The Origin

Natural Alexandrite is prized for its ability to instantly change color from a vibrant bluish-green under the daylight to an alluring Cabernet red in incandescent light. Discovered less than 200 years ago in the emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in Russia's Ural Mountains, Alexandrite was named in honor of Czar Alexander II at his coming of age celebration in 1834. Considered one of the World’s rarest gemstones, the original Russian mines were depleted in the late 1800’s despite its noble upbringing with Tsarist Russia.


Color is the most visible and important factor when considering the value of Alexandrite. The most sought after color combinations are gemstones that display a true bluish-green hue under daylight equivalent lighting and a vibrant reddish-purple hue under incandescent lighting.


There is a dramatic rise in value for 'eye clean' gemstones as visible inclusions will affect the light inside the gemstone and impair the color change. Currently, the mines in Brazil are yielding some of the cleanest specimens of Alexandrite found on Earth.


The highest quality Alexandrite is most commonly fashioned in what is a called a 'mixed cut.' This cut allows for a larger table and steeper cut pavilion to maximize the weight, preserve the color saturation and color-change. Fancy shapes are incredibly rare to find as it is more difficult to cut while maintaining the quality of the color-change.


Typically, the value of a colored gemstone is predominately determined by its size, however, with natural Alexandrite, we buy for color-change. A large portion of the very limited supply received from the Brazilian mines are under 0.25ct. when rough. This means that the largest category of faceted Alexandrites are between 0.09ct. to 0.14ct. Stones over 0.75ct. that meet the strict quality control requirements set forth by Mark Henry are extremely difficult to obtain. Increasingly fewer stones over 1.00ct. are available each year.


Inspired by local design, heritage, geography and nature, the Mark Henry design team has been committed to creating what is considered a well curated anthology of world culture that captures the birth and exhilarating history of this phenomenal gemstone.

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