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How do I determine if the alexandrite ring I bought from the pawn shop is natural

lauramarie007

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
5
I bought this ring from the local pawn shop and I know they didn’t send it in because the guy who was working told me. They had it marked as alexandrite. The gemologists in my area aren’t working right now because of Covid. I have some pics of it and some I took under a cheap microscope that u attach to your phones camera. I’ve been reading a lot online and a lot is contradicting. I read a few times that only real alexandrite turns green and this ring turns a deep green often sometimes a bluish green and sometimes a dark green sometimes a deep purple and sometimes a light purple. I also read that all real alexandrite will not show the color change on a picture even if your eyes are seeing it another color it will always photograph purple unless professionally photographed. I’m so confused. The ring itself says <sgs>© 14K and has 2 small diamonds on each side one has 4 prongs the other has 3. It looks as tho it’s missing one when I’m looking closely. The alexandrite stone does not look like it has any prongs holding it. I think the gem is probably about 1/2 carrot. LMK what you think! Thanks?

P.s. My birthday is in June so I really like the ring no matter what 341AE27B-D4F0-4788-A471-DED59BF13FE0.png 8A105D78-F06C-43D3-953B-8ABEEB2E6373.jpeg 6C37C8DC-AD70-4EF2-BBFB-4C8975B3D083.jpeg 85537E88-89EA-4F12-8F2E-5CA7B2D3C360.jpeg CDD39D87-DC70-4F23-8228-80B102C79050.jpeg 4CD35E3A-D391-4C0E-A32D-6EB21A2DFA55.jpeg C161879D-1DDB-4BBE-818B-71331E275240.jpeg 341AE27B-D4F0-4788-A471-DED59BF13FE0.png 864E8A01-E488-4DD5-B781-D4966B2B7C61.jpeg 46A7D4C0-5D4F-439A-89AD-640209189EF2.jpeg 17DD9773-F098-4000-92F6-343116643692.jpeg 34BC348D-3596-4CB9-B904-78BACD9193D3.jpeg 341AE27B-D4F0-4788-A471-DED59BF13FE0.png 8A105D78-F06C-43D3-953B-8ABEEB2E6373.jpeg 6C37C8DC-AD70-4EF2-BBFB-4C8975B3D083.jpeg 85537E88-89EA-4F12-8F2E-5CA7B2D3C360.jpeg CDD39D87-DC70-4F23-8228-80B102C79050.jpeg 62616BD4-F2DE-4D39-B28E-6B8D83ED7043.jpeg 0E007D6F-6A51-42D4-A823-44A1886B457C.jpeg 4CD35E3A-D391-4C0E-A32D-6EB21A2DFA55.jpeg C161879D-1DDB-4BBE-818B-71331E275240.jpeg 864E8A01-E488-4DD5-B781-D4966B2B7C61.jpeg 46A7D4C0-5D4F-439A-89AD-640209189EF2.jpeg 17DD9773-F098-4000-92F6-343116643692.jpeg 34BC348D-3596-4CB9-B904-78BACD9193D3.jpeg 62616BD4-F2DE-4D39-B28E-6B8D83ED7043.jpeg 0E007D6F-6A51-42D4-A823-44A1886B457C.jpeg
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jul 17, 2008
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11,856
Is that a dead bug in it? :shock:

0F8AE283-6FBB-4E9C-B746-6E278EDA8809.jpeg
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 11, 2011
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5,788
Synthetic (created) gems can also have that strong color change. My guess would be that this is a synthetic, solely based on the type of setting and era it looks like it was from, and the fact that you bought it at a pawn shop. I agree the way to know for sure is to send it to a gem lab, but I am assuming you did not pay much for it and it may not be worth that. I personally would assume it is a synthetic and wear and enjoy. It sounds from what you're saying like the color change is really good and it looks like a pretty stone. I can't make much out in the up-close pictures other than facet abrasions and dirt.
 

lauramarie007

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
5
The things about not being able to photograph both colours is BS so don’t worry about that.

The only way to tell is get it looked at by a lab. Sorry.

Ok and I’m going to sometime I just thought I would ask the opinion of u guys because I’m just getting into this stuff and it’s very interesting to me I think I’m gonna start collecting gems but alexandrite is by far my favorite
 

lauramarie007

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
5
i do love the colors, it can do with a repolish as well! if there are lapidaries in your area

Yes I plan to and thank you! It’s just with Covid some places are not doing that but I cleaned it with a bunch of cleaning stuff but I’m gonna bring it in I’m just gonna start calling around. I paid $200 for it at the pawn America pawn shop and the guy who sold it to me said they don’t send stones in because it cost to much so the only priced it for the gold and diamonds and assumed the stone was not real. The place I called said they charge $100 per piece for appraisals.
 

lauramarie007

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
5
Synthetic (created) gems can also have that strong color change. My guess would be that this is a synthetic, solely based on the type of setting and era it looks like it was from, and the fact that you bought it at a pawn shop. I agree the way to know for sure is to send it to a gem lab, but I am assuming you did not pay much for it and it may not be worth that. I personally would assume it is a synthetic and wear and enjoy. It sounds from what you're saying like the color change is really good and it looks like a pretty stone. I can't make much out in the up-close pictures other than facet abrasions and dirt.

