Paris, France – It was a unique and unusual high point of the Paris Fashion Week. And it revolved around a rare gemstone, the mysterious alexandrite once mined in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The Milan-based house of Rubeus unveiled the first and only collection of high jewelry dedicated to alexandrite from Russia at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The splendid, eye-catching collection revealed alexandrite gemstones that are among the rarest, most sought after and expensive in the world. Alexandrite was discovered in the Urals in 1839 and named as a tribute to the future Czar Alexander II. The remarkable stone is a variety of chrysoberyl and has the unique feature of changing color depending upon the kind of light that shines upon it. In daylight it is bluish-green in color and after passing through a wide range of colors turns into a reddish-purple or even violet color in incandescent light.
The collection, called the Rubeus Imperial Alexandrite Collection, is unique and includes 47 exceptional alexandrite gemstones that range in size from 2.12 carats to 69.37 carats. The priceless centerpiece of the collection is the spectacular Imperial necklace and it is outfitted with the largest alexandrite gem unveiled to this day: 69.37 carats, larger than the record held by the alexandrite gemstone exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The collection is also adorned with rock crystal, diamonds, sapphires in ice-blue or green, and polished black titanium with a magical mirror effect.
The collection was designed by the jeweler Frédéric Mané while the house of Rubeus, a house of extremely high-end accessories, is the brilliant creation of a young Russian designer Nataliya Bondarenko and Viktor Bondarenko, a collector and patron of the arts.
Alexandrite is one of the more fascinating gemstones to emerge from the good earth. It was discovered in a mine in the Urals in the 1830s probably by Nils Gustav Nordenskiöld, a renowned mineralogist of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences and who initially identified it as an emerald. In the 19th century the gemstone was presented exclusively by the house of Tiffany & Co. by George Frederick Kunz, a famous American mineralogist who was the vice-president of the company. Today close to being exhausted, the alexandrite mines of the Urals have been closed.
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