Demonstrating Color Change in Gemstones

May 17th, 2012


The most famous gems that exhibit color change are Alexandrites, Garnets, Sapphires and Spinels. Each gem variety has its own degree of color change or color shift and typical range of colors it exhibits in different lights. In order to get the best color change performance from the gem you are presenting to your customer, it is very important that you know how this works.

You need to have a daylight lamp, like most Diamond viewing desktop lamps, or better yet actual mid-day daylight, if possible, and a strong source of warm or incandescent light, most easily found in a non-LED flashlight. First let customers see the gem, for example an Alexandrite, under daylight alone; they will see a teal blue green. Then, isolate the gem from all other lights and shine an incandescent bulb flashlight on it. Here, you will see a burgundy eggplant red, in the case of a fine Brazilian stone.

You can use your existing overhead counter lights only if they can replace on of these two types of lights. Mixed lighting or using the wrong types will not let your customer view the color change present in the gem. You will lose the sale with no fault of the gem, just the inability to demonstrate it.

Color shift is basically a less dramatic version of color change and a bit harder to see, more common in sapphires.

Daylight (other than sunrise/sunset), Florescent, LED - Alexandrite, Garnet, Sapphire

Incandescent Light, Sunrise/Sunset, Candlelight - Alexandrite, Garnet, Sapphire


As you know, success lies in the correct presentation of what you are selling, so make sure you go over this information and practice it with your sales staff.

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