Alexandrite is a mineral that belongs to the chrysoberyls, the same group of minerals as emeralds. Discovered in 1830 in the Tokoyava emerald mines in the Ural Mountains of Russia, the name alexandrite was given by the Finnish mineralogist Nordensköld in honor of Tsar Alexander II in 1842. It is extremely resistant with a score of 8.5 on the scale of Mohs hardness.
The peculiarity of alexandrite is its ability to change color depending on the light under which it is seen. In natural light it looks green, while in artificial light it turns red and under neon light it turns gray. This is due to the presence of chromium in its composition. It can also have green, red and yellow secondary tones. For this particularity it has been referred to as "emerald by day, ruby by night".
These colors were those of the Russian imperial army, so it quickly became a tsarist symbol. For this reason, they overexploited it and almost exhausted their mines.
Russian author Nikolai Leskov attributed to it the power to increase intuition and to see a glimpse of the future in one of his novels. It is actually said that mediums would have used it to see the future. For Hindus and Sri Lankans, it is a mineral that attracts luck, prosperity and longevity. It is also said that there is a very rare type of alexandrite, which is a sacred stone for the Tibetans that would allow magicians to understand animals.
On the one hand, it is a source of imagination and creativity and it is thought that by changing color it helps to combat sadness and excesses of all kinds as it generates confidence and hope. On the other hand, it attracts love and luck and helps to bring soul mates closer together and strengthen love within couples.
It increases compassion towards others, encourages selfless help and the strength to forgive and heal for its wearer. For those who are in a bad situation, it is an ally to make important decisions and to distance himself or herself from the problem in order to reflect upon it.
On the physical plan, it preserves the heart and brain by facilitating blood circulation thus protecting the cardiovascular system. It also helps eliminate bad cholesterol while strengthening the nervous and lymphatic systems as well as taking care of the pancreas, liver and spleen. It is believed that it can help those who follow a long treatment against physical or psychological ailments.
The highest quality and most reputable alexandrites are from Russia, despite the fact that their deposits are almost depleted. There are deposits of this mineral in Burma, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the United States, Brazil and Tasmania. Many of these are of lower quality than those from Russia, so some do not change color depending on the light for example.