Invest In Gemstones

Alexandrite has a history filled with my mystique and intrigue. One of the most rare of gems that are found on our planet, the value of fine quality natural Alexandrite keeps increasing in value each year. New deposits of this awesome gem have been found in India, Brazil, and several other countries. However, due to mining conditions and the natural inclusions usually found in Alexandrite, quality gems are still rare and hard to find. Khazargems, with family and close friendships around the world, is able to make available this gem for investment and personal enjoyment. Untreated colored gemstones also continue to increase in value as fewer and fewer gem quality stones are being found. Many mines have been overworked for years and are producing limited quantities of gem quality stones. Others have closed altogether due to natural disasters and being completly worked out.

Color-change gemstones are the rarest of gems. These gems display one color in daylight and fluorescent light and a different color in soft incandescent light and candlelight. Alexandrite, a form of crysoberyl, is the only natural gemstone to always have a color-change although there are other colored gemstones that can be found (although very rarely) with color-change.

Because of the scarcity of new deposits of high quality gemstone rough, lesser quality stones are being treated in new ways to bring them up to the look that people love and desire. Unfortunately, treated gemstones can become brittle and/or lose their color and luster due to time, climate, and other conditions. To the untrained eye, many new methods of gemstone treatment are difficult to detect. Even treatments that are permanent tend to decrease the value of a gemstone.

When buying a gemstone for investment, a gift, or for your own personal adornment, it is important to understand the four C’s- Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carats. Once these are known and you determine the amount of money you want to invest, go for quality rather than size. A smaller, high quality gemstone will increase more in value than a larger, lower qualtiy one of the same type.

Khazargems sells only 1st grade (top quality) natural Alexandrite and other colored gemstones. Your purchase will truly be an investment as well as a wonder of nature.

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Before Purchasing

So you have picked out your Alexandrite and are anxiously awaiting its arrival to your home. When you receive the parcel you excitedly open it expecting….

Different gem labs grade clarity in colored gemstones differently. Khazargems uses the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Colored Gemstone Grading Scale. According to the GIA – perhaps the world’s best known and trusted Gem Association and Lab, there are THREE different charts for grading colored gemstones (and Diamonds). Perhaps the one that most jewelers are familiar with is the Type 1 Gemstone Chart, which includes the grading of Diamonds. The Chart that a gemstone is graded in is dependent on the physical characteristics of the majority of a particular gemstone; such as Alexandrite being graded as a Type 2.. The charts and the gemstones that fit into each are as follows:

GIA Type 1 Clarity Chart

VVSVery Very Slightly Included – Minute to not detectable
VSVery Slightly Included – minor
SI1Slightly Included – NOTICEABLE to obvious
SI2Slightly Included 2 – OBVIOUS to noticeable
I1Included 1 – Prominent – moderate effect on appearance or durability
I2Included 2 – Prominent – severe effect on appearance & durability
I3Included 3 – Prominent – severe effect on beauty, transparency & durability
Type 1 Gemstones are gemstones that are normally found to be clean.  This includes gems such as Amethyst, Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Citrine, Kunzite, Tanzanite, Yellow Beryl, Yellow Chrysoberyl, Diamond.

GIA Type 2 Clarity Chart

VVSVery Very Slightly Included – Minor inclusions
VSVery Slightly Included – NOTICEABLE to Obvious
SI1Slightly Included – Noticeable to OBVIOUS
SI2Slightly Included 2 – Obvious to Prominent
I1Included 1 – Prominent – moderate effect on appearance or durability
I2Included 2 – Prominent – severe effect on appearance & durability
I3Included 3 – Prominent – severe effect on beauty, transparency & durability
Type 2 Colored Gemstones by their nature have natural inclusions. (Inclusions are the norm) This includes gems such as Andalusite, Crysoberyl, Alexandrite, Corundum (i.e. Sapphire and Ruby), Garnet, Peridot, Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Spinel, Tourmaline, Zircon.

