Posted on September 12, 2014 by

These Color Changing Jewels Will Blow Your Mind

chameleon diamond ring

Jewels are cherished for their color and, where applicable, luster and rarity. They are commonly used for jewelry as bodily adornment. What is not readily associated with jewels is the effortless ability to change color in certain lighting conditions. Even among diamonds, a color-changing group, known as chameleon diamonds, capable of reacting to specific environmental stimuli endures as a distinct category. Such mercurial gems may not be common but they do certainly exist. We know these color-changing jewels will blow your mind!


Color Changing Jewels


Chameleon Diamonds


In the diamond world, the only diamonds whose stable color is susceptible to external conditions beyond their control are chameleon diamonds. These diamonds typically change from olive green to a temporary color of more intense brownish or orangy yellow to yellow, or from light yellow to more intense greenish yellow, when exposed to a temperature of 140°C or stored in the dark for a prolonged period. In general, subjecting chameleon diamonds to extremely high temperatures will result in stronger color transformation than keeping them in the dark.


chameleon diamond changing color upon being heated by candle

As seen in this photo, the color change in this chameleon diamond is rather pronounced.





Few people are aware of the beauty of alexandrite. It is a type of chrysoberyl, a mineral that is colorless or yellow and transparent. Alexandrite was discovered in the 1830s and originated from Russia. The unusual gemstone was named in honor of Czar Alexander II. Alexandrite is a green or bluish green in daylight but dramatically changes to a raspberry red when exposed to incandescent light. The Russian mines have ceased production of Alexandrite, making this natural wonder an exceedingly scarce gem.


alexandrite color changing comparison in incandescent light and daylight

Alexandrite’s color change is dramatic indeed.





Another transparent color-changing mineral, diaspore can be likened to alexandrite in the way both transform their color. Diaspore’s color tends to be softer and more pastel. Its daylight or fluorescent lighting color tends to manifest as a pale yellowish green to pale olive green. Under incandescent light or candlelight, diaspore transforms its color to a pale pinkish orange or raspberry red. Other colors that can materialize in diaspore are kiwi green, sage green, cognac pink, pinkish champagne and champagne. In lighting conditions that combine daylight or fluorescent and incandescent or candlelight, diaspore can produce both kinds of color.


Although it was discovered in the early 1800s, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that diaspore was faceted into gemstones. The Anatolian Mountains in central Turkey are the only source of gemstone quality diaspore although it originates from other parts of the world as well. This mineral is extremely brittle and has a tendency to easily cleave so care must be taken in cutting and wearing.


diaspore color changing comparison in daylight and incandescent light

Diaspore’s color-change tendencies are comparable to those of alexandrite, albeit to a more muted extent.



Color-Change Sapphires


Color-change sapphires are another natural gemstone that reacts to daylight conditions, or its equivalent, fluorescent light, and incandescent light. In daylight, color-change sapphire exhibits a blue to violet hue. In incandescent light, its color changes to a violetish purple to intense reddish purple. Although considerably more rare, there are color-change sapphires whose green color, under daylight, transforms into reddish brown once under incandescent light. The value of color-change sapphires is determined by the intensity of the color change – those sapphires that exhibit acute and total color change are most valuable. The colors of the color-change sapphires are of secondary importance. The most highly regarded color-change sapphires will shift from a bluish green without any brown to a brownish red without any blue or green.


The lion’s share of color-change sapphires, which are mined in extremely limited quantities, is produced in Madagascar and Africa.


color-change sapphires color changing comparison in daylight and incandescent light

Color-change sapphires, such as this one, tend to vacillate from blue or violet to strong reddish purple.


While we are not experts on all color changing gems, we do know all about diamonds.  Read our informative guide to chameleon diamonds to learn more about these unique jewels.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

2 Responses to These Color Changing Jewels Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Ryan joyce says:

    I am looking for a cushion cut Morganite like a
    Light pink