ZULTANITE VS. ALEXANDRITE

I was surprised to find out a spark of interest regarding Zultanite lately. I knew about the gemstone and saw it many times but to say that it’s a competitor to Alexandrite is an overstatement. There is no doubt Zultanite is beautiful on its own but to compare it to Alexandrite based on the fact that two stones change color is in my opinion silly.  I also found that there are a lot of misleading photos of the stone online and decided to share my own photos of the stone and my gemological opinion about the stone. First let’s discuss some facts.

Zultanite changes color from light green to light raspberry. It is only being found in Turkey and that is the only source for this gemstone which makes it rare. Zultanite is not to be confused with Diaspore as Diaspore is the mineral and Zultanite is the gem.

In comparison Alexandrite was discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1834, Alexandrite and Zultanite’s names both have royal connections, Zultanite being named in honor of Ottoman sultans and Alexandrite being named for a Russian tsar, but which is rarer? While comparative rarity is always difficult to judge, in terms of natural occurrence, Zultanite is rarer. Zultanite is only mined in one country, while Alexandrite is currently mined in seven but in terms of beauty I think Alexandrite is far more beautiful. Alexandrite has its own colour- deep forest green that changes to deep raspberry color.

Zultanite looks like lemon quartz, it has a yellow-green color just like Prasiolite(lemon quartz). In candle light Zultanite is a little bit pinky but the color is not as vivid and not as fiery as in Alexandrite.

Alexandrite registers 8.5 out of 10 on the Mohs’ Hardness Scale white Zultanite registers 7 out of 10 on the Mohs’ Hardness Scale .

Although both stones are different and beautiful on its own I give my vote to Alexandrite. I find that Zultanite have been marketed far more that it should have been. If the stone didn’t change color nobody would even bother writing about it because the color of Zultanite simply reminds me of Prasiolite also known as lemon quartz. The demand for Alexandrite today even though it’s mined in seven countries as compare to one country in Zultanite’s case is still higher. Zultanite can be purchased at 200$-400$ per carat where as Alexandrite can be purchased at 400$-5,000$ per carat.

Please have a look at some photos I took of one of the finest Zultanite gem in both day light and candle light.

Thanks for visiting my blog! If you have any questions please email me at jewellerycafe@gmail.com!

 

Yours,

Jewellery Guru

8 thoughts on “ZULTANITE VS. ALEXANDRITE

  1. Great article! It clearly is your opinion and I respect that. But it is obvious that you are making the same mistake as some of the famous gemologists out there… I have been following zultanite since the 90’s and I am afraid the gem you have is not the finest. I had a chance to meet the Turkish mine owner in Tucson last year. He is also the guy who named it. He was telling me their cutting is managed by a master cutter from Canada and they have spent years to train their cutters. Cutting really makes the difference and I was definitely convinced when they showed me some of the pieces under different light sources they had. Actually, the unique beauty of Zultanite lies in its contrasting colors, which change from kiwi greens with flashes of canary yellow under sunny skies, to rich champagnes in traditional indoor lighting and raspberry hues in candlelight. Unlike alexandrite, Zultanite’s color change is not limited to two basic colors. The same Zultanite can exhibit sparks of canary yellow, cognac pink, ginger, kiwi green, raspberry pink, rich champagne and sage green. One of Zultanite’s most unique characteristics is that its best color changes are not dependent on dark tones. Like all gemstones, the larger the Zultanite, the more striking the color change and the greater its color intensity. Compared to Alexandrite, Zultanite’s light sensitivity affords far more nuances and subtleties, which are very appealing. As a result, Zultanite fairs much better in mixed lighting than other color changing gemstones, plus the very nature of its colors suit a wider variety complexions, fashions, personalities and styles. I believe you will be convinced too when you see some of the zultanite pieces from Erica Courtney or Stephen Webster collection in person.

    • Hi Jason,
      Thanks for your comment- i value your opinion, i viewed many Zultanites in the past- i know a company that has the only rights to cut them in Turkey-i do know that the cutter is from Canada:), having said that i agree with you that Zultanite is not ugly its an average stone with nice color and nice fire to it but i dont think that its as nice as Alexandrite. Have you seen some of the very fine Alexandrites?They are breathtaking, the color is so vivid and the spread of the color is even, i am not talking about average stones i am talking about the ones that have 95% color change and more. I do agree with you that Zultanite changes into many shades but to me the stone itself the original day light color doesnt look fancy enough. I have seen some of the other cuts and you right in some other cuts it looks better but the overall stone reminds me of quartz rather. It is true that zultanite is not limited to one color but in my experience owning a zultanite in a ring, i am not impressed, most colors you see are the yellow green and the light pale pink, the rest of the shades are extremely rare. Trying owning a zultanite without professional lights(under which you have seen zultanite in Tucson) walk around wearing one for a week and i think that you will understand what i mean. As for the pieces from Erica and Stephen, they are gorgeous i agree but i think a lot of that is the designers contribution as well as the gemstone.
      I want to thank you for this post as i love gemstones and i can talk about them for hours, i love readers like you who can add to my knowledge and spark a conversation!

  2. I am in Istanbul Turkey for two days and would very much like to look at rings with sultanate. Does anyone know a retailer with quality gem stones. I would like to see the character difference between zultanite and alexandrite.

    Thank you.
    Beverly

  3. Dear Beverly,
    I was in Turkey a couple of month ago and bought what I thought was a Zultanite it turned out that I was sold an Alexite(an imitation of Alexandrite) which is manufactured in India! and sold by unscrupulous jewellers as Zultanites to unsuspecting tourists,I did not know a lot about Zultanites then,except that they changed colour with the light,so I was caught,be very careful what you buy in Turkey,insist on a certificate of authenticity with your stone and study the stone carefully before you buy,there is a lot of information on the internet which should warn you and guide you on obtaining a genuine stone.I was devastated when I discovered that was I had was a very cheap immitation,although it is a pretty stone but NOT a Zultanite. Take care and good luck!. Yvette

  4. i have some very beautiful zultanite
    all over 10 ct top top stones i found some stones in turkey small
    when i got home i realy fell in love with this stone i hade taken some cards from differant stores
    i wanted more stones but i wanted them much bigger.
    so i telephoned some of the stores i had seen in turkey.
    this was the worst thing i could have done.
    please write to me for more news on this misstake.
    david

  5. Does anyone know a good zultanite seller? I ordered one from gems but had to return it because although the stone was amazing I thought it was too small for the beauty of it. It needs to be at least 3 carats to see it properly and I would prefer it in 14 carat gold.

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