What Is Lab Created Alexandrite

Understanding Lab Created Alexandrite

When talking about alexandrite it is important to clarify the issue about lab alexandrite. In the gem trade, a lab gemstone or a created gemstone is a gem that is made in a factory. In our case the name alexandrite would refer to a natural gem, the name lab alexandrite would refer to an artificial gem that imitates alexandrite. Jewelers who normally do not deal in artificial gems often make an exception when it comes to artificial alexandrite, the reason for this will become clearer in the paragraphs below.

The gem Alexandrite was first found in Russia, it was aptly named after Russian tsar Alexander II. This reference is ofcourse made to natural alexandrite and not factory made imitations. The gem quickly gained importance but has until today, remained as an expensive gem, affordable by a few wealthy people. Alexandrite has a natural property that is very rare, it changes color in different light conditions, not many gems can boast of this capability. Combine this with the fact that, a very small amount of alexandrite is present in the mines on our planet and you will understand why the supply and demand equation pushes the price up. If you considered only gem quality alexandrite with clear and good color change, the rarity of the gemstone is further exaggerated.

Natural alexandrite gems can wear price tags in the range of 3,000 to 6,000 U.S$ or even more per carat. This is surely a price range that will be beyond most budgets. Those prices do sound scary to most of us, but that is the way things are.

The fact that natural alexandrite is so rare and so very expensive, has encouraged the development and production of lab created alexandrite. The production of lab alexandrite is done in a factory environment. Created gems match the chemical and optical properties of natural gems. A lab created alexandrite will therefor exhibit the color change phenomenon seen in the natural stone.

Created alexandrite gems would obviously be very much cheaper as compared to their natural counterparts. These lab created gems are also available in larger sizes and this increases the scope of jewelry designs that can be crafted.

There is nothing wrong in buying or selling a lab created alexandrite as long as, the buyer is aware of what he or she is getting. The price charged by the seller should clearly reflect the fact that, the gem is not natural but man made.