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Alexandrite source needed


#1

Hi all - I have a customer who is thinking about having something
made for his wife using Alexandrite. I have not worked with this
stone before. Anyone have any suggested sources, and are there any
special things about it that I need to be aware of when setting it?

I did a small amount of internet research, and the prices on what I
have found and origins don’t seem to match the I found,
so I am a bit uncertain. I thought it would be from Brazil, and be
fairly expensive, and what I found was from Africa and inexpensive!
So I’m confused!

Thanks!
Beth in SC


#2

Beth, Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1850’s.
Alexandrite can be tricky. Not the most beautiful of gems, the
Brazilian material which is today considered to have the classic
look generally carries a higher price tag than the African though,
in my view, some of the Tanzanian material is superior in many ways.
I cover quality parameters for grading the stone quite extensively
in my new book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur’s Guide
To Precious Gemstones. Several chapters from the book can be read
on the Ganoksin website and at www.secretsofthegemtrade.com . Due
to the stone’s extreme rarity just about any rough will be cut - so
much that is currently on the market is little more than overpriced
aquarium gravel. A particularly beautiful carat size from Tanzania
can be viewed on my website: http://www.rwwise.com/admin/gallery.php

Richard


#3

Beth, you might consider lab grown alexandrite. Natural alexandrite
is quite expensive. I’m certain there will be many responses about
its qualities so I’ll leave that to the experts.

Jeffrey Everett


#4

Beth and all, I’d love for any who reply to Beth to please share
their responses with me. I just got a request on Friday for an
engagement ring that uses the warmer shades of Alexandrite with
diamonds, and have just started the sourcing process. Since this
will be the first time I’m working with the stone, I’d like to know a
lot more!

Thanks!
Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller


#5

As with all gem materials there is both high and low quality
available. I have had people bring in material to my shop that they
purchased as alexandrite and I had to tell them that I wouldn’t be
able to appraise it as anything but chrysoberyl due to the lack of
color and color change. Fine quality alexandrite should have a
distinctive color change when changing light sources. It should go
from a deep purplish red to a dark green. It should have a high
polish and be fairly reflective. It need not be particularly free of
inclusions if the color change is strong enough. While there is
inexpensive material available, fine alexandrite in the 1 ct. range
should run in the neighborhood of $5-10,000 per carat wholesale.
You could try Boston Gems and Findings in Boston and the James Alger
Co. in Manchester NH (if you want phone numbers email me off list).
Boston Gems will have a range of quality starting at medium quality
to very fine. The Algers should have only fine or very fine quality
material.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG Spirer Somes Jewelers 1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140 617-491-6000 @spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#6

Dear All, I did a lot of searching for alexandrite last year, after
our client broke a stone purchased from us previously. The original
was Brazilian material and very pricey, with exceptional color
change which I have rarely seen. We had a devil of a time. I was
told most sources no longer carry Brazilian material, as African is
much more prevalent and of course generally less expensive. I was
finally able to get some African material that was similar, though
less intense in color. I would try Michael Couch (515)256-0445 or
Pala International (800) 854-1598 or Intercolor (800)245-4367. All
are very agreeable companies and all have had decent supplies of
alexandrite in the past. No connections of course.

Good luck in your search and Happy Holidays to all.

Brenda
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa 50401


#7
 Alexandrite can be tricky.  Not the most beautiful of gems, 

Richard, while that may be true of the lower qualties/cheaper
stones, frankly, I’ve seen a few that are nothing short of stunning,
both in look, and in price. A rich medium dark bluish green much like
a fine tourmaline in daylight or fluorescent, and an equally rich
raspberry red like many rubellite tourmalines in incandescent…
Now, this isn’t the intense fine red of a top quality ruby, or the
intense rich green of a fine emerald, but to downplay the beauty of
these things is to do them disrespect they don’t warrant. While
I’ve certainly seen more of the cheaper ones that have all the beauty
of a handful of muddy gunk, these top flight stones are undeniably
wonderful. At least in my humble opinion…

Peter


#8

An alternative to fine alexandrite is lab grown alexandrite. One
source for this is Chatham. Stuller and others sell this material. I
have used it for some of my clients and they are very happy with it.
It looks great at a fraction of the cost that Daniel mentioned. Joel

Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#9

Try Kothari & Co. in Los Angeles for difficult colored stone calls
like Alexandrite. Ask for Donna. 213-627-3456

Daniel Ballard


#10

In looking for the Alexandrite at an affordable price, but that also
looks nice, (Richard on the list has an incredible Alexandrite, that
is unfortunately way too much money! Gorgeous though, if you have a
customer with deep pockets!), I have run across two possible sources
that I have not dealt with. Wondered if anyone has, and what your
satisfaction level was. First is www.multicolour.com and the second
is www.geolite.com Please let me know what you think of either of
these as sources.

Thanks!
Beth in SC


#11

I have two matched ovals, 1ct each of brazilian origin and would be
very open to sell should this meet your need.

Sandy Moon
Sandy Moon Jewels
936-443-4766
Houston TX


#12

I’ll tell you who has Alexandrite and some of the best prices in the
country. We do, and I’ll tell you why.

We stock more than a dozen Natural Russian, Brazilian and African.
No stones with poor color change or deep cuts. If you prefer
synthetic, we carry hundreds of Czochralski pulled and hydrothermal
stones for $40.00 per carat. Compare the price with Stuller or
Chatham who sell for $100 plus per carat. It is the same material!

Our good friends the Russians, Brazilians and Africans come to us.
We do not have overhead like these larger companies in NY or LA and
we have no employees. We spend almost nothing on advertising, as you
can tell, and I do all the website development, design, articles,
maintenance and photography. Maybe we can help you?

Merry Christmas,

Ed Cleveland
720-318-4325
http://www.kashmirblue.com


#13
  First is www.multicolour.com and the second is www.geolite.com
Please let me know what you think of either of these as sources. 

Hi Beth, I haven’t ordered from Geolite yet but I have enjoyed using
their site. They offer both natural and manmade stones.

I like how they give a detailed description of the color of the
stones since you can’t always depend on your computer screen to give
an accurate reading. I think Geolite also manufactures the stones
themselves.

They seem to have a nice selection of man-made Padparadscha
Sapphires in a variety of shades.

Dan T.