How much is a real alexandrite worth?

The value of real alexandrite can vary widely, influenced by a combination of factors including color change quality, clarity, cut, carat weight, and origin. Known for its remarkable color-changing properties, alexandrite shifts from green in daylight to red in incandescent light, making it one of the most coveted and fascinating gemstones in the world. This article delves into the factors that determine alexandrite's worth and provides insights into its pricing dynamics.

Factors Affecting Alexandrite's Value

1. Color Change Quality

The most significant factor in evaluating alexandrite is the quality of its color change. The most prized stones exhibit a clear and dramatic shift from green to red, with high saturation in both colors. Stones that show a less pronounced color change or less desirable colors (e.g., brownish-green to muddy red) are valued lower.

2. Clarity

Clarity refers to the presence (or absence) of internal flaws (inclusions) within the gemstone. Alexandrites with few to no visible inclusions are rare and, therefore, more valuable. However, because natural alexandrite often contains inclusions, a certain level of them is acceptable and does not detract significantly from the gemstone's value as it might with other gemstones.

3. Cut

The cut of an alexandrite affects its color change, brilliance, and overall appearance. A well-executed cut can enhance the stone's color change and make it more appealing, thereby increasing its value. Skilled gem cutters must balance maximizing the color change effect and the stone's weight, often leading to unique and custom cuts.

4. Carat Weight

Larger pieces of alexandrite are exceedingly rare, especially those that maintain a high-quality color change. As the carat weight increases, the price per carat also rises exponentially. Alexandrites over one carat are considered large and can command very high prices.

5. Origin

Alexandrite from Russia, particularly from the Ural Mountains, is the most valued due to its historical significance and the superior quality of the color change found in specimens from this region. Although alexandrite is also mined in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa, Russian stones usually command a premium.

Pricing Dynamics

Given the factors above, the price of alexandrite can range from a few hundred dollars per carat for stones with less desirable qualities to over $100,000 per carat for top-quality stones, especially those above one carat in weight. For example, a high-quality alexandrite weighing less than one carat might sell for $15,000 to $50,000 per carat, while stones over one carat with exceptional color change and clarity can fetch significantly higher prices.

It's also worth noting that synthetic and lab-created alexandrite is available at a fraction of the cost of natural stones. While these synthetics can mimic the color change to some degree, they do not have the same value as natural alexandrite.


The worth of a real alexandrite is determined by a complex interplay of factors, with color change quality, clarity, cut, carat weight, and origin being the most critical. Due to its rarity and the desirability of its unique optical properties, top-quality alexandrite can be one of the most expensive gemstones on the market. Potential buyers should seek reputable dealers and consider certification from recognized gemological laboratories to ensure the authenticity and quality of their alexandrite gemstones. Given its beauty and rarity, alexandrite remains a sought-after treasure for collectors and gem enthusiasts alike.

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