Columns Russia Seeks to Quadruple Alexandrite Production The gem is often called ’emerald by day and ruby by night.’ Published 9 months ago on April 19, 2021 By Howard Cohen Share Tweet ALEXANDRITE IS ONE of the rarest and most expensive gemstones on the planet. During an average year, worldwide production is barely 40 kilograms (88 lbs) and 93% of that production can be traced to Brazil. Russia ranks a distant second in alexandrite production, but is looking to quadruple the output of the unique, color-change gem at its Mariinsky mine in the Ural Mountains. The announcement was made by officials at the state-controlled corporation Rostec, which operates the country’s only emerald placer mine. (Placer mining is when minerals, such as alexandrite or emerald, are separated from sand or gravel using running water.) The acceleration of alexandrite production in Russia is particularly significant because the gem — which is often called “emerald by day and ruby by night” — was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830. Gem legend states that Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792-1865) received a mineral sample from Count Lev Alekseevich Perovskii (1792-1856) that seemed very much like an emerald. But when the mineralogist inspected the gem under candlelight, the green gem had turned raspberry red. According to the Smithsonian, Nordenskiöld had intended to name the new variety of chrysoberyl “diaphanite,” but the Count insisted that it be called “alexandrite” to curry favor with the Russian royal family and Czar Alexander II. (The gem was said to be discovered on the Czar’s birthday.) Advertisement Emphasizing that 2020 was a particularly difficult year at the Mariinsky mine due to COVID-19-related issues, Rostec chief executive Kirill Fedorov told the TASS news agency that his company mined just a single kilogram of alexandrite in 2020. That number should reach 4 kilograms in 2021 as production gears up to address a resurgence in demand. Russia currently accounts for 4% of the world’s alexandrite production. Fedorov called alexandrite “the world’s rarest precious stone” and added that prices for both alexandrite and emeralds have increased in the range of 30% since 2018. The color-changing property of alexandrite has been attributed to the presence of chromium in the gem’s chemical makeup. In normal daylight, a fine alexandrite will appear bluish-green, but under lamplight or candle flame, the gem transitions to a vibrant raspberry red. The chromium allows the gem to absorb light in the yellow and blue parts of the spectrum. Related Topics: Featured click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Rail Conductor Reunites Jeweler With $107K in Engagement Ring Samples Don't Miss Half Eagle Gold Coin Sells for Record-Breaking $8.4M Howard Cohen Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, [email protected]. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com. Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson When Peter Reines, owner of Reines Jewelers in Charlottesville, VA, decided it was time to turn over the “reins” of his 45-year-old business to Jessica and Kevin Rogers, he chose Wilkerson to run his liquidation sale. It was, he says, the best way to maximize the return on his decades-long investment in fine jewelry. Now, with new owners at the helm, Reines can relax knowing that the sale was a success, and his new life is financially secure. And he’s glad he partnered with Wilkerson for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “There’s just no way one person or company could run a sale the way we did,” he says. You may like Promoted Headlines Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson Wilkerson Consolidating Stores? Time to Call the Experts! Wilkerson It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement Wilkerson Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Press Releases1 day ago SJTA Announces 2022 Board of Directors Columns1 day ago Here’s Why You Should Consider Hiring a Business Coach Cover Stories1 day ago 23 Ways to Do More in Your Business by Doing Less Brainstorms1 day ago Take Leave of the 21st Century With an Amish Hour Sponsored Content2 days ago Thinking of Liquidating? 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