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Alexandrite vs. color changing chrysoberyl


Although there is an article warning about not paying for Alexandrite when its color changing chrysoberyl, but it does not really tell the price difference or how to tell the difference between the gems.

I believe I’ve made the mistake of buying gems labeled Alexandrite (even tho the vender had “certificates”), when it really was something else. I’m not sure what to describe what I bought; slight green gems that changes color only under UV light to bright pink/red. I bought it before I joined Gem Society so I didn’t know.

  1. What gem did I buy?
  2. What is the price difference? (compared to alexandrite)



If you’re referring to this article, “Is My Alexandrite Just a Color-Change Chrysoberyl,” the author restricts the color change of alexandrite to a “classic range” he lists in the article. Any color changes outside that range, in his opinion, aren’t alexandrites. (To distinguish them, be sure to observe their color shift and compare it to the list). However, be aware this is not a universally accepted view. You may need a second opinion.


Alexandrite, by definition, is a well saturated chrysoberyl that changes color from incandescent to fluorescent light. If all you get is a change with UV light, it cannot be either alexandrite or color change chrysoberyl. What you have is a generic green chrysoberyl. The UV reactance is due to the high chromium content within the stone.
Your example may have been slapped with the “alexandrite” label due to origin. There is a bad habit among some less educated people in the industry to label stones of a given species based on origin, rather than definition. Some “organizations” call diaspore from Turkey is often called Zultanite even if it does not display the strong color change phenomenon. Color change diaspore from other locations outside of Turkey have also been mislabeled as Zultanite. In this case, by definition (and copyright) Zultanite is the copyrighted name of the best quality color change diaspores originating from a single mine in Turkey.


Before I buy an Alexandrite, I will always send it to the lab to check the chromium content even if it is color changing.
No chromium no Alexandrite!


If one gives you an answer to what gem did I buy? just by the photo
You can be 100% sure he have no idea what the stones are :slight_smile:


How do you send something to a lab when it isn’t yours? (have not yet purchased it? and when a stone that is worth that much? will the seller normally allow it to be sent out?)