Known for their honey hues and neon greenish-yellows, it was aptly named ‘gold-coloured beryl’ in Greek, even though it is nothing similar to the Beryl family of Emerald, Aquamarine and Morganite. Rating 8.5 on Moh’s scale of hardness, it is the third hardest natural gemstone, making it perfect for daily wear. And, you’d be amazed to find out that the famed ‘Alexandrites’ are actually colour-changing Chrysoberyls!
When Chrysoberyls are translucent or with silk (rather than transparent), they are usually cut into cabochons which might bring out a ‘Cat’s Eye’ effect, otherwise known as Chatoyance. This only happens when the inclusions are perfectly parallel, similar to a spool of silk thread which will produce a line of reflection across the top of the spool as it is moved back and forth under a source of light. Magical!
At our sourcing office, we had chosen a couple of Chrysoberyl roughs straight from the calloused hands of the miners, sent them to be cut with our master lapidary artists. Only expecting to get some rich honey-hued and lemony Chrysoberyls, we were so excited and amazed to find that one of them is a 3 carat Alexandrite (center)!