Alexandrite from Zimbabwe
The past year we have been to two overseas shows with the alexandrite and people are now calling me Mr Alexandrite. It has been quite an interesting yourney. I like to share some of this with you.
Firstly some interesting facts about alexandrite and our perceptions about the stone.
- Alexandrite is extremely scarce and is only found in a few places in the earth. A bizare geological happening must occur for alexandrite to form and this is only occured in a few spots in the world.
- Alexandrite crystals can have interesting shapes due to twinning. A crystal can twin 3 times and form a perfect star like the one on the photo. How cool is that!
- Then we have another great characteristic of alexandrite and that is the color change under different lights. Have you ever seen that? Some crystals go ruby red and others only have slight pink on the edges under incandescent light.
So how did we travel with the alexandrite?
It has been quite an interesting yourney. People only take you seriously if you have enough stock and if you represent the source. Well that we did on both scores. we are the official representatives from the mine. Hard rock pegmatite mining is both expensive and unpredictable.
We get the alexandrite from the mine completely hidden in a bed of mica. Now comes the hard work. Specimen preparation! I have to carefully peel back mica bit by bit and then finally I see what is underneath.
Seldom does it turn out as a WOW crystal. Out of 100 you might have one good complete crystal with good form and color change. Now comes the interesting part.
Taking your crystals to the market place.
- This is quite scary!
- What if I do not sell anything?
- Is my stock good enough for the international market?
This can also be stressfull. Everybody wants that perfect crystal at a good price. So your best crystals sells out fast and then you are left with the rest. Selling these can be a real slog. So getting all the stock from a mine and turning all into cash can be challenging. Buying and selling only the best is often an easier route as a mineral dealer. As long as you do not pay too much you are safe. We have done well so far and at the end of October 2017 we have another show in Germany where we are going to bare our souls. And this stunning crystal is going with.