Is Alexandrite More Valuable Than Diamonds?

By | June 1, 2024

Imagine uncovering a gemstone that changes color before your eyes and holds a mystique unlike any diamond you’ve ever seen. In “Is Alexandrite More Valuable Than Diamonds?”, you embark on a journey to explore the unique allure and rarity of alexandrite compared to the timeless brilliance of diamonds. By delving into the fascinating characteristics, market value, and history of these extraordinary gems, you gain a deeper appreciation for what truly makes one stone more precious than the other. Have you ever wondered if there are gems out there more precious than diamonds? If so, you’ve likely stumbled upon the fascinating world of alexandrite. This remarkable and rare gemstone has captivated jewel enthusiasts and collectors for decades. Today, we’re diving into the intriguing question: “Is Alexandrite More Valuable Than Diamonds?”

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Understanding Alexandrite

What is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a variety of the mineral chrysoberyl and is known for its extraordinary ability to change color depending on the light it is exposed to. In daylight, alexandrite appears green, whereas under incandescent light, it transforms to a purplish-red. This unique phenomenon is due to the complex way alexandrite absorbs and reflects light. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it has become one of the most coveted and rare gemstones in the world.

The Unique Color-Change Phenomenon

The color-change effect in alexandrite is not just a mere optical illusion. It is caused by the gemstone’s exceptional capability to absorb light from different parts of the spectrum. This occurs because of trace amounts of chromium present in the mineral’s composition. Imagine having a gemstone that looks entirely different depending on whether you’re outside or inside—it’s like owning two gemstones in one!

Historical Background

Alexandrite was named after Russian Tsar Alexander II, marking its royal roots. Initially, it was found exclusively in Russia, which only added to its allure and rarity. While alexandrite has since been discovered in other parts of the world, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa, high-quality pieces remain incredibly rare.

Understanding Diamonds

What are Diamonds?

Diamonds are crystalline forms of carbon and are the hardest known natural material on Earth. They have been cherished for their brilliance, fire, and beauty for centuries. Formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under extreme pressure and temperature, diamonds are brought to the surface through volcanic activity. Their unparalleled hardness and optical properties make them a favorite for various industrial applications and, of course, in jewelry.

The Four Cs of Diamonds

When evaluating diamonds, four key characteristics come into play, known as the “Four Cs”: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity.

  • Carat – This measures the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.
  • Cut – The cut affects the diamond’s brilliance. A well-cut diamond will reflect light internally and disperse it through the top of the stone, resulting in exceptional sparkle.
  • Color – The color quality of diamonds is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
  • Clarity – This refers to the presence of internal or external imperfections, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively.

Historical Background

Diamonds have a long and storied history. They have been mined for over 2,500 years, with the first significant sources being found in India. The allure of diamonds transcends cultures, making them a universal symbol of love, wealth, and status.

Is Alexandrite More Valuable Than Diamonds?

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Comparing Alexandrite and Diamonds


When it comes to rarity, alexandrite trumps diamonds without question. Gem-quality alexandrite is incredibly scarce, especially those exhibiting a strong color-change effect. Despite the global proliferation of diamond mines, high-quality alexandrite remains challenging to come by. To put it in perspective, the ratio of gem-quality diamonds to alexandrite is staggering, making the latter significantly rarer.

Rarity Comparison Table

GemstoneRarity Level
AlexandriteExtremely rare

Aesthetic Appeal

Both alexandrite and diamonds boast unique aesthetic features. While diamonds are famed for their fiery brilliance and sparkle, alexandrite’s color change phenomenon offers a distinct and mesmerizing visual experience. The dual-color personality of alexandrite can captivate anyone, making it a conversation starter. Conversely, diamonds, with their timeless sparkle, have long been seen as the epitome of elegance and luxury.

Historical Value

Historically, diamonds have been revered as symbols of eternity, wealth, and romantic commitment. Alexandrite, in contrast, has captivated collectors and enthusiasts because of its rarity and the almost magical color-changing property. However, it may not hold the same widespread recognition as diamonds.

Industrial Uses

Diamonds are not only prized for their beauty but also for their unparalleled hardness. They are used extensively in cutting, grinding, and drilling applications across various industries. Alexandrite, on the other hand, does not have industrial applications and is valued primarily for its aesthetic qualities.

Market Value and Price

The market value of gemstones can be tricky to generalize since it depends on numerous factors such as quality, size, and provenance. Historically, top-quality alexandrite can fetch higher prices per carat than similarly sized diamonds due to its rarity. However, the everyday consumer might not be willing to pay more for alexandrite simply because it lacks the widespread recognition of diamonds.

Price Comparison Table (approximate prices per carat)

GemstoneHigh-Quality Price Range (per carat)
Alexandrite$15,000 – $70,000
Diamonds$2,000 – $15,000

Investment Potential

Alexandrite as an Investment

Investing in alexandrite can be lucrative but requires a keen understanding of the market and the stone’s unique attributes. The gemstone’s rarity means it can appreciate in value significantly over time. However, it is crucial to purchase from reputable dealers to ensure authenticity and quality.

Diamonds as an Investment

Diamonds are also a popular choice for investors, albeit for different reasons. The diamond industry is more established, and there is a broader market for these gems. While the potential returns may be less explosive compared to alexandrite, the market for diamonds is generally more liquid, making it easier to sell them when needed.

Risk Factors

Investment in gemstones is not without risk. Market conditions, public interest, and other economic factors can influence the value of both diamonds and alexandrite. Proper storage and maintenance are also essential to preserve their value over time.

Is Alexandrite More Valuable Than Diamonds?

Popular Uses in Jewelry

Alexandrite Jewelry

Due to its rarity, alexandrite is often set in high-end, bespoke jewelry pieces. Rings, necklaces, and earrings featuring this captivating gem are treasures in any collection. Alexandrite’s color-changing property adds an element of surprise and uniqueness to any piece, making it especially attractive to those looking for something extraordinary.

Diamond Jewelry

Diamonds are the go-to choice for engagement rings, wedding bands, and a wide array of other fine jewelry. Their versatility and timeless appeal make them suitable for various settings and styles. Diamond jewelry is often passed down through generations as heirlooms, solidifying its place in popular culture.

Caring for Your Gemstones

How to Care for Alexandrite

Taking care of alexandrite involves some specific steps to maintain its beauty:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Substances like bleach or ammonia can damage the stone.
  • Use mild soap and water: Clean your alexandrite jewelry gently with mild soap and water, then dry it with a soft cloth.
  • Proper Storage: Store alexandrite separately from other gemstones to avoid scratches.

How to Care for Diamonds

Diamonds, though hard, still need care to maintain their luster:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your diamond jewelry regularly to remove oils and dirt.
  • Professional Inspection: Have your diamonds inspected by a professional jeweler periodically to check for loose settings.
  • Storage: Store diamonds in padded boxes to avoid scratching other jewelry pieces.

Final Thoughts

So, is alexandrite more valuable than diamonds? The answer isn’t straightforward. In terms of rarity and unique features, alexandrite definitely holds its own and can even surpass diamonds in terms of price per carat for high-quality stones. However, diamonds enjoy a broader market appeal, historical significance, and more extensive applications, making them more accessible and widely recognized.

Both gemstones offer unique value propositions, and your personal preference, whether you are an investor or a jewelry enthusiast, will ultimately dictate which stone is more valuable to you. Whether you’re charmed by the magical color-change of alexandrite or the timeless sparkle of diamonds, both of these magnificent gems are treasures worth cherishing.

Embark on your gem-collecting journey armed with this knowledge, and you may just find that the world of gemstones offers beauty and value in more ways than you ever imagined.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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