The Island of Gem - Sri Lanka | Home for Stones & Covers (Part 1)
Sri Lanka is also known as pearl of the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is one of the top 3 countries in the world famous for precious gem stones. The tiny island ranks with South Africa, Myanmar, and Brazil as one of the most leading gem dealing country in the world. The highest quality Sapphire Gems found in Sri Lanka are considered most valuable for centuries. History of Sri Lankan Gems goes back to the King Solomon time.
The history teaches us that King Solomon gifted Jewelries to Queen Sheba which included famous Sri Lankan Sapphire stone. The value of Sri Lankan (formally known as Ceylon Sapphire) continued to rise with the new findings of gem mining in the country. In 1981 Princess Diana choose a Sri Lankan Sapphire gem included ring as her wedding jewel. The Stone was one of the most beautiful peace founded in Sri Lanka and cut to 18 Carat Royal Blue Sapphire before mounted to a ring. According to the BBC News, The Jewelry was picked by Late Princess Diana from the Royal Jewellers Gerrard. The origin of the Gem Stone goes back to Sri Lanka. Later, the ring was gifted as engagement ring to now princess Kate Middleton from Prince Williams. The leading gem dealers and jewelers mention that this stone is very unique Sri Lankan Sapphire Stone and therefore it is very hard to fix a price or value for this particular stone. There are many examples of Sri Lankan Sapphire gems used for Royal Jewelries and leading jewel makers best collections.
Sri Lanka is a complete package of a gem market. From the mining sources to the cut and polish sales market. The City of Gem "Ratnapura" is the famous mining center and the place with most gem deposits in the island. The Name itself gives the meaning of "Ratna" (Gems) and "Pura" (City). Many of the local famous sapphire and other gem stones are founded in these areas of the Island. The mining of Gem stones requires bit of a luck too. For example, If a valuable gem stone founded from a mining does not mean that there will be more gem stones nearby. Similarly, a great single gem stone can be mined in an unexpected area. However, The development in the mining comes with finding of many gem stones in a single area. It gives the traditional miners the sign for more gem stones and therefore the people who does mining for generations will be more interested. Still mining is considered as a risky business for the reason that there are cases where huge mining with losses because they were not able to find gem stones. Even if they mine for months or years. Considering the Environmental issues, the law makers and legislative writers have imposed strict laws against mining using latest equipment and techniques. Therefore, most of the Sri Lankan Gem minings are traditional and time taking. Many Local workers work in mining for a commission based. If the owners found a good gem stone, everyone involved including the land owner, mining team, and financial supporter will receive their shares. Mostly this is between the village people and they operate on trust basis. The process also include obtaining license for mining and a separate license to deal and sell gem stones.