GIA Type 3 Clarity Chart

VVSVery Very Slightly Included – NOTICEABLE to obvious
VSVery Slightly Included – Noticeable to OBVIOUS
SI1Slightly Included – OBVIOUS to prominent
SI2Slightly Included 2 – Obvious to PROMINENT
I1Included 1 – Prominent – considerable effect on appearance or durability
I2Included 2 – Prominent – severe effect on transparency or durability
I3Included 3 – Prominent – severe effect on beauty, transparency & durability
DeclassStones not transparent because of inclusions
Type 3 Colored Gemstones by their nature have many natural inclusions. (Heavily Included is the norm) This includes gems such as Emerald, red Beryl, Rubellite Tourmaline.

Other labs grade gemstone clarity as: Fine, Good, Fair, Poor; or Eye clean, Slightly Included, Moderately Included, Included. Some labs even describe clarity as: Transparent, Translucent, or Opaque.

Khazargems uses the GIA grading because it is more descriptive and has more divisions in the grading.

EXPLANATION OF COLOR IN GEMSTONES

It is difficult to describe coloration so that it means the same to all individuals. Even the pictures that we take are a) static- that is the light reflected through one plane because the gem is not moving, and b) monitors show color differently depending on the brand and how the brightness and other adjustments are set. Coloration in an Alexandrite is the gem’s MOST IMPORTANT characteristic in both the daylight coloration and the color change coloration. Khazargems describes color through:

 

Color is described in gems through:

  • Hue – the exact color in the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet); Intensity or Saturation- the brightness or dullness of the color.
  • Tone – how light or dark the stone is (how much black or white is present).
  • Distribution – the evenness of color throughout the stone (Zoning).

When reading a description of the color of a gem if there are mixed hues, the predominant hue is Capitalized and the lesser hue is lower case. For example: bluish-Green; Green is the predominant color and blue is the lesser (underlying) color.

 

Alexandrite is a Phenomenal Gem that is a gemstone that naturally displays a different color depending on the wavelengths of the light passing through the stone. The strength of the color change and the coloration of Alexandrite are the MOST IMPORTANT characteristics of this gem. Khazargems grades color change on the following scale:

 

Color is described by Hue. Where there are mixed hues, the predominant hue is Capitalized and the lesser hue is lower case. For example: bluish-GreenGreen is the predominant color and blue is the lesser (underlying) color. 

 

Color-change % approximately translates to:

95%Vivid – Easily Changes, Extremely Strong
75%Strong – Changes Easily
50%Moderate – Apparent Color Change
30%Weak – Subtle Color Change

 

BRILLIANCE in a gemstone is described by the amount, or percentage, of white light that reflects and refracts from a gemstone while looking down at the table (the top) of the gem from above. The greater the brilliance the more alive the gem appears. This is different from Sparkle, which is the myriad sparks of color that are seen when a gem is rotated in light.

 

Brilliance is described by the amount, or percentage, of light that reflects and refracts from a gemstone while looking down at the table of the gem from above. The greater the brilliance the more alive the gem appears. 

 

Brilliance (Approximatel)y Translates To:

ExcellentFull brilliance throughout the gem.
FineBrilliance through 90% of the gem.
GoodBrilliance through 70% of the gem.
FairBrilliance primarily on the edge of the gem.
PoorBrilliance seen only in strong light.

  

WINDOWING – most Alexandrite are cut by native gem cutters that have been taught from father to son for generations. Since Alexandrite is such a rare gemstone and is found in smaller crystal size, the rough is cut with the least waste to create the largest gemstone possible. A majority of Alexandrite that is faceted in the Oval shape will have windows where the faceting under the gem does not reflect the light back up to viewer in a dispersal pattern. In the following gems windowing can be viewed in the center of the stone:

Large Window

Medium Window

Small Window

Alexandrite that have beautifully saturated coloration and strong color change with little or no windowing command a premium in pricing since a piece of rough that can be faceted into a One Carat Oval Alexandrite with windowing will generally be about 0.65 carat to 0.75 carat if cut without windowing.

Size – The Alexandrite you receive is NOT going to be the size you see on your computer monitor. Khazargems takes pictures of the gemstone or jewelry next to a millimeter ruler to help you see the size. Khazargems also gives the dimensions of the gem inmillimeters (mm). Millimeters are not inches! One inch equals 25.5mm. A gemstone that is 8mm x 6.5mm will equal 5/16 inches x 1/4 inches approximately. We measure in millimeters because it is the common measurement of all major gem labs and mines for gemstones.

