Emeralds & Alexandrite - Delving Into The Investment Potential of Rough Gemstone I

14. November 2023

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In the world of gemstones, few can rival the mesmerizing beauty and allure of Emeralds and Alexandrites. These precious stones have captivated the human imagination for centuries, and their rarity and unique properties have made them highly sought-after treasures. If you are a professional investor looking to delve into the world of gemstone investments, understanding the intricacies and value of Emeralds and Alexandrites is essential. Let’s explore these enchanting gemstones and their investment potential.

Alexandrites: A Chameleon's Delight

Alexandrites, with their mesmerizing color-changing properties, historical significance, and rarity, stand as an alluring choice for gemstone investors seeking both aesthetic appeal and potential financial gains.

1. Incomparable Colour Play

Alexandrite is a rare form of the mineral chrysoberyl, which has the chemical formula Al2BeO4. The alteration in color is believed to take place exclusively in specimens where chromium replaces aluminum within the mineral’s atomic arrangement. These “impurities” account for less than 1 percent of the aluminum sites, but this amount is enough to give alexandrite its hues.

The unique characteristic that sets Alexandrites apart is their enchanting colour change. The highest quality gemstones transition from a lush green in daylight to a radiant red under incandescent light. The spectral dance of colours adds an element of mystique and rarity, making Alexandrites a prized possession for those who appreciate the extraordinary.

The more distinct the color change, the higher the value. Alexandrites can exhibit everything from 100% to just 5% colour change.

Alexandrite changes its colour from green to purplish red. Image source: AfricaGems

2. Historical Significance

Like many gemstones, Alexandrites boast a rich narrative. French mineralist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld discovered alexandrite in the Ural mountains of Russia in 1834. However, some accounts suggest the stone was found as early as the late 1700s. According to historical sources, Nordenskiöld named these gems after the Russian Czar Alexander II. The association with Russian royalty adds a layer of prestige and historical allure, making Russian Alexandrites particularly sought after by collectors.

GIA-certified 1 carat color change Alexandrite ring. Image source: EraGem

3. Scarcity

The scarcity of high-quality Alexandrites contributes significantly to their allure for investors. The original source of Alexandrites in Russia was almost exhausted after only a few decades of mining. Since the 1980s, more sources have emerged. While conventionally one might associate the best Alexandrites with Russia, the truth is, presently, the most exceptional-looking Alexandrites hail from Brazil.

4. Brazilian Alexandrites vs. Russian Alexandrites

While Russian alexandrites boast undeniable allure, accessing the Russian market can present a significant challenge for international investors. The Russian gemstone market has historically been tightly controlled, with limited access for foreign investors. Political and economic uncertainties, along with regulatory complexities, further complicate the process of acquiring and trading Russian alexandrites.

In recent years, Brazilian alexandrites have emerged as a compelling alternative for investors seeking the allure of this enchanting gemstone without the hurdles associated with the Russian market. By the start of the 1900s, most of the Russian alexandrite had been extracted from mines. Brazilian deposits are known for their relatively higher abundance, ensuring a more consistent supply. Moreover, when it comes to quality, Brazilian alexandrites might surpass their counterparts. With superior clarity and a vivid color transition the enchanting colour change of Brazilian alexandrites is highly valued, leading to consistently high demand for these stones. With a more open and transparent gemstone industry, Brazil provides a conducive environment for investors to engage in the trade of these precious gems. Brazilian Alexandrites can fetch steep prices, with high-quality, carat-sized Alexandrites from Brazil frequently surpassing their Diamond counterparts in price.

The debate between Russian and Brazilian Alexandrites becomes subjective when considering their colour-change properties. Unlike the legendary “green to red” Russian Alexandrites, their Brazilian counterparts boast a stunning bluish-green hue under white light, magically transforming into a deep, rich purple under incandescent light.

5. Investment Potential

Gemstone investors are drawn to Alexandrites not only for their beauty but also for their potential as an investment. These gems have shown a historical appreciation in value, with high-quality stones experiencing a steady increase. The rarity, coupled with the growing demand for unique and exceptional gemstones, positions Alexandrites as an attractive option for those looking to diversify their investment portfolios.

6. Market Demand

The market demand for Alexandrites continues to grow as collectors and investors recognize their unique qualities. The gemstone’s ability to offer a distinct visual experience sets it apart in a market saturated with more common gemstones. As discerning collectors seek exclusivity, Alexandrites become a prime choice for those looking to acquire a piece that stands out.

Alexandrite ring showing distinctive color change properties. Image source: Mark Henry Corporation

In conclusion, Alexandrites’ allure for gemstone investors lies in their exceptional colour-changing properties, historical significance, rarity, and the potential for appreciation in value. As the gemstone market evolves, these unique and enchanting gems continue to capture the attention of those seeking both aesthetic beauty and a sound investment.

