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Antique Russian Alexandrite?

amalyno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
4
Hi Guys,

I'm new here, but I just purchased this pendant (I haven't received it yet), and I was wondering what your thoughts are? The description stated that it dates back to 1900 or earlier, it is 8mm x 6mm x 4mm (says appx 1.5 ctw), and it is Russian in origin. I purchased this from an individual in the UK. Set in 14k gold; handmade. It has an inclusion, which is visible in the coming photos. I will attach the rest in a moment.

To be quite honest, my obsession with alexandrite is extremely new. I didn't know what it was until a month ago when I bought a necklace to go with a dress, and the description stated that it was alexandrite. I researched the stone and became absolutely fascinated with it, but I never actually thought that I would ever be lucky enough to own a natural one. This is the first one that I have come across that I think is real, and obviously I will be able to see it better when it arrives. Opals have always been my favorite because of the beautiful and unique color play, so it makes sense to me why I fell in love with this gem.

I know that it is nearly impossible to tell through pictures, but, what do you all think?

Thank you!

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Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,117
img_2300_0.jpg img_2304_1.jpg
Hi, attached are pics of my small alexandrite.
Firstly, unless you have a gemmological origin certificate or rock solid providence, you can't assume the alexandrite is Russian as a number of different countries produce alexandrite. I looked up the eBay listing and thought the daylight shot was more olive green than teal blue. Typically Russian alexandrite are the teal blue to red purple. That said, Alexandrites are impossible to photograph well, it's their nature. Wait til you see the gem in the fleas. Test it in daylight and it should be a teal blue green colour and under candlelight (not all artificial light is the correct wavelength and it should go purple with red. The flaw is a great indication that it is indeed real, there are a number of excellent synthetics around these days so it's can be tricky getting a real one.
If it's Russian, the gold hallmark should be "56" with a symbol (look up Russian hallmarks on line) that's how russian hallmarks their 14kt gold.
Also, the colour change may or may not be complete within the gem. "Better" gems do a 90% plus change, others it might be more mixed.
It's beautiful, wear it and enjoy it all the time.
Ps I don't know if my alexandrite is Russian, only that it is a genuine, mined from the earth one.
 

amalyno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
4
Yours is beautiful! I'm sorry my pictures are so small - I'm not quite sure how to change that. I'm glad you were able to see them better. I agree with you about the green - it also appears to me a slightly more olive color than a teal in the photos.

The only reason that I specified Russian is because that is what it was listed as. I do understand that using "Russian" to describe them is a marketing tactic, and to take it with a grain of salt. I feel like this one is special (and I do plan on wearing it often), but from everything I've read, a bit unlikely. I am not an expert by any means. I have done a lot of research in a pretty short period of time, but that means little to nothing when you're simply reading articles and looking at photos.

I really appreciate your feedback. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I either just made a slightly misguided purchase or I got pretty lucky...I will know in a couple of weeks, I guess :dance:
 

amalyno

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
4
Ok, so my new old pendant came in the mail! I am making an appointment with a jeweler but I have not had a chance to bring it in yet.

First impressions:

The gold is suspicious looking to me, maybe because it is so old, but it has not turned my skin green or given me a rash. There is a tiny makers mark (I believe) on the bail. I sourced it against others, and it does look Russian, but it is very hard for me to make it out. There are no other markings that I have found anywhere else on the metal.

The stone does indeed have what appears to be a fissure, but I am unsure of whether it is an internal crack that has reached the exterior under the setting. The top and the bottom of the stone do not appear to have a surface crack. The colors are extraordinary! It changes from a near perfect red in candlelight to a vivid tealish color in daylight. The olive color depicted in one of the photos is visible when held at an angle, but the color change is vibrant. To an unaided (and admittedly untrained) eye, the color change seems to be a complete transition. The stone is clear, but the colors are remarkable, truly. It is pinky nail sized, more or less.

Overall, if this is a fake, I believe it would have to be relatively new, considering the accuracy of the color change. The metal work, setting, and cut look very much to be handmade. The reason the gold bothers me a bit is because there is a tiny area that looks like it has rubbed, but I have seen other old gold pieces that have looked similar. The internal crack/fissure I think would be a bit complicated and time consuming to create if it is fake, although I may be completely wrong about that.

I will update again when I bring it to the jeweler, but for now, I think that I may have stumbled upon something really special! I'll also try to get better/bigger pics up when I get a chance.

Happy New Year!
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,337
amalyno|1483117341|4110759 said:
Ok, so my new old pendant came in the mail! I am making an appointment with a jeweler but I have not had a chance to bring it in yet.

First impressions:

. The colors are extraordinary! It changes from a near perfect red in candlelight to a vivid tealish color in daylight. The olive color depicted in one of the photos is visible when held at an angle, but the color change is vibrant. To an unaided (and admittedly untrained) eye, the color change seems to be a complete transition. The stone is clear, but the colors are remarkable, truly. It is pinky nail sized, more or less.

Overall, if this is a fake, I believe it would have to be relatively new, considering the accuracy of the color change.

I will update again when I bring it to the jeweler, but for now, I think that I may have stumbled upon something really special! I'll also try to get better/bigger pics up when I get a chance.

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you as well! I certainly hope you have the real thing. But do note that synthetic alexandrite and corundum have both been around for a long time, both of which mimic the real thing perfectly. Synthetic corundum with vanadium added to give it the perfect color change has been around for over 100 years and was very common back in its heyday.
 
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