High-quality alexandrite has been difficult to find in the Ratnapura district, where mining has taken place for thousands of years.
Production is limited, as many of the mines are becoming depleted.
Alexandrite was discovered as rolled pebbles in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka and by the early twentieth century, it was the main source for all three varieties of chrysoberyl: alexandrite, cymophane (cat's eye) and ordinary chrysoberyl. New chrysoberyl occurrence hosted by a pegmatite was discovered in 2004 at Kaltota near Balangoda in South Central Sri Lanka. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) and the Earth Resources Engineering Department (ERED) made the discovery during a joint study on the proposed National Geo-Park at Balangoda in 2006.