are the rarest and most striking.

Natural alexandrite typically displays only these two colors, while synthetic alexandrite can be produced in various hues.

The best color of alexandrite is a matter of personal taste and what you find most appealing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, alexandrite engagement rings are a unique and captivating choice for those seeking something special and one-of-a-kind.

Whether you are an outside-the-box kind of person or simply looking for something that stands out from traditional diamond engagement rings, alexandrite is worth considering.

Its rarity and color-changing properties make it a highly desirable choice. With careful consideration of the metal, setting, and design, an alexandrite engagement ring can be the perfect symbol of love and commitment.

For those who prefer something non-traditional, alexandrite offers endless possibilities for creative and unique design ideas.

From incorporating other gemstones to highlighting the color-changing aspect of the stone, there are many ways to make an alexandrite engagement ring truly your own.

When considering an alexandrite engagement ring, it is also important to do your own research and consider the environmental and ethical implications of alexandrite mining and production.

Alexandrite is mined and produced in various locations around the world, and it is important to consider the impact of these operations on local communities and the environment.

By making an informed and responsible purchase decision, you can choose an alexandrite engagement ring that is both beautiful and ethical.

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