Friday, September 14, 2007

How can I spot the difference between a natural and a synthetic alexandrite?

Natural alexandrites are available in a complete range of colors from brownish to bluish green in daylight to pink, purple, red or brownish red under incandescent light. Compared to natural gemstones, most synthetic alexandrites are somewhat more blue under fluorescent light and strongly red under incandescent light. Large clean and inexpensive stones offered as natural alexandrites are most probably synthetic or not alexandrite at all.

Gemologists study the inclusions to distinguish between natural and synthetic alexandrite. Synthetic stones may also have a lower refractive index and show more fluorescence than natural stones. Natural alexandrites should be purchased from reputable dealers and expensive stones should also be tested and certified by a well established gem lab.

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