I actually cleaned it with a lot of different cleaners so I don’t know about that stuff I just then took some pictures of it under the microscope. I paid $200 for it at the pawn America pawn shop and the guy who sold it to me said that they don’t send in jewelry because it would cost too much so they priced it for the gold and diamonds and assumed the stone was synthetic or created.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
5,292
Unlikely but it could be.
You’d need to send it to lab for a report and that and if set AGL will charge you $185 plus shipping and insurance both ways.
the thing with Alexandrite is that there are numerous lab, created, treated, and coated materials that resemble Alexandrite. Some look very much like natural, others it’s more apparent because the colours and the way they change isnt correct.
so without a lab report you can’t be sure.
Id assume the pawn shop took an educated guess that it wasn’t natural and didn’t bother with getting a report due to the cost.
if you love the ring, that’s all that really matters anyway.
 

Pysix

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
7
From the photos it does seem to resemble alexandrite. As others have mentioned, there’s no real way to tell if it’s natural, lab created, or even a very well done synthetic without sending it to a lab. I own some natural Brazilian alex and I’ve noticed the green component of its daylight color is difficult, if not impossible to photograph and often appears as more of a grayish blue while the incandescent color appears a more vivid purplish red than to the eye (for which it appears more reddish purple). It definitely will not ALWAYS be purple in photos. Anyone who says that either is very unfamiliar with photographing alexandrite or has a severe case of color blindness. From your photos it does appear to have a bit of chatoyancy which is characteristic of chrysoberyl so that’s also pointing in the right direction. Another test you could try is to hit it with a uv light and see if it turns, or even glows red. Alexandrite should fluoresce red under uv light though this may be muted in natural samples due to varying concentrations of iron.
In any case, it’s a very interesting find for a stroll through your local pawn shop.
 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 29, 2008
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10,034
In some of your photos this does look like a natural Alex but the abraded facets are making me pause. Alex is a very very hard wearing gemstone and I don't think I've seen one with abraded facets. The fact that you have captured the green is a bit of a red flag because it is almost impossible to capture the green of an Alex - I've only ever managed to do it once or twice by accident! However, a real Alex with a very weak colour change is easier to photograph than ones that have a strong colour change so it could be possible.

ALL of my Alex are green during the day and then at night under artificial lights are a purple/red (see my avatar) and this is what an Alex should do. There are no tests that you can do at home that will distinguish without a doubt between a natural or synthetic Alex because some of the synthetics look and act like natural ones. You are best sending it to a lab.

By the way, the stone is held using a tension set where the sides of the ring are slightly overlapping the Alex and holding it in place. However, it doesn't look like it's being held in by much - in fact it looks like it might fall out at any minute - so if it is an Alex you may want to consider having a jeweller giving it a look to make sure all the stones are secure. If the sides are not holding the stone in place (and it's difficult to tell for sure from your photos) then that suggests that the stone is being held in by glue and if that's the case, I would highly doubt that the stone is valuable (or the person who previously owned it was mad as a hatter)!
 
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LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 3, 2018
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From the title scenario alone, the answer 99+ % of the time will be "It is not." (The odds would be better if it were "Look what my super-rich Russian great-grandmother hid away!")

You will need a reputable lab.

Lots of good insights and thought-provoking speculation above.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 30, 2005
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30,316
You posted only 50 pics.
I afraid I need 51pics to answer your question.

Seriously, have it sent to AGL in NYC before buying it.
 

natalija

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
16
I have something similar to your stone but my stones are bigger, still don t know what they are. There is no any green colour l believe they are synthetics. Let us know if you decide to test your stone in lab. IMG_20210505_111058.jpg IMG_20210515_172857.jpg
 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 29, 2008
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10,034
The more I look at the photos the more I think it’s a synthetic corundum for a number of reasons. Synthetic Alex can fool a jeweller as it behaves in the same way a real Alex would (ie the same refractive index etc) so the only way to know for sure is get a lab report. A local jeweller is unlikely to tell you 100% that it’s an Alex but they could go some basic tests that would rule it in or out as a possibility.
 
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