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Searching for Alexandrite

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by cawacawa, May 17, 2019.

  1. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 17, 2019
    Hi people,

    Newbie here. I'm looking to buy an Alexandrite stone for an engagement ring and i've browsed pretty much all the internet for it, but can't find a lot of good pieces. I guess this is normal considering how scarce it is.

    I'm looking in my city as well (Paris, France) but so far have found only 2 stones, and they were not to my liking.

    I looked through the whole list of recommended sellers on this forum, one by one. I won't buy any stone without a lab certificate, and i don't really trust unknown labs. So basically my search has led me so far to these pieces :

    https://skyjems.ca/collections/alexandrite/products/giaax0009
    https://skyjems.ca/collections/alexandrite/products/giaax0010
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax798aa/&930512007
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax852ad/&930512007
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax852ac/&930512007
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax860aa/&930512007
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax861aa/&930512007

    Which deal do you think is the most interesting ?
    I can't really find any other trusted website with trusted certificates. I've seen some other alexandrites elsewhere but they either were way too expensive, not trusted, or not what i'm looking for.

    For example, here you can see the shades of alexandrites that i'm not looking for :

    https://www.ajsgem.com/alexandrite-...=sell_price&sort_order=DESC&items_per_page=45

    Can you help me find something, maybe ? Some tips for a newbie ?

    Also, I've started looking into color changing sapphires because they are kinda what i'm looking for and less expensive than alex, although still quite pricey.

    Thank you guys.
     
    


    


  2. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 17, 2019
    Salut Cawacawa,

    I know very little about Alexandrite but quality above 1 carat will be extremely pricy so be ready to spend a lot or perhaps consider another stone altogether.

    Pala International has one that they define top of the line. They only sell good stuff so it may be worth writing them an e-mail to ask abouy price - https://palagems.myshopify.com/collections/alexandrite/products/23963

    I dealt with them and they are very professional and you can trust them 100%. They will ship to France, no problem.

    Good luck with your hunt and best wishes on your plan ;-)
     
  3. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    There’s really no such thing as a color change sapphire. They color “shift,”which is going from one color to another similar color, like blue to purple. Color “change” stones like alexandrite go from one color to a completely different one (blue/green to red). There’s also a color change garnet, but most are extremely dark, and the prices are really high for the quality.

    I’m surprised you can’t find anything in the most famed place in the world for gems and jewelry.

    I’m not a good judge of Alexandrite, but forum member LD is. She started this extremely informative thread.

    https://www.pricescope.com/communit...ly-got-an-alexandrite-read-this-first.179784/

    I would just caution against a stone that’s too dark. You don’t want a “black hole.” They should always come with a highly reputable lab report. It’s one of the most synthesized or simulated stones.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  4. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » May 17, 2019
    Dear cawacawa, congrats on your impending engagement!

    My picks out of that list would be http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax860aa/&930512007 and http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax798aa/&930512007 based on how they look in mixed lighting. I'm afraid both the Skyjems options would be too dark. I prefer the mixed color of the ones I linked to the first Multicolour oval you linked, and the other two Multicolour ones had windows, which I don't myself tolerate in sub-carat gems.
     
    


    


  5. mission_frisson
    Rough_Rock

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    by mission_frisson » May 17, 2019
    I'm certainly no expert on alex but I was in the same boat a couple years ago where I wanted a similar effect in a less expensive stone. I was able to find a sapphire which I consider color change as opposed to shift because it is green outdoors and purple indoors. (@T L and other experts can correct me if my understanding is not correct.)

    Not sure if it's the coloring you're looking for but check out the videos. It may be worth keeping the sapphire option open.


     
  6. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » May 17, 2019
    I'm not totally sure as I'm not a geologist, but man-made alexandrite is almost always man-made sapphire. I'm not sure that the green to purple color change sapphire occurs in nature.
     
  7. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    It could just be the video quality, as color change is extremely difficult to capture, but I don’t see much of a color change in that sapphire. I do see a color shift however. Synthetic color shift corundum has been used as a simulant for alexandrite for over 100 years, but it goes from purple to blue.

    There is synthetic alexandrite which identical chemically to natural material. That is much more difficult to detect as it emulates natural material in color change.

    I’m not familiar with color “change” corundum in synthetic or natural form, but maybe it does exist???
     
  8. mission_frisson
    Rough_Rock

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    by mission_frisson » May 17, 2019
    It’s AGL certified as “Natural Color-Change Sapphire” with “Strong” color change. It was my first colored stone purchase so maybe I got lucky and didn’t appreciate how rare it is. Unless I’m still missing something! :D

    I bought it from Gary Braun at Finewater Gems btw.
     
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  9. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    Oh well, I guess you learn something new every day! Glad you got the AGL report!
     
