Color Changing Gemstones: Crystals that Change Color

  1. Crystal Color Changing Terminology
  2. Before You Go

Do you know some crystals can change colors? Some crystals change from yellow to pink, and some from blue to red based on lights, angles, or time of day.

Alexandrite is one such prized beauty that flaunts a wide range of colors from purple to red, green, and blue. Moreover, this is why most color-changing gemstones are termed with the phrase “Alexandrite Effect.” 

But there are so many more color-changing gemstones with even more intriguing properties than Alexandrite. Which are the most popular crystals that change color? Why do they change color?

Crystal Color Changing Terminology

  • Fluorescence – The radiation created from some substances because of incident radiation of wavelengths like X-rays or ultraviolet light.
  • Pleochroism – When an object has many colors when viewed at different angles, with polarized light in particular.
  • Thermoluminescence – When crystals have a lot of energy through becoming luminescent when being either pretreated or experiencing temperatures that are high.
  • Labradorescence –  The stunning iridescence (showing lots of colors that are bright changing with movement) shown by certain Labradorite and other Feldspars. 
  • Alexandrite Effect – When a crystal changes its appearance of color when switched from daylight to incandescent light (light created through heat). 
  • Opalescence – When a crystal reflects iridescent (colors that appear changing and luminous when viewed at different angles) light.
  • Tenebrescence – When a crystal absorbs light by irradiation with X-rays.
  • Phosphorescence – When a crystal emits light without combustion or noticeable heat. 
  • Adularescence – Optical phenomenon produced by crystals like Moonstone.

Read on to find the complete list of color-changing gemstones and their optical illusions. 

Does Fluorite Change Color?

flourite chuck on a white background

Next to Alexandrite on the list of color-changing gemstones, Fluorite is a crown chakra crystal that fills you with enlightenment, awareness, and intuition. Interestingly, it can change to blue, violet, white, or cream colors under UV light.

What Causes Fluorite to Change Color?

Fluorescence is a type of luminescence where a crystal changes into different colors under UV light. Moreover, Fluorite is why the term fluorescence exists today. 

Does Tanzanite Change Colors? 

Tanzanite on a white background

Tanzanite is a purple stone that changes color in light. It may change to blue and brown from purple shades based on how, or where, you look at it. Natural Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania. They’re incredible for calmness, wisdom, and foresight. 

What Causes Tanzanite to Change Color?

Every Tanzanite is three-colored or trichroic. This means every Tanzanite actually has three colors- blue, purple/red, and green/yellow/brown. Moreover, Tanzanite shows pleochroism, or the ability to change color from different angles. 

Does Calcite Change Colors?

Calcite on a white background

Most people don’t know this, but Calcite can glow in every fluorescent color. Some Calcite crystals even show multiple colors, such as orange, blue , green, and white.

What Causes Calcite to Change Color?

Fluorescence is the reason for the color-changing effect in Calcite gemstones. Moreover, Calcite can also exhibit phosphorescence at times. 

Does Tourmaline Change Color?

black tourmaline on a white background

Not all Tourmaline crystals change color, but Pink Tourmaline can change into a brown shade under bright artificial light. 

Fun Fact: There are Pink Tourmalines that change color suddenly. They’re called Shocking Pink Tourmaline!

What Causes Tourmaline to Change Color?

Pleochroism is the reason why Pink Tourmaline changes into a brown color. In fact, if your Pink Tourmaline doesn’t show a brown or peach shade, it may be a fake one. 

Do Sapphires Change Color?

sapphires on a white background

Sapphires are precious color-changing crystals. Some rare Sapphire crystals change from green to a mix of red, purple, brown, or violet under different lights. This is why color-changing Sapphires are ridiculously expensive. And, lucky too!

What Causes Sapphire to Change Color?

Fluorescence is the cause of color-change in Sapphires. Traces of metal impurities like chromium and vanadium cause a color change in Sapphires. 

Do Apatite Crystals Change Color?

Apatite Crystal on white background

Firstly, natural Apatite crystals don’t usually show a color change but may sometimes have pleochroic crystal cores. Moreover, natural Apatite crystals may glow in purple. It’s also one of the high-vibrational stones for the third eye and crown chakras. 

What Causes Apatite Crystal to Change Color?

Thermoluminescence in some Apatite crystals causes them to glow in an indigo light when scratched, crushed, or beaten. 

Does Labradorite Change Color?

Labradorite crystal on white background

An excellent crystal for spiritual awakening and intuition, some Labradorites show a flash of blue and yellow at different angles. These flashy sides may look gray without any light too. 

What Causes Labradorite to Change Color?

This unique optical phenomenon caused by Labradorite is called Labradorescence. It’s shown only by Labradorite and Spectrolite crystals. 

Does Ruby Change Color?

Ruby Crystal on white background

While Rubies don’t actually change color, they look brighter under UV light. Burmese and Vietnamese Rubies are particularly popular for a red glow under the sun. Sacral chakra stones are good for physical healing, strength, passion, courage, and balance. 

What Causes Ruby to Change Color?

Fluorescence in some Rubies can make them glow in daylight. Some cultures believed that Rubies glowed when the inner fire awakened. 

Does Zultanite Change Color?

Zultanite on white background
image source: | Xxbizxx

Zultanite gemstone is an extremely expensive and rare crystal with color-changing effects. It sparkles in different colors, generally green (sunlight), yellow (indoor), and pink (against fire). 

What Causes Zultanite to Change Color?

