Pearls are naturally iridescent gemstones, composed primarily of calcium carbonate. Grown inside oysters and other shelled mollusks, the same material can be found on the inner lining of the shells. As well as the birthstone for the month of June, pearls are popularly known as a gift for 30th wedding anniversaries, Mother’s Day gifts, and graduation presents. Their natural elegance and shine is prized throughout the world, symbolizing classic sophistication.
The most-prized alexandrites show a strong color change from bluish green in daylight and red to purplish red in incandescent light, with moderately strong to strong color saturation.
Alexandrites tend to contain few inclusions. There’s a dramatic rise in value for clean material with good color change and strong hues. Rarely parallel needle-like inclusions create a cat’s-eye phenomenon, increasing the alexandrite’s value.
Alexandrites are most often fashioned as mixed cuts, which have brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions. Alexandrite’s pleochroism makes it a challenge for cutters. When fashioning alexandrite, cutters orient the gem to show the strongest color change through the crown.
Alexandrite is a durable stone, just behind diamonds on the hardness scale, this makes them an excellent choice to last for generations. The stones are suitable for daily wear, care should be taken when storing them to prevent chips and scratches. Store your Alexandrite jewelry separate from your other gems with in their own bag or box. Clean them regularly with warm soapy water, and gently wipe with a clean, dry soft, cloth.