Alexandrite Engagement Rings: The Complete Guide

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Courtesy of Gemologica / Design by Michela Buttignol

Diamonds might be forever, but few gemstones are as mysteriously compelling as alexandrite, making it the perfect unique engagement ring option. The ever-changing hue and rarity of the stone make it extremely special and more than just a passing trend, and it’s ideal for brides who want something especially one-of-a-kind.

What is Alexandrite?

Alexandrite is a rare variety of chrysoberyl, well-known for the fact that it’s a pleochroic stone, which means that it appears as a different color depending on its setting. In daylight, alexandrite appears greenish-blue to dark yellow-green, but in incandescent or candlelight, it looks pink to red.

Meet the Expert

Pros and Cons of Alexandrite Rings

One of the most appealing features of an alexandrite ring is that it stands out. For those looking for something that stands out, alexandrite might be the better choice over a diamond since it feels a bit more exclusive. “If you are an outside-the-box kind of person, then alexandrite is a great choice,” says jewelry designer Helen Ficalora. “Alexandrite is a very valuable, rare, unusual, and expensive stone.”

While diamonds are by far the most durable gemstones out there, alexandrite isn’t a bad option in terms of strength. “Alexandrite is a great choice for an engagement ring due to its 8.5 out of 10 Mohs hardness,” says jewelry designer Nicole Rose Kopelman.

Although alexandrite has desirable qualities there is one con to note. It can be difficult to compare alexandrite and diamonds, as Caitlin Mocuin, jewelry designer and founder of Mocuin points out. “Alexandrite is a very, very different looking gemstone [than a diamond],” she explains. “I would say it’s desirable for someone who is looking for a more unique and unusual engagement ring.”

What to Look for in an Alexandrite Ring

Because of alexandrite's special color-changing aspect, you should consider the metals and any other stones you’re including to make sure they work with all the varying shades. Here are a few other questions to note before purchasing an alexandrite ring.

  • What metals pair best alexandrite? “It looks great in yellow gold, which highlights the red/purple warm tones and also contrasts the green/teal cool tones,” says Ficalora. “A white metal will work in the reverse. It depends if you like the warmer tones or the cooler tones, and which you would prefer to compliment."
  • How much do alexandrite rings cost? The color also determines the price—the stronger the color change, the more expensive it’s going to be. “Ones that change to red are more valuable than purple or brownish tones,” Mocuin says. “You should only be paying a high price for one that displays both a warm and cool color and displays reds,” she adds.
  • How can I tell if the ring is high quality? To make sure you’re getting the best stone, buy a certified stone from a reputable laboratory that grades gemstones, advises Peter Amerosi, diamond expert, and vice president of Gerald Peters. “Their report will reveal unbiased information about the gemstone you are purchasing,” he explains.
  • What settings look best with alexandrite? In terms of settings, Amerosi says it’s a good idea to get a hard precious metal to hold alexandrite in place since it’s softer than a traditional diamond.

“You should avoid treated gemstones as they were altered at some point to change color, clarity, or durability,” Amerosi adds. “Synthetic stones are chemically identical to natural stones, except synthetic stones were grown by a man in a laboratory. The value of natural stones is much higher than synthetic. If possible, and if your budget allows, I recommend sticking to natural gemstones only.”

How to Care for Your Alexandrite Ring

Caring for an alexandrite ring is pretty simple since it’s a hard stone. Amerosi recommends using a soft brush, like an old toothbrush, with mild soap and room temperature water. “Consider this type of cleaning a ‘car wash,’” he says. “If you want a more in-depth clean, visit the jeweler you purchase the ring from. They will be able to steam, sonic clean, and even polish your ring. Consider this type of cleaning a ‘full detailing.’”

Another way to clean it at home on your own is to put it in a bowl of water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent, then rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Alexandrite is hard, but not as hard and durable as a diamond. Because of that, Amerosi says you should remove it before heavy cleaning, exercising, swimming, or encountering any chemical.

The History of Alexandrite Gemstones

Alexandrite was discovered in 1834 in emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in the Urals. According to legend, it was discovered the same day Russian tsar Alexander II came of age, hence the name alexandrite. Because it shows the colors red and green, the colors of old Imperial Russia, it became the national stone of tsarist Russia. This regal history combined with the rarity of the stone makes it feel extra special and exclusive.

Now, scroll through the 20 of the most stunning alexandrite engagement rings ahead.

01
of 20

Abby Sparks The Margo Ring

Abby Sparks The Margo Ring

Courtesy of Abby Sparks Jewelry 

This custom engagement ring was designed by and named for a botanist for a nature-inspired feel. The center alexandrite stone is framed by marquis diamonds in a fanned floral pattern for vintage charm on a platinum band. 

02
of 20

Genuine Alexandrite Engagement Solitaire Ring

Genuine Alexandrite Engagement Solitaire Ring

Courtesy of Africa Gems

This solitaire ring allows the stunning alexandrite stone to really shine completely on its own. With a simple band and no competing stones, all the attention is on the changing hue. 