Emeralds: A Verdant Symbol of Luxury

Emeralds, with their lush green hues and rich cultural history, stand as a captivating choice for gemstone investors seeking a combination of aesthetic beauty and potential financial returns.

1. Exquisite Green Color, Shape & Inclusions

The deep green colour of high quality emeralds is one of their most alluring features. Gemstone enthusiasts and investors are drawn to the intensity and vibrancy of this green, which ranges from soothing forest tones to vivid and striking shades. The mesmerizing colour adds a touch of elegance and luxury to any piece featuring emeralds. The most desirable emerald colours are bluish green to pure green, with vivid colour saturation.

In Emerald expect to see inclusions that experts like to call an internal “jardin,” or garden. Thus, emeralds are among the most difficult stones to cut. Many  emeralds are cut into rectangular step cuts called “emerald cuts” and, because their density is lower, a one-carat emerald will appear larger in size than a one-carat diamond.

Emerald value strongly depends on cut. Image source: My Irish Jeweler

2. Cultural and Historical Significance

Emeralds have a rich history, with the first known mining taking place in ancient Egypt around 1500 BC. Cleopatra, enamored by their beauty, prominently featured emeralds in her royal regalia. Interestingly, emeralds were often interred with mummies, although recent analyses revealed some to be peridot instead. Notably, emeralds from Ancient Egyptian times exhibit a more subdued green compared to those from other regions, and by today’s standards, they are considered of lower quality.

Emeralds have been cherished throughout history for their cultural and historical significance. They have adorned the crowns and jewelry of royals and aristocrats, symbolizing wealth, rebirth, and protection. The association with historical figures and civilizations adds a layer of prestige and allure, making emeralds not just beautiful gems but also carriers of cultural legacy.

The Chalk Emerald, a scintillating 37.82 carat emerald. Photo by Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA.

3. Rarity and Scarcity

High-quality emeralds are relatively rare, contributing to their appeal for investors. 

Emeralds are a type of beryl, which is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate. Beryl, characterized by the chemical composition Be3Al2(SiO3)6, stands as a mineral of rarity due to the limited occurrence of beryllium in the Earth’s crust. Beryllium is an element found in minute quantities, making it uncommon for sufficient concentrations to form minerals in a single location. Moreover, the conditions conducive to substantial beryllium presence differ from those where chromium and vanadium, responsible for the green color in emeralds, are typically expected. The scarcity of emeralds arises from these unique geological circumstances, restricting their occurrence to a select few locations.

The finest specimens often hail from specific locations, particularly, from the 1970s onward, Brazil has stood as one of the few reliable suppliers of high-quality emeralds globally. The limited geographical sources and the challenges in extracting top-quality emeralds enhance their scarcity, making them a coveted investment choice.

4. Investment Potential

Emeralds have demonstrated a historical appreciation in value, making them an attractive option for investors seeking long-term growth. The rarity, coupled with the enduring demand for this timeless gem, positions emeralds as a potential store of value and a means of portfolio diversification.

Emerald jewellery. Image source: My Jewelry Repair

5. Lab-created gems: is there a risk for investors?

Investing in natural gems holds its own set of advantages for investors seeking enduring and potentially appreciating assets. Natural gems, such as emeralds, derive their value from their rarity, geological formation, and often centuries of history. The unique imperfections, or inclusions, found in natural gems contribute to their authenticity and individual character, making each piece distinct. Moreover, the market for natural gems has historically shown resilience to the advent of synthetic gems and demand, particularly among collectors and connoisseurs who appreciate the intrinsic beauty and rarity of these stones, has continued growing. While lab-created gems offer predictability, natural gems offer a timeless appeal and a connection to geological processes, cultural significance, and historical value. For investors who prioritize these qualities and are willing to navigate market fluctuations, natural gems can be a rewarding and secure addition to their portfolios.

6. Market Demand

The demand for emeralds persists across various cultures and regions, driven by their timeless appeal. As emerging markets and new generations of collectors express interest in unique and meaningful gemstones, the market for emeralds continues to thrive. This sustained demand adds to the investment appeal for those considering emeralds as part of their portfolio.

In conclusion, emeralds entice gemstone investors with their exquisite green colour, rich historical significance, rarity, and potential for appreciation in value. As timeless symbols of luxury and elegance, emeralds continue to hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and investors alike, offering both aesthetic beauty and the potential of enduring value.


The fusion of Alexandrite and Emerald within Rough Gemstone I offers a unique opportunity for investors to align their portfolios with enduring beauty and potential financial gains. As the market continues to evolve, gemstone investments stand firm as a symbol of timeless value, making Rough Gemstone I a compelling choice for those seeking a touch of elegance in their financial endeavors.

Dr. Stephan Hauska

Head of Sales
+49 89 215 283 341

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