Omi Gems in Los Angeles understands the special nature of natural alexandrite. “It’s one of the most amazing and rare gemstones ever discovered,” wrote the company in a blog post about the stone. “It changes colors in different lighting, from hues of greens and blues in daylight to reds and purples in incandescent light.”
And as many gemstone enthusiasts might know, this kind of rarity comes at a price. For this particular pendant necklace in 18k gold, with a 16.05 ct. t.w. pear-shape, a 0.52 ct. t.w. pear-shape, and 0.41 ct. t.w. round-shape alexandrite accented by 0.34 ct. t.w. diamonds, the retail cost is $97,000. The two rough pear shapes are from Tanzania and the small rounds are from Brazil.
Natural alexandrite in daylight
Natural alexandrite in incandescent light
The piece was finished about a month before AGTA Tucson, and sold by the second day of the show. The buyer—from Northern California—was kind enough to let the dealer hang onto it for the rest of us to drool over.
“We hardly get anything from Tanzania, so when we bought this big parcel of rough at the end of 2009, there was one big piece with a cool color change that I didn’t want to cut into smaller stones,” recollects Niveet Nagpal, vice president. “I decided to mount it into a blackened rhodium pendant.”
And why did he hang onto it for such a long time before setting it into jewelry? “I just liked being able to hold it,” he says. “I just liked that it was cool.”