Gems In Sri Lanka: Despite the fact that the best friends of girls are diamonds, besides them, it is also quite pleasant to have rubies, sapphires and other equally colorful precious stones in friends and close acquaintances
Mysterious Serendip Island
Remember the stories about Sinbad the Sailor or the tales of 1000 and 1 nights? These immortal creations feature gems brought from Serendip Island (Gem Island). Serendip comes from “serendipity”, which means the ability to surprise in unexpected ways. By the way, the mysterious island of Serendip is nothing more than the country of Sri Lanka.
All variety of precious stones
It is here that from time immemorial 40 to 85 varieties of precious stones have been mined. Just imagine an incomplete list of these sparkling beauties, shimmering in the rays of light: blue, orange, pink, red, yellow, white and star sapphires, orange-brown, fiery red, pale red, brown-red and yellowish-red garnets, alexandrites, moonstones, amethysts, aquamarines, beryls, topazes, zircons, tourmalines …
Stones fit for kings
The English crown flaunts a blue sapphire called “Blue Beauty”, which is originally from Sri Lanka. The Star of India exhibited at the New York Museum also came from Sri Lanka. Even King Solomon presented the Queen of Sheba with a ruby from the mysterious island of Serendip.
How gems are mined
The process of mining precious stones has remained unchanged for many centuries. First, with a pick and a shovel, they dig a mine near the river bank. Rock rises up in baskets, which is then washed in the nearest river. And then specially trained people begin to search for jewelry in a handful of washed stones. Who knows if they will be lucky to find one or two stones, or perhaps a whole wealth …
Read More About Sri Lanka
- Sinharaja Rain Forest Sri Lanka : Biodiversity Hotspot
- Kandy, Sri Lanka : Exploring the sacred city
- Anuradhapura : Sacred City of Sri Lanka
- Dambulla Cave Temple : Sri Lankan Architecture
- Central Highlands Of Sri Lanka : Wilderness Protected
Frequently Asked Questions About Sri Lankan Gems
Q. What is the national gem of Sri Lanka?
A – Sapphire was declared the national gem of Sri Lanka in October 2003.
Q. Are diamonds found in Sri Lanka?
A – Sri Lanka is a major exporter of sapphires and other precious gems. Last year, the country earned around half a billion dollars from exports of gems, cut diamonds and jewellery. “I’ve never seen such a large specimen before…” This is a special star sapphire specimen, probably the largest in the world.
Q. What minerals are found in Sri Lanka?
A – Sri Lanka is endowed with a variety of mineral resources, such as feldspar, clay (including ball clay and kaolin), dolomite, graphite, limestone, mica, mineral sands (including ilmenite, rutile, and zircon), phosphate rock, quartzite, and salt.
Q. Does Sri Lanka export gems?
A – Gemstones purchased in Sri Lanka can be exported either by air freight or by hand by the owner. Ratna Gems are submitted to the National Gems and Jewelery Authority (NGJA) along with the Common Customs Declaration (CUSDEC).
Q. What gems is Sri Lanka famous for?
A – Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is one of the most important sources for fine gems. Particularly noteworthy are the blue sapphire, pink sapphire or ruby, and yellow sapphire; Alexandrite and Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl; and almandite and hessonyl garnet.
Q. How can I send gems to Sri Lanka?
A – Sri Lanka only allows the export of cut and polished gems from the country. Gems and jewelery consignments can be exported only through National Gems and Jewelery Authority (NGJA), located at No. 25, Galle Face Terrace, Colombo 3.
Q. Are rubies mined in Sri Lanka?
A – The ruby mines of Sri Lanka are believed to have been the source of the jewelry that King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba. Ratnapur (City of Gemstones) is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous gemstone producing regions, especially noted for sapphires and rubies.