Zultanite is a dazzling gemstone that shows the Alexandrite effect. It’s a rare stone, popular around the world as Diaspore, Turkizite, Csarite, and Ottomanite. 

Does Emerald Change Color?

Emerald Crystal on white background

Yes, some Emerald crystals can glow with pink or red hues under black light. Emeralds are heart chakra stones perfect for marital bliss, physical health, and abundance. 

What Causes Emerald to Change Color?

Pleochroism is primarily the cause of color-change in Emeralds, but it can be narrowed down to some Emeralds with Vanadium/Chromium. 

Does Diamond Change Color?

Diamond crystal on white background

Natural diamonds can glow with a blue color when looked under UV light. Diamonds can cleanse other crystals, as they are high-vibration stones. When meditated with, they can broaden your spirit and mind.

What Causes Diamond to Change Color?

Fluorescence is the reason why natural diamonds glow with a bluish tint under black light. Moreover, impurities and flaws in a diamond can also change its color under different lights. 

Do Opals Change Color?

Black opal Crystal on white background

Yes, opals show a play of color depending on their variety. They may change colors drastically due to sweat, dehydration, or heat. So, remove opal jewelry before going to the gym, or basking in the sun.

What Causes Opal to Change Color?

Opalescence is mainly why opals show a play of fire or change of color. Moreover, the high water content in Opal also affects its appearance when it loses, or gains, water. 

Does Sodalite Change Color?

Sodalite Crystal on white background

A Sodalite variety called Hackmanite can change its color under UV light. While naturally pink or violet, Hackmanite changes from green to white and back to pink/violet with sunlight.

What Causes Sodalite to Change Color?

Tenebrescence, or the ability of a mineral to change colors based on light exposure, is found in some Sodalite varieties. Hackmanite, or Greenlandic Sodalite, fades into paler shades in sunlight, and recovers its original color when kept away from the sun. 

Does Aragonite Change color?

Aragonite Crystal on white background

Aragonite glows under UV light with a blue-green or white color, depending on its composition. As a lower chakra stone, Aragonite is excellent for physical healing and energy. 

What Causes Aragonite to Change Color?

Fluorescence is why Aragonite changes color under UV light. Specifically, these impurities are Sphalerite and Calcite.

Does Peridot Change Color?

Peridot Crystal on white background

Some Peridot stones can mildly show other colors like black or pale green when seen from different angles. It’s an excellent heart chakra stone for abundance, prosperity, and harmony. 

What Causes Peridot to Change Color?

Mild pleochroism in some Peridots leads to its flash of different colors. That said, most Peridots aren’t visibly Pleochroic.

Does Hyalite Opal Change Color?

Hyalite Opal on a white background
image source: | Xth-Floor

Hyalite opals show dazzling colors under shortwave black light. Rare Hyalite opals may glow with a blue-green or pink color. Meditating with Hyalite crystals improves emotional freedom, balance, and intelligence. 

What Causes Hyalite Crystal to Change Color?

Fluorescence is the reason why Hyalite opals change dramatic fluorescence under black light. It’s caused by trace amounts of Uranium in the crystal lattice. 

Does Selenite Change Color?

Selenite Crystal on white background

Yes, Selenite crystal can glow dramatically under UV light in green and blue colors. As a high-vibration crystal, Selenite, with such color change, is great for spirit communication.

What Causes Selenite Crystal to Change Color?

Some varieties of Selenite and Satin Spar may show fluorescence and phosphorescence. The presence of uranyl ions causes fluorescence in Selenite.

Does Aquamarine Change Color?

Aquamarine Crystal on white background

Yes, Aquamarine can change from different shades of blue to clear, or colorless, from different angles. As a throat chakra stone, it’s a good color-changing gemstone for communication skills, self-expression, and confidence. 

What Causes Aquamarine Crystal to Change Color?

Pleochroism is why Aquamarine changes color when viewed from different angles. But some legends say Aquamarine can look cloudy if the wearer is worried. 

Does Garnet Change Color?

Garnet Crystal on white background

Yes, Garnet appears with a strong purple glow under fluorescent light. It can also glow in red, or orange, under incandescent lights. Pyrope Garnet even shifts from green to purple under fluorescent lights. 

What Causes Garnet to Change Color?

The rare color change of Garnet is generally attributed to the natural mix of Pyrope and Spessartite.  It’s a great crystal for courage, willpower, and stability. 

Does Topaz Change color?

Topaz Crystal on white background

Certain varieties of Topaz can change color under light and heat. Some may turn purple, brown, yellow, red, or colorless when exposed to sunlight for a long time. They may also glow with a green or yellow color under UV light. 

What Causes Topaz to Change Color?

Irradiation is the main reason why Topaz changes color. It is why the color change in Topaz is permanent, and not a quality like the other crystals on this list. 

Fluorescence is why some Topaz crystals glow in green, or yellow, under blacklight. 

Trick Crystal: Does Moonstone Change Color?

Moonstone Crystal on white background

While Moonstone doesn’t completely change color, it can sparkle with a bluish glow. Moreover, note that this isn’t a color-changing effect but a glowing illusion.

What Causes Moonstone to Change Color?

Adularescence is why Moonstone glows with a blue color when you view it against sunlight or a light bulb. The interwoven lattice of feldspar inside it adds to the adularescence in Moonstone crystals.

Before You Go

Color-changing gemstones make visualization, meditation, and manifestation rituals even more exciting. Moreover, they’re great for checking if you have a genuine crystal. 

Here’s a quick look at all the color-changing crystals and the reasons behind this change:

chart that explains why crystals and gems change their colors

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