Alexandrite is a variety of Chrysoberyl that can change its color depending on the illumination. Alexandrite has a green coloring during the daylight and becomes violet-red when exposed to artificial lighting. This peculiarity of the stone was first noticed by Finnish mineralogist N.Nordenscheld. In April 1834, 85 versts away from Yekaterinburg, in the placer on the Tokovaya River he found a new mineral. Its green color when the stone was exposed to candle light turned to blood-red color. Observing this peculiarity of alexandrite a writer N. Leskov wrote that in this stone the green morning changed for bloody evening. The stone received the name of Alexanrite later in 1842 in the honor of full age of Cesarevitch Alexander, who became in 1855 a Russian emperor Alexander 2. After he was killed in 1881 the decorations with alexandrite became especially popular among Russian nobility. The changeability of alexandrite is explained by its addition of trivalent chrome. The change of mineral's color during the change of lighting is called reverse (from Latin versum - turn). Alexandrite possesses this peculiarity to the full extent.
Till the beginning of 20th century in Ural there were mined around 80 kilograms of these semi-precious stones. Alexandrite was considered a pure Russian mineral for long time. However, later its deposits were found beyond Russiảs territory. Now alexandrite is produced in Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India, Madagascar, USA, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.
From HistoryIn the 20th century during excavations of khan interment that dates back 12 century in Zaporojye, scientists found a large golden ring with large alexandrite on the fourth finger of Polovtsian lord. Perhaps, this is one of the most ancient jewelry articles with alexandrite.
The biggest druse of alexandrite crystals weighing around 5 kilograms lies in Moscow Mineralogical Museum. The biggest facetted alexandrite weighing 66 carats is kept in famous Smitsonov Institute in Washington, USA. Nowadays alexandrite is highly valued. Its keeps the fourth place after diamond, ruby and sapphire. Even a small suspension with modest natural stone can cost hundreds dollars of USA.
When buying the decorations with alexandrite you should be careful because its properties to change color can be imitated by synthetic corunda that do not possess any magical properties. Artificial stones obtain the effect of natural alexandrite thanks to additions of vanadium. In the first half of the 20th century there many inexpensive articles with artificial alexandrite were sold in Russia. During the World War II many women who wore such stones lost their husbands. This was the beginning of modern legend about alexandrite - a widow stone. Some people say that the negative influence of alexandrite can be neutralized if the owner would wear the decoration with another semi-precious stone.
Magical propertiesAccording to popular belief the appearance of yellow shade in the color of the stone tells that its owner is in danger or has some illness. That's why alexandrite is sometimes called a Russian prophetic stone.
There is a belief that the decorations with alexandrite favor spiritual enrichment of their owners, by balancing their intellect and emotions. For its changeable color in Europe alexandrite was considered the symbol of amorousness and jealousy. In Sri Lanka and India alexandrite is considered a stone of good luck, prosperity and longevity. Mediums use alexandrites to enhance their capabilities to review the future.
Healing stonesAlexandrite possesses Yan energy and is capable to influence the Anahata's charka. The stone positively influences the nervous system of the man. It is considered, that the multiplicity of alexandrite's color magically relates two types of human blood - venous and arterial. Therefore there is a popular belief that alexandrite enhances the circulation of blood, purifies blood and strengthens blood vessels. The properties of alexandrite can help in curing spleen and pancreas. Hindus believe that alexandrites prevent from hard drinking and even from leprosy.
AstrologyAstrologists recommend wearing the decorations with alexandrite to people born under the sign of Scorpio.
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