Gemstones that change color are some of the rarest and most unique gemstones to exist. They are widely known and appreciated owing to their phenomenal dual nature which is characterized by having different colors when they interact with different types of lighting i.e cool or warm, natural sunlight and incandescent or artificial lighting. In this blog, we will share with you a few of these gemstones that display this beautiful color shifting phenomena.
What causes the Color Change Phenomena?
How we observe different gemstones depends on what color they reflect when they interact with light, for example a blue sapphire absorbs and reflects back the color blue. However, different light settings can affect what colors we see. Daylight contains more blue and green light and has a great blue wavelength and less red light or whereas incandescent light has more red light or a greater red wavelength and less blue and green light. So for example a blue sapphire viewed under daylight, it reflects blue, but when observed under incandescent light, it will look different to one seen in sunlight, it will be more red or deep violet depending on the wavelength of the light that is being emitted.
Alexandrite is a variety of the Chrysoberyl mineral family that has the unique color change property. In day light, Alexandrites are a pale to emerald green color, while in incandescent lighting, they exhibit a ruby red to purplish red color. Originally discovered in Russia, this stone was named after Alexander, Czar of Russia due to resembling the colors of the Imperial Russian Court. The chemical composition gives this variety of Chrysoberyl its rarity due to containing traces of chromium alongside iron and titanium, which in turn causes its color change phenomena.
Alexandrites are popularly known as ‘Emeralds by day, rubies by night’ due to its color change phenomena which causes a shift from its green hues to red when interacting with different types of lighting. They are by far one of the rarest and most popular color change gemstones.
Another color changing gemstone variety includes Sapphires. Sapphires as we know are a variety of corundum which is available in a wide spectrum of colors including yellow, pink, orange, green, brown and purple to violet hued sapphires. Of course, these colors are a result of different trace elements including iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium. But another interesting variety known as color change sapphires give these gemstones a unique and much rarer quality.
As the name suggests, these sapphires look different in color under different lighting. In natural light, they will look blue, and when they are viewed under indoor or incandescent light, they will be more violet or purple hued. Similarly, green hued sapphires that look so in natural light will look red or reddish brown under incandescent light, quite similar to Alexandrite.
Color Change Garnets
Color change Garnets are another stunning variety of color change gemstones. Garnets, much like Sapphires, come in a wide range of colors. The color change variety of Garnets is similar to Sapphires and Alexandrite that change from green to red. This effect is said to be limited to a variety of Garnets known as Pyrope Garnets. However, color change Garnets may also shift from a pale yellow to deep orange color and rich honey to golden brown.
Color Change Spinel
Color change Spinels display the same phenomena as the above mentioned gemstones. It shows a color change from violet-blue in daylight to red-violet in artificial light. This particularly unusual and rare color change variety of Spinel is said to have originated in Sri Lanka and shows a phenomena which is very similar to color change Sapphires.
While there are other color change gemstones such as Fluorite and Disapore, Alexandrite, Color change Sapphires, Garnets and Spinel remain the most valuable and rare color change gemstones, due to which they fetch an even higher price per carat as compared to their single color variants.
More importantly, Alexandrites are considered the most important out of all these color change gemstones, to the extent that all the other color change gemstones that display the phenomena are also labelled as having the ‘Alexandrite’ effect, making it a measure of quality and strength of the phenomena displayed by these gemstones.
Color change gemstones are rare gemstones that are an asset to the jewelry industry all over the globe due to their remarkable beauty and effect. We have precious Alexandrite as part of our loose gemstones catalogue. We also offer customised services where you can pick a gem of your liking and have us create personalized jewelry according to your requirements. For more details visit https://galtandbro.com/personalized-creations/