Alexandrite is a remarkable gem. It is one of the finest color change stones in nature, resembling fine emerald or ruby, depending on the light source. It is so rare, that most people have never seen one.
Alexandrite has a distinguished and glamorous past. It was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830. The Russian imperial colors ware red and green, so it made quite a hit. It was named after Czar Alexander II's at his coming of age ceremony.
The original source closed after only a few decades of mining. Today they have been reopened, but only produce a few carats a year. In 1987, a new find of alexandrite was made in Brazil. Later, alexandrite discoveries were made in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. However, none of these sites produces as rich and vivid a color change as the original Russian source.