03
of 20

Effy White Gold Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

Effy White Gold Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Effy 

A beautiful oval alexandrite stone is surrounded by small round diamonds in a unique star-like setting. The band is white gold with little pavé diamonds for a more cool-toned alexandrite hue. 

04
of 20

Gemvara Contessa Ring

Gemvara Ring

Courtesy of Gemvara

If you’re looking to spend less, this lab-made alexandrite ring is a great option. The stone looks even more unique in a sharp princess cut, surrounded on either side by two other smaller princess-cut alexandrite stones. 

05
of 20

Juliet & Oliver Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Juliet & Oliver 

This ring is perfect for vintage lovers with an art deco milgrain edging all around the band. The round alexandrite stone is in a round setting with diamonds in a cluster formation. 

06
of 20

Joseph Jewelry Two-Tone Alexandrite and Diamond Engagement Ring

Custom Two-Tone Alexandrite and Diamond Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Joseph Jewelry 

Mix up metals a bit with this custom two-tone ring featuring a round alexandrite stone in a two-tone white and rose gold band. Two rows of accent diamonds make this even more interesting.

07
of 20

Capucinne Pear Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Pear Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Capucinne

The blue hue of alexandrite looks particularly stunning in a pear cut. With marquise diamonds fanning out on each side and a yellow gold band, this is a beautiful and unique piece. 

08
of 20

Gemologica Alexandrite Gemstone Diamond Halo Ring

Alexandrite Gemstone Diamond Halo Ring

Courtesy of Gemologica 

A simple rose gold band is a more unique option for alexandrite, which is typically paired with white or yellow gold since the color changes. The small diamonds in the halo setting add a little glimmer. 

09
of 20

Gabriel NY Pavé Oval Shape Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Gabriel NY Pavé Oval Shape Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Icing on the Ring

If you’re looking for something more elaborate with a vintage flair, you’ll love this Gabriel NY option. An oval alexandrite sits in an intricately designed gold band full of small diamonds. 

10
of 20

1st Dibs Oval Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

Ring

Courtesy of 1st Dibs

An oval alexandrite ring sits in the middle of a twisting band, surrounded by small diamonds for plenty of sparkle. The yellow gold band complements the warm tones.

11
of 20

Mark Broumand Oval Cut Alexandrite Ring

Oval Cut Alexandrite Ring

Courtesy of Mark Broumand 

This large alexandrite ring (which is a deep purple in the pictures, indicative of its great quality) sits in a sparkling diamond halo. This is certainly a bold choice that will stand out.

12
of 20

Capucinne Dora Oval Alexandrite Ring

Dora Oval Alexandrite Ring

Courtesy of Capucinne 

This lab-grown alexandrite ring is a budget-friendly option that is still gorgeous to look at. The oval stone has clusters of round diamonds on either side, finished off with a rose gold band. It’s also available with a natural alexandrite stone by request. 

13
of 20

Africa GemsClassic 3-Stone Alexandrite Ring

Classic 3-Stone Alexandrite Ring

Courtesy of Africa Gems 

This ring takes a classic engagement ring style and makes it more unique by using an alexandrite stone instead of a diamond. The round center stone has a baguette diamond on either side. 

14
of 20

Abby Sparks The Katy Ring

Abby Sparks The Katy Ring

Courtesy of Abby Sparks Jewelry

This custom ring was actually inspired by a design in the video game The Legend of Zelda. The pear-shaped alexandrite stone is lab-grown to achieve the purple color they were going for, surrounded by a halo of marquise diamonds. 

15
of 20

Allurez Diamond and Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Diamond and Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Allurez 

A solitaire alexandrite stone takes center stage on a white gold infinity band dotted with diamonds.

16
of 20

Winona Chatham Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Ring

Courtesy of Capucinne

Set in a cluster of smaller diamonds, this alexandrite stone radiates deep jewel tones. Claw prongs hold the stone in place while the salt pepper diamonds wrap around the outside. 

17
of 20

Will Work Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Ring

Courtesy of Will Work

Regal and whimsical, this alexandrite is sure to stand out. The princess-cut alexandrite stone is crowned with small accent diamonds and embellished with stones throughout the band. 

18
of 20

BBB Gem Vintage Pear Shaped Alexandrite And Sapphire Engagement Ring

Ring

Courtesy of BBB Gem

This vintage-inspired ring is full of rich tones. The thin bands offer a delicate and feminine detail, while the diamonds line the underneath shaft of the ring adds a bold aesthetic. 

19
of 20

Peter Suchy 9.65 Carat Alexandrite Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

Ring

Courtesy of Peter Suchy

The thick and bold shape of this ring is sure to make a statement. Unlike traditional alexandrite stones, this one has a yellow hue reminiscent of a yellow diamond. Two diamonds for additional sparkle surround the stone.

20
of 20

Art Masters Jewelry Caravaggio Rose Gold Alexandrite Diamond Engagement Ring

Ring

Courtesy of Art Masters Jewelry

This 14k rose gold double band ring is classic and elegant. Not only do the bands of this ring give a timeless aesthetic, but the alexandrite stone also makes the entire ring saturated in color.

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