Viewing YOUR Alexaxdrite – Now that you know what to expect when you open your parcel to view your Alexandrite, also know that to show the best GREEN color, take the gem outside and view it. To see the best color change look under low wattage incandescent lighting (not the “blue” bright white bulbs). Rotate your Alexandrite to get the most impact from all the facets and axis.

Mixed lighting sources can create mixed coloration from greenish bluish grey to purple gray lavender with flashes of red, violet, blue, green.

Experiment and you will find that your Alexandrite has its own unique identity depending on the light it is in and how it is viewed. These are your Alexandrite’s identifying characteristics and are individual to each stone. Enjoy your incredible wonder of nature!!!

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An Historical History Of Alexandrite

Formed millions of years ago when the earth was a molten mass, one of the most rare of gems, natural Alexandrite has a mysterious and sinuous history woven through the mystique of explorers, czars, princesses and emperors.

Hidden for millennium deep within the earth’s crust, Alexandrite first came to light in the 19th century. Discovered by a now unknown farmer in the outposts of the Urals, a single glowing green crystal was found under the roots of a stunted tree. This crystal was thought to be an emerald- queen of the empire’s jewels. Other glowing crystals were discovered in the same region and hidden in the Empress Ekaterina’s private jewel vaults. Unknown to her, a lowly caretaker of the royal vaults sold some of these glowing crystals at a high price to a visiting German Prince who had them cut and set into magnificent settings for his wife, the Princess. The Princess bejeweled herself with her Alexandrite ring, Alexandrite earrings, natural Alexandrite and white gold tiara, and a many Alexandrite and diamond bejeweled necklace. All the Alexandrite gemstones were set in glorious settings.

On a later date in the middle of the 19th century, the Princess, wearing her Alexandrite jewelry, and the Empress met at a grand ball. Happenstance declared itself as the Empress admired the breathtaking jewels of the Princess, and the Princess declared they were from Russia, with love, from the Prince. It was noticed, that in the torchlight, the jewels glowed a purple red.

Seething with anger that these glowing jewels were not hers, the Empress sent envoys to her Royal Jewel Vaults and discovered more of these gems hidden away in the recesses of the vault. The caretaker was imprisoned and executed, the rest of the ‘Emerald’s were brought out to light where it was discovered that they too changed from a cool, Mediterranean blue-green in the light of the day, to a hot, smoldering purple red in torchlight.

Alexander Nikolayevich (1818-1881) became Emperor of all Imperial Russia in the middle of the 19th century suceeding Ekaterina. His sweeping reforms earned him the love of the people and the hate of the nobility. Alexander sold Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to the United States and by doing so earned the enmity of revolutionary students- one of whom threw a bomb that mortally wounded the Czar.

Born in the middle 1800’s, Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskjold was a Finnish-Swedish mineralogist and world famous explorer of the Northeast Passage. He collected rare and unusual minerals from Finland and Russia. Forced from his homeland, Finland, for his political views, he explored the Artic for the Swedish and pushed far into northern icey waters. During the last ten years of his life he wrote profusely about his travels and finds. It was at this time, late in the 19th century and the cusp of the 20th century, that he classified the mysterious color changing gem from Russia and named it after the Emperor he admired and who had died for the cause of his country: Czar Alexander II.

Steeped in mystery, Alexandrite continues to mystify and capture the attention of royalty, scientists, gemologists, and gem lovers alike. Pushed through alluvial molten rock over tens of thousands of years Alexandrite contains iron and titanium as well as the elements of chromium and beryllium: a combination of chemical elements that had not been found together before. Alexandrite’s unique optical qualities as well as its hardness (8.5 Mohs) has made it the most sought after gem in the world.

Natural Alexandrite is still making its mark in history: Alexandrite is the Birthstone of June, placed in the crowns of Royalty around the world, is attributed to health and strength, and is the colors of Imperial Russia. Alexandrite is now mined in India, Brazil, Africa and the far east and the alexandrite of each mine has its own unique characteristics.

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