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  10. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 17, 2019
    Thank you VividRed, i contacted them about that Alexandrite. Is an AGL certificate as reputable as GIA ?

    I didn't know the sapphires did color shift instead of color change, thanks for that information. I just reused the terminology i read on the numerous websites that offer that type of gemstone.
    Yes, i was also surprised to not find anything meaningful in Paris, but as a jeweler said to me : "French people are not interested in Alexandrite, you won't find any in France, they are all about diamonds."
    He is right i guess... Even some very prestigious jewelers haven't even heard of Alexandrite when i asked them about it...

    I have read that thread already also, very informative !

    How do you know they have windows ? As a beginner, i can somehow guess they could have, but i don't see it for sure really. Also, i agree with you about your choices in that list, that's also what i had in mind, and i couldn't decide how i felt about the skygems ones, but i think you're right to say they're too dark.

    Yes sapphires from what i've seen have absolutely gorgeous shades of blue to violet.
    These ones have caught my attention for the moment :
    https://skyjems.ca/collections/sapphire/products/gias0031
    https://skyjems.ca/collections/sapphire/products/gias0029
    https://skyjems.ca/collections/sapphire/products/gias0025-11

    But still, i would much prefer getting an alexandrite, even sub-carat if i can get a good one.
     
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  11. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 17, 2019
    Yes i recognized his hand on the videos :D
     
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  12. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    To me, and I hope I don’t offend anybody saying this, alexandrite is one of those gems that’s only beautiful in its top quality. People are certainly free to disagree with me and put me in my place. :oops2:

    Unfortunately, not everyone can afford top quality alexandrite, some can barely afford mediocre alexandrite. While you can find beautiful stones that are not top quality in other gem species, I feel most alexandrite is a muddy looking stone with unattractive color changes. LD has a gorgeous collection of alexandrite, but she admits they don’t photograph easily so I wish I could show you excellent quality stones in an online image. All the stones I’ve seen in person are very pricey and not that attractive.

    If you want more bang for your Euro, go with a sapphire. You don’t need top quality either.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  13. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » May 17, 2019
    Yes, probably the most reputable lab in the US for colored gemstones. In Europe that would probably be SSEF but their reports are priced on another level...in general:

    GIA for diamonds
    AGL for colored stones

    Best of luck!
     
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  14. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    AGL is the premier colored gem lab in the world. :twisted2:

    I don’t know how the other gem labs grade alexandrite, but the most detailed and science based lab reports are from AGL.

    Here are two reports for alexandrite to compare. AGL includes percentage of color change.
    https://www.ssef.ch/alexandrite/

    https://www.langantiques.com/media/catalog/gem/reports/25-5-4874r.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  15. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 17, 2019
    Ok, i didn't know that, thanks !

    TL i don't think i should give up that easily on trying to find an alexandrite. I will surely keep the sapphire option in the back of my head, but right now i'm looking for stones like this one that i linked earlier :
    http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax860aa/&930512007

    Maybe a little bigger, as i don't know if this size is enough to have a good visual effect when mounted on a ring.
     
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  16. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » May 17, 2019
    I wouldn't mount it as a solitaire. Consider a halo setting with some white diamonds around it for more finger coverage.
     
  17. qubitasaurus
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by qubitasaurus » May 17, 2019
    This one is nice

    https://www.litnon.com/index.php?page=viewgem&id=9421

    Beyond that I would look at Mayer and Watt. Or multicolour or david wein's site.

    This one looks ok

    https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...nd-white-gold-ring-00112666/overview/926/10/0

    This one I am posting just because I think it exemplifies nice colour

    https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/alexandrite-and-white-diamond-gold-ring-00101592/overview/926/10/0

    Yvonne Raley can also source Alexandrite.
     
