Chapter 1. Insidious siberian

On 17 April 1834, the Russian Empire was celebrating the sixteenth birthday of the future Tsar Alexander II, one of the most controversial characters in Russian history. At around the same time, a color changing gemstone was found in the UralsĀ“s Izumrudnye Kopi (Emerald mines) on the Tokovaya River, 85 versts (96 kilometres) to the east of Ekaterinburg and the noble story of the most scarce and fascinating precious stone was born and irrevocably associated with Alexander II, through being named in his honour -- Alexandrite.