Properties of Sri Lankan Blue Sapphires

Blue sapphires are the blue variety of the mineral corundum which is crystalline aluminum oxide in which the blue color is caused by the displacement of some aluminum atoms by atoms of titanium and iron. Sri Lankan blue sapphires can vary from delicate sky-blue colors to rich saturated hues. The Sri Lankan sapphire is lighter […]

Maria Alexandrovna Sapphire Brooch

The Great London Exhibition of 1862 The 260.37-carat blue sapphire was purchased by Czar Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, when he visited the Great London Exhibition held in 1862. The exhibition was held between May 1st to November 1st, 1862, in South Kensington, London, on the same site that now houses the Natural History Museum […]

The 138-Carat ‘Good Luck’ Ruby

Back in the late 1950s, TV advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves purchased an unmounted star ruby and carried it in his pocket for good luck. This was no ordinary ruby. With its rich red color and well-defined star, the 138.72-carat ruby was said to be the largest and finest star ruby the world has ever known. […]

Where Do Rubies Come From?

The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar (Burma) was for centuries the world’s main source for rubies. That region has produced some of the finest rubies ever mined, but in recent years very few good rubies have been found there. The very best color in Myanmar rubies is sometimes described as “pigeon’s blood.” In central Myanmar, […]

The Lore of Ruby

Like a perfect red rose, the Ruby’s rich color speaks of love and passion. Called the “Rajnapura” or King of Gems by ancient Hindus, July’s birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history. The Ruby was considered to have magical powers and was worn by royalty as a talisman against evil. It was thought […]

How to Choose Alexandrite

Alexandrite tends to contain few inclusions. Good color change and strong colors have a higher value. Green/purple hues are more desirable than yellow/brown. Look for a medium lightness that allow for maximum color vibrancy. Stones that are too light look washed out while stones that are too dark can appear black. When certain types of long, thin […]

Ural Mountains and the Discovery of Alexandrite

As the story goes, Alexandrite was initially discovered in the 1830s, in the emerald mines of the Ural Mountains of Russia. The bright green stone was at first mistaken for emerald, until the sun went down. In the light of candles, its greenish hue vanished and a bright purplish-red took its place. This was no […]

Is Alexandrite the Most Expensive Gemstone in The World?

Along with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, top quality alexandrite’s are among the most expensive gemstones in the world. In larger sizes over 4.00 or 5.00cts., Burmese rubies are more rare and expensive than alexandrite’s but in sizes below 1.00cts., alexandrite’s are generally more expensive than both rubies and diamonds.   It is rare to find […]

The World’s Largest-Faceted Alexandrite

The Smithsonian Alexandrite was unearthed in Sri Lanka, and holds a cushion mixed cut. Typical of most alexandrite, the Smithsonian jewel is red and green in color, and weighs 65.08 carats. It is currently one of the rarest, and most valuable, jewels in the world. Its status as the world’s largest alexandrite, however, is very […]

How Does Alexandrite Change Color?

The color changing property of Alexandrite is known as ‘Alexandrite effect’ and is a result of chromium traces found in the gemstone. The chromium traces cause strong light absorption in the yellow and blue parts of the spectrum. The absorption band 580 nm allows the Alexandrite to change color from red to green when seen […]