Alexandrite is a rare gem recently discovered, according to a popular but controversial story, by Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskjold on Alexander II's 16th birthday (April 17, 1834), in an Emerald mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Being a green color, it was originally believed to be an Emerald until introduced to artificial light where it color became a glowing red. The largest Alexandrite cluster to be discovered was found in Russia in 1840 and consists of 22 dark green crystals and weighed in at 28,620 carats (5724 grams). It is known as the Kochubei’s Druse and is housed at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum. The largest uncut Alexandrite individual stone of gem quality was discovered in 1967 by Jules Roger Sauer, in Bahia, Brazil. The stone, named the Sauer Alexandrite, weighs 122,400 carats and is held in Sauer’s private collection. One of the largest faceted Alexandrite (at 66 carats) is part of the Smithsonian collection.
Alexandrite was first attributed with mystical powers by Russian writer Nickolai Sumyonovich Leskov, who defined the gem as a prophetic stone. French author Eliphas Levi connected the duality of the colors with the duality of our blood and referred to the gem as “the favorite charm of our time which clears and strengthens blood vessels”. Alexandrite is said to balance emotions, assist with confidence and self-esteem, and helps to empower oneself. It helps to clarify doubts about love and marriage, brings happiness and success. This stone is regarded as having regenerative powers and can assist in death/ rebirth situations. It furthermore enhances the rebirth of both inner and outer self. Alexandrite is a stone of prosperity and longevity. It can pacify the soul and promote spiritual growth. It is believed to make the wearer calmer and strengthens creative abilities by fostering the imagination. It is also said to boost intuitive abilities. The green daytime appearance brings luck and good fortune, and at night, the red appearance is closely associated with love; and intensifies the feelings of love and sensuality.
In Indian, or Verdic astrology stones are linked with planets. Alexandrite is linked with Mercury, the trickster. Mercury is a fast moving planet represented by the messenger and magician. As Mercury is connected with air, Alexandrite is an air stone. Alexandrite’s ability to change colors and obvious dual nature associates it with Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury. However since Alexandrite can be green (a color connected with Mercury) or red (which has been coupled with Mars), in some references it is also associated with Scorpio, which was once ruled by Mars until the discovery of Pluto. The caduceus symbol used by doctors and medicine is likewise a symbol of Mercury, who is associated with healing and was originally the god of medicine. Therefore Alexandrite is a healing stone. Since Mercury is also the planet of communication, Alexandrite can also enhance communication skills. Mercury furthermore governs the mind and nervous system; therefore Alexandrite is effective in helping to clear the wearer’s mind of stress and to be less susceptible to its physical manifestations.
Alexandrite can also come in Cat’s eye forms which are associated with Ketu or the South Node of the Moon (the point opposite the point where the moon’s orbit crosses the path of the sun). Cat’s Eye versions are usually connected with the sign of Pisces and water; and are believed to save one from enemies, lessen sorrow, poverty, diseases and calamities. They are also alleged to guard against evil spirits, hidden enemies, and can help to find lost money and bring luck.
- Zodiac: Gemini, Scorpio, Pisces
- Planet: Mercury, Mars
- Element: Air, Water
- Chakras: Crown, Heart, Naval
- Deities: Mercury