The Island of Gem - Sri Lanka | Home for Stones & Covers (Part 2)
Although Sri lanka is largely known for the best Sapphire and Ruby gem stones, the major foundlings from the Sri Lanka belongs to following categories:
1.Corundum. 2.Chrysoberyl 3.Spinel 4.Garnet. 5.Tourmaline.
The group corundum contains the worlds most valuable Sapphire Gem Stone. Although Sapphire stones are famous for blue color it also comes in all Rainbow Colors. The famous Star Sapphire considered as more in value as it is very rare. The corundum usually named with different for the variety of form they found. For example, the deep red named as "Ruby" . The expensive "Padparaga" is a same sapphire corundum but it is named differently for every shade of pink and pinkish orange mixed in the gem stone. It is very rarely found in Sri Lanka or in any other part of the world. Hence, price of a Padparaga gem stone is very high and only for the highest quality of luxury users.
The rough stones will be taken to a gem cutter for cutting and polishing. There are many established and reputable gem cutting centers in the island for the job. In fact, the best gem cutters are found in south part of the island namely "Beruwala". The city is well known among best gem dealers in the world.
It requires an expert eyes to cut and polish the gem stone. The lustre in a rough stone can be developed with heating process as well. The more the dark color is, the value of a Sapphire Gem stone increases. Hence, it is the job of the Cutter to identify the inclusions in advance to maximize the shinning of a gem stone. A cutting process of a gem stone can bring out a best gem stone or can destroy the stones value. All depends on the expertise of the cutter and his decision makings and shape of cut he decides for the different stones.
When the cutting and polishing process is completed, the stones will arrive to either Beruwala Gem Market or Colombo for the sales. There are many buyers in the Ratnapura as well. However, Ratnapura is commonly known as rough gem market among the international gem dealers. The Gems will be finally sold to local or an international gem dealers or to a jewelry maker. The beautiful sapphire ring or necklace that you wear is not just a normal stone but a special peace of jewel found very rarely. It is founded in a very hard process of mining and done allot of work and designing before it reaches you. That is why generally gems are priced at high. It is for its uniqueness and rareness.
There are other famous type of gem stones found in Sri Lanka as well. Which include Cats Eye, Moonstone, Alexandrite (color changing very rare stone), and some other stones like garnet and few other semi precious stones. Semi precious are generally priced low in Sri Lanka. They are mostly used for the settings of jewelry.
One must obtain a gem license and certificate from the local authorities In order to deal and sell gem stones in Sri Lanka. The procedure for the foreigners who come to buy from exhibitions and auctions are different. The relevant Authorities in the country are very helpful in guidance and in compliance.
It is always advised to buy gem stones with a gem expert. In gem stones, 80% is practical. A person who is dealing in the gem and in the industry for couple of years would easily identify the types of stones, colors, quality and fix a price accordingly. It is not advisable to buy rough gem stones without a gem expert. One can buy Cut and polished (finished) gem stone from reputed gem selling shops in Sri Lanka. There are thousands of gem and jewelry shops in the island. Most of the jewelers take the cut and polish gems to the Gem testing labs for the testing and certificate. A certificate generally indicate the type, color, mineral details, dimensions, and a photo of the gem stone. It will bring more value for the stone as well. In general, Sri Lanka is a gem island and famous for Sapphire gem stone. The Sri Lankan Gem dealers bring the best stones to the international market. Many of them it is a family business for generations and they value trust and long term business with international markets. Stones & Covers has its own gem experts and in close contact with leading gem testing centers. We make sure that we bring the best gem stones to our customers for the value they pay us.