Alexandrite and Moonstone
This entry was posted on June 24, 2019
Alexandrite is an extremely rare and expensive color-changing variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. The color-changing phenomena is known as the ‘alexandrite effect’. It possesses the remarkable ability to appear green in sunlight and red in incandescent light and, due to its color-changing, has often been described as an “emerald by day, ruby by night.”
Along with pearl and moonstone, alexandrite is the birthstone of June. It rates an 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale and was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830’s. Alexandrite is also mined in Africa, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
The Moonstone is the 3rd birthstone for the month of June. Pliny, a Roman Historian, named this stone ‘Moonstone’ because its appearance changed with the phases of the moon. Moonstone ranks a 6.0 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The world’s primary moonstone deposits are found in Sri Lanka and India; other moonstone-producing regions include Australia, Brazil, Burma (Myanmar), Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States.
Moonstone is unique in that it displays a floating light called adularescence. This occurs because, during formation, orthoclase and albite separate into alternating layers. Greater transparency is more desirable and makes the stone more valuable. Moonstone comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne. Care should be handled with Moonstone as it is sensitive to pressure and can easily crack or chip.