Alexandrite was first discovered in 1831 in an emerald mining region of the Ural Mountains in the old Russia.
The stone is named after Prince Alexander of Russia, who was to later become Czar Alexander II, since it is said to have been discovered on the day of the prince's birthday.
That's why the "A" in Alexandrite is often capitalized.
Although Alexandrite is a relatively young gemstone, it certainly has a noble history. Since it shows both red and green colors, the colors of old Imperial Russia, it inevitably became the national stone of tsarist Russia.
One of the first notable mentions of Alexandrite in literature, was by the Russian writer Nikolai Leskov who wrote a short novel, "Alexandrite, Mysterious Interpretation of a True Fact", in which the gem plays a major role and is defined as a prophetic stone.
Beautiful Alexandrite in top quality, is very rare indeed and hardly ever used in modern jewellery.
Old Russian master jewelers loved the stone, and small Alexandrites were occasionally also used in Victorian jewellery from England.
At the end of the 19th century, Tiffany's produced some beautiful series of platinum rings in Alexandrite, and those rings are considered today rare and expensive collectables.