Stories Accessories Is An Alexandrite Engagement Ring Better Than A Diamond One?

Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia almost 200 years ago. The name of this gemstone comes from the Russian Czar, Alexander II. Since the discovery of alexandrite almost two centuries ago, the gemstone has become highly desirable.

Of course, diamonds have long been seen as the ultimate precious gemstone. Famous names such as Elizabeth Taylor have flaunted impressive rocks on their fingers. Yet, alexandrite is growing in popularity for both engagement and wedding rings.

But, does that mean alexandrite is a better choice than a diamond for wedding jewelry? And what are the key differences between diamonds and alexandrite?

What is alexandrite?

Chrysoberyl is a mineral that comes in a range of colors and makes an affordable gemstone. You can find chrysoberyl to be translucent or transparent and in the following colors.

  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Pink
  • Black
  • Red
  • Grey
  • Orange

This mineral sometimes has a cat’s eye effect making it an attractive gemstone when of sufficient quality. But, the rarest variety of chrysoberyl is known as alexandrite, and it is this stone that is precious.

Now, alexandrite rings from are sought after and coveted as jewelry for their appearance and rarity.

Is alexandrite precious?

Chrysoberyl itself is regarded as semi-precious. It is an attractive gemstone that is common but overlooked by most consumers. Diamonds are the most favored gemstone for engagement rings still. And this gemstone can be very precious.

Alexandrite though is one of the most precious gemstones that can be bought today. Compared to diamonds, alexandrite will generally cost more. Marital jewelry plays a pivotal role in getting married, and alexandrite could help make the perfect wedding day even more special.

How do diamonds and alexandrite compare?

Just because alexandrite is rare, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for an engagement ring. Diamonds have been used for wedding and engagement rings for centuries. The first recorded evidence of a diamond wedding ring was in England in the late 1300s, and this gemstone has come to be linked with marriage tradition.

But, other gemstones are giving diamonds a run for their money. And as birthstones come into fashion even more, gems such as alexandrite are growing in popularity. Here is how diamonds and alexandrite compare.

The Mohs hardness scale

This scale determines how hard a particular gemstone is, and its suitability for everyday wear.

Diamonds are 10 on the Mohs hardness scale as they are the hardest naturally occurring substance in the world. They cannot be damaged or scratched. Alexandrite however is tough enough to be worn every day under normal conditions too.

Alexandrite comes in at 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale which means it is as hard as a masonry drill bit.


Colorless diamonds are the most sought-after, but this gemstone does come in different colors. Often diamonds are imbued with a yellow tint, but they can even be black.

Diamonds disperse light and cause brilliant flashes of color even though the gem is transparent itself.

Alexandrite’s appearance couldn’t be more different from a diamond if it tried. Often described as an emerald in the daytime and an amethyst at dusk. Alexandrite goes through a range of colors depending on the light.

This mineral absorbs light, and in the day it will appear green-blue, but at night it will switch to purple-red or even brownish-red in appearance. Some describe alexandrite as having chameleon qualities.

Alexandrite suits yellow or rose gold as its hue will bounce off the gemstone. Rose gold jewelry and fashion pair well too which makes alexandrite a good choice for everyday wear.

The cost of alexandrite vs diamonds

Different aspects such as clarity and quality affect the cost of gemstones. Size also becomes a factor when pricing alexandrite and diamonds.

A top-quality alexandrite gemstone could cost $15,000 for 1 carat or under, but larger rocks can cost up to $70,000 per carat.

Diamonds on the other hand will cost on average $3,278 from 0.51 to 0.99 ct. A considerable price difference. On average, alexandrite is three times more expensive than diamonds.

The rarity of these gemstones

Originally found in Russia, alexandrite now mostly comes from Brazil, parts of Africa, and Sri Lanka. Natural alexandrite is rarer than diamonds today.

In fact, there is no real competition here. Alexandrite is the rarest gemstone available to buy.

How available is alexandrite compared to diamonds?

Due to its rarity, alexandrite is harder to find than diamonds. The latter is available in jewelers around the world, whereas you may need to search harder to find alexandrite.

Another problem with alexandrite is that colored chrysoberyl is sometimes mistakenly identified as alexandrite. Visiting a reputable dealer will avoid any concerns over authenticity. Today, online jewelers such as offer authenticated certificates for precious gemstones such as alexandrite for peace of mind.


Alexandrite rings are eye-catching and very different in appearance from diamonds. Alexandrite creates an unusual ring due to its color-changing and chameleon-like qualities.

And alexandrite reserves are running low. If you are after a classic engagement ring then diamonds will certainly provide what you want, but alexandrite is far rarer and much more precious, not to mention unique.