Everyone has a way of expressing care and love for their loved ones. To some people it can be gifting a rare and valuable gem or a jewelry made from these beautiful gemstones. Gems come in a variety of colors at different values. Not only for jewelry but for other purposes too. In Sri Lanka you will find some of the best gemstones out in the world. Some of these gems are introduced below under “Popular and rare gems found in Sri Lanka.
Popular and rare gems found in Sri Lanka
Natural blue sapphires are the most highly valued sapphires in Sri Lanka. Their clean deep blue color is also the reason why many priced jewels of aristocrats and royals are included in their jewelry. When the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana was proposed, her engagement ring had a 12 karat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by dozens of diamonds. To this day it is considered a highly valuable royal possession.
Rubies are one of the most valuable types of gems. It belongs to corundum gemstones, which makes ruby a hard natural mineral to find. Ceylon rubies stand out because of their vibrant red color. It is highly regarded in the gem admirers’ world. They are often found in ancient Sri Lankan jewelry in aristocratic families. Since the ruby is clear and transparent, there are less blemishes in the gemstones. They have the alluring power to make fine jewelry from rings to necklaces to earrings.
“Most valuable and rarest among all sapphires.” Padparadscha can only be found in Sri Lanka and therefore it is the rarest out of all. The gemstone has an orangish pink and also a peachy pink. This gives off a refined and delicate appearance to the jewelry. Most of the stones are smaller in size but have great clarity. It is often a prized possession even for gem sellers and collectors.
There are four kinds of garnets popular in sri lanka. They are Almandine, Grossular, Pyrope and Spessartine.
Almandine has a deep red to reddish-brown variety of garnets. Next to rubies, red garnets are most attractive. They are also called “”ceylon garnets.
Grossular garnets are green to yellow-green in color. There are also bright orange, yellow and brown garnets.
Ceylon pyrope garnet is a variety of pyrope garnets. They have a rich, deep red color with excellent clarity. Because of its hard and durable nature it is used to make a lot of beautiful jewelry.
Spessartine garnets are found in orange to orange-red colors. This orange color is very bright. As a result, that is sometimes called mandarin garnet.
Emeralds are rarely found in Sri Lanka compared to many other famous gemstones. However, similar to other emeralds, Ceylon emerald is also hailed in gem industry. The uniqueness of the gemstone lies in its clarity. It has a less porous structure and is smoother because of the sedimentary rock deposits. They vary from a deeper green to light green in color.
However, these are not all precious gems to be found on the island. There are yellow sapphire, aquamarine, agate, amethyst, topaz, moonstone & etc.
If you are looking for good places to buy gems and jewelry visit the following websites of the official Export Development Board and some famous Ceylon gem shops.
Where to visit to watch gem cutting?
If you are an enthusiastic and passionate person about gems you will definitely fall in love with the process of a rough mineral becoming a polished gemstone. There are several places in Sri Lanka you can visit to quench your curiosity.
There are factories in Ratnapura, Beruwala, Galle, Colombo and Kandy of gem dealers and sellers. Visit one of the factories to see how they are shaped into different shapes that bring out the best quality of the natural mineral stones.
Wanting to visit a Gem Mine?
There are several gem mines in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. Ratnapura is the heart of Sri Lanka’s gem industry. When you visit a mine there are large pits/ openings dug deep into the ground. Within the pits there are long tunnels dug into the ground. Visitors can go into the mines with the help of miners. Walk through the long tunnels and see them mining using tools. After that, they wash the stones in a stream outside of the pit.
It will be a great experience because after visiting the mines you can visit a gem workshop. While observing the complete process you will understand the hard work and risk miners undergo to mine gems. Then you will also see how an unattractive stone turns into a valuable gem. They are cut and shaped in order to attract its buyers and sellers.