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The forgotten history of jewellery: Alexandrite

Published on Sunday 02 June 2019

The forgotten history of jewellery: Alexandrite

June’s Birthstone Alexandrite represents balance, love and healing

Catherine Hills Jewellery Alexandrite cabinet

Story of June’s Birthstone Alexandrite

Catherine Hills Jewellery Alexandrite studs

Still incredibly rare, this June’s birthstone Alexandrite wasn’t discovered until the 19th century. It was first found by workers in an emerald mine who thought the gems were emeralds until they gave off a brilliant red glow in the firelight before returning to their elegant teal shade in the morning.

How are Alexandrites Formed?

Catherine Hills Jewellery Alexandrite satsuma studs

Alexandrite is formed when molten lava is pushed through the Earth’s crust under extremely high pressure in small quantities.

History and Meaning of Alexandrite

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Pollen charm alexandrite cluster pendant

Alexandrite takes its name from Prince Alexander II of Russia as the stone was first discovered on his birthday in 1830 in the emerald mines near the Ural Mountains.

Alexandrite is the national stone of Russia as it appears both green and red which are old Imperial Russia’s military colours.

Colours of Alexandrite

Catherine Hills Jewellery Alexandrite pollen charm

Alexandrites are often a similar shade of green to emeralds in daylight, turning a fiery raspberry red by night. I’ve chosen Alexandrites with a slight blue hue to the green for my new birthstone Satsuma stud earrings.

Pearls and Moonstone are also alternative June birthstones.

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Pollen charm alexandrite ring set

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