  18. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 17, 2019
    For the record, David Wein is also the owner of multicolor.com.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  19. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » May 17, 2019
    F0E98899-C8AC-49DB-858E-9E2F8037BC27.jpeg 7596ADBD-7DB5-4D93-81AC-2DD5AA9C1125.jpeg 30DAAA78-E308-44FB-868C-DC9BC0984116.jpeg Hi and welcome to the expensive and confusing world of Alexandrite.
    Yes, Alexandrite is expensive, very expensive and top quality gems have prices that are prohibitive.
    First point, be aware that most vendors photos will be manipulated, Alexandrite is extremely difficult to photograph, especially the daylight colour. I have taken dozens of photos of mine and what my eye sees isn’t what the photo shows. Make sure your vendor has a no problem return policy in case when you see the gem you aren’t loving it.
    Aside from size, the main factor behind price is colours in colour change and % of colour change.
    Ideally you want a green changing to purple red.
    Ideally you want it all green in daylight and all purple/ red in incandescent.
    The reality, one colour either day or night will be great, the other insipid.
    The reality, the colour change percentage wont be complete. The green will look a bit purplish in daylight, the nighttime purple will still have some green.
    And size, even $10,000 doesn’t buy you a lot of Alexandrite, pretty much all at this price point all will be under a carat.
    Colour changes that are more yellow green in daylight and more orange brown in incandescent are still called Alexandrite. Many would argue that unless the colours are teal green to purple /red, it isn’t Alexandrite, more colour change Chrysoberyl. And when you see “Alexandrite” at $10,000 a carat and “colour change Chrysoberyl” at $2,000 a carat it’s easy to see why the label of “Alexandrite” is preferred by vendors.
    Labels aside, buy what YOU like.
    Alexandrite are also a type 2 gem, like Emerald. This means inclusions are to be expected, it is an extremely rare Alexandrite that is VVS and perfectly green changing to purple red.
    Of your selected gems, many have, in my opinion, an awful incandescent colour, way too brownish. I like the heart shaped gem best.
    This is my .90 carat Alex, it’s actually very “slim” so faces up as an 8 x 6 mm.
    I have size 7.5 fingers to give you a size guide. That’s the new setting but it’s just sitting loose.
     
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  20. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » May 17, 2019
    74F3B3B4-A3AC-46E7-8CEB-7545B5A013A1.jpeg EE49DBC7-A72D-4EEA-AD04-CBC7015C8ABD.jpeg And this is my colour change sapphire, much more subtle. It’s blue in daylight, incandescent makes it more purple
     
  21. Nick_G
    Rough_Rock

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    by Nick_G » May 18, 2019
    There do appear to be sapphires with an alexandrite-like colour change coming out of the Umba River area in Tanzania. Here's an example of a rough crystal in incandescent light and white LED light:

    https://www.mindat.org/photo-341197.html

    That is quite impressive!
     
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  22. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 18, 2019
    @Nick_G ,
    Thank you for the information. When you look up
    “collor change sapphire” in a search engine, all you get is a plethora a the color shift material or synthetics.
     
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  23. Nosean
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Nosean » May 19, 2019
    A sapphire from Umba valley with an alexandrite CC.

    2EDC033C-472C-4105-99D2-B7D22B539857.jpeg 0B0588BB-69DE-47EE-846E-557019827787.jpeg
     
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  24. FlashyFlamingo
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    by FlashyFlamingo » May 19, 2019
    I know absolutely nothing about alexandrites, frankly they’re a little too rich for my budget, but Gary with Finewater Gems, whom I have used before and would absolutely recommend, posted a video of one that he has on Instagram yesterday. I thought I would post it here. I know that he has sourced stones for other users here so it might be worth reaching out to him.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxm6RJEFE--/?igshid=1b9bvcqnkq8ps
    F5508C37-588F-4F86-8CE3-D57E8D63CEF8.png
     
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  25. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 19, 2019
    Thanks for the informations, it confirms pretty much what i read online about alexandrite so far.
    Your alexandrite seems nice, but on the pictures it looks weird that in daylight it looks very pale without exctinction, and in incandescent light it looks very dark, but i guess it's just the way the pics were taken.
    Also the base color i'm looking for would be less "teal-pale green" and more "blueish green", i prefer the ones which appear trichroic blue/purple/red under mixed light, without too much light green/teal.

    Thanks, i have seen this one already, but it seems to have a big window, and the saturation is quite poor it seems. I don't know if the price is justified, maybe it's because the stone is big for an alex or the photos/video doesn't do the stone justice.

    Your sapphire looks good, do you have more pics and where did you buy it ?
     
  26. Nosean
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Nosean » May 19, 2019
    These sapphires are not expensive - payed around 15$ per ct.
    Was a lot in a gem show years ago.

    Not really beautiful- a nice CC garnet is a better choice.
     
  27. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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  28. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 20, 2019
    Yes quite beautiful indeed ! It's the type of trichroic alex that i'm looking for.
     
  29. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 20, 2019
    Maybe he has a tiny one that quality, although I’m sure any size this quality would require tens of thousands of Euros, at least.
     
  30. cawacawa
    Rough_Rock

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    by cawacawa » May 24, 2019
    I would like to know what's the deal with this section of africagems :
    https://www.africagems.com/calibrated-alexandrite-oval-gem.html

    They offer "calibrated" alexandrite from Brazil in "GEM" quality which seems to be the best quality available.
    The price is about half to a third of what they have in store for already cut alexandrite.

    Do you think it's a good idea to buy from that section of their website ? Or should i forget about that option if i'm looking for a quality gem ?

    Also, as a side question, which stone do you think is the best for my engagement ring from their regular section with a 12000€ budget ? And with a 8000€ budget ?

    https://www.africagems.com/alexandrite1caratplus.html?page=0&s=newest
     

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