Alexandrite vs. Amethyst

What's the Difference?

Alexandrite and Amethyst are both gemstones known for their stunning beauty, but they differ in many aspects. Alexandrite is a rare and highly prized gemstone that is famous for its color-changing properties. It exhibits a mesmerizing green hue in daylight and transforms into a vibrant red or purplish-red under incandescent light. On the other hand, Amethyst is a more common gemstone that is renowned for its deep purple color. It is often associated with royalty and is believed to possess calming and healing properties. While Alexandrite is valued for its rarity and unique color-changing ability, Amethyst is cherished for its rich and regal purple hue.


ColorGreen in daylight, red under incandescent lightPurple
Chemical FormulaBeAl2O4SiO2
Crystal SystemOrthorhombicHexagonal
TransparencyTransparent to translucentTransparent to translucent
OriginFound in Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and East AfricaFound in various locations including Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia
Birthstone MonthJuneFebruary
SymbolismBalance and self-esteemPeace and tranquility

Further Detail


Gemstones have captivated humans for centuries with their beauty and allure. Two popular gemstones that have gained significant attention are Alexandrite and Amethyst. While both gemstones possess their unique characteristics, they differ in terms of color, rarity, hardness, origin, and metaphysical properties. In this article, we will delve into a detailed comparison of these two gemstones, exploring their attributes and helping you understand their individual appeal.


Alexandrite and Amethyst exhibit strikingly different colors, making them easily distinguishable. Alexandrite is renowned for its remarkable color-changing properties, displaying a captivating range of hues. In daylight or fluorescent light, it appears green or bluish-green, while under incandescent light, it transforms into a vibrant red or purplish-red. This mesmerizing color change phenomenon, known as the "Alexandrite effect," is caused by the presence of chromium in the gemstone's composition.

On the other hand, Amethyst is recognized for its rich purple color, ranging from pale lilac to deep violet. This regal hue is due to the presence of iron impurities within the crystal lattice. The intensity of the purple color can vary depending on the quality and origin of the Amethyst.


When it comes to rarity, Alexandrite takes the crown. It is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830s, Alexandrite was named after the Russian tsar, Alexander II. Genuine Alexandrite is exceptionally scarce, making it highly sought after by collectors and gem enthusiasts. Its scarcity is attributed to the specific geological conditions required for its formation, which are rarely found.

Amethyst, on the other hand, is relatively more abundant compared to Alexandrite. It is widely available in various parts of the world, including Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, and Russia. Despite its abundance, high-quality Amethyst with exceptional color and clarity is still valued and cherished by gemstone connoisseurs.


When evaluating gemstones, hardness plays a crucial role in determining their durability and suitability for different types of jewelry. Alexandrite ranks at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it a relatively durable gemstone. This hardness allows it to withstand everyday wear and tear, making it suitable for various jewelry applications, including rings and pendants.

Amethyst, on the other hand, has a slightly lower hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale. While it is still considered a relatively durable gemstone, it is more susceptible to scratches and abrasions compared to Alexandrite. Therefore, it is recommended to handle Amethyst jewelry with care to maintain its luster and beauty over time.


The origin of a gemstone often adds to its allure and value. Alexandrite's most famous and prized origin is Russia, where it was first discovered. Russian Alexandrite is highly regarded for its exceptional color change and is often considered the benchmark for quality. However, today, Alexandrite is also found in other countries such as Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Amethyst, on the other hand, has a more diverse range of origins. Brazil is the largest producer of Amethyst, known for its deep purple and high-quality specimens. Uruguay, Zambia, and Russia are also significant sources of Amethyst. Each origin imparts unique characteristics to the gemstone, such as color variations and inclusions, making them distinct and desirable to collectors.

Metaphysical Properties

Alexandrite and Amethyst are both believed to possess metaphysical properties that have fascinated individuals throughout history. Alexandrite is associated with balance and harmony, believed to enhance intuition and creativity. It is also considered a stone of good fortune and prosperity, bringing luck to its wearer. Additionally, Alexandrite is said to strengthen the mind and promote emotional well-being.

Amethyst, on the other hand, is renowned for its calming and soothing properties. It is often used in meditation practices to promote relaxation and spiritual growth. Amethyst is believed to provide protection against negative energies and enhance spiritual awareness. It is also associated with clarity of thought and emotional stability, making it a popular choice for those seeking inner peace and tranquility.


In conclusion, Alexandrite and Amethyst are two captivating gemstones with distinct attributes. Alexandrite's mesmerizing color-changing properties, rarity, and durability make it a highly coveted gemstone. On the other hand, Amethyst's rich purple color, abundance, and metaphysical properties have earned it a special place in the world of gemstones. Whether you prefer the enchanting allure of Alexandrite or the calming beauty of Amethyst, both gemstones offer a unique and captivating experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

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