In addition to being known as the Spice Island, Sri Lanka is also referred to as the Island of Gems. Indeed, some of the most famous and beautiful blue sapphires in the world came from the alluvial gem mines of Sri Lanka. Even today, these gemstones, and several others, still come from the country, with the star sapphire being the most beautiful.
No trip to the island is complete without a visit to the many retail shops selling gems and jewelry in Colombo and Galle. If you are a jewelry designer and gem cutter, then a visit straight to the source in Ratnapura is a must.
Jewelry production in Sri Lanka has evolved over the years, adapting to a younger generation. Classic gem-cutting and jewelry manufacturing follow international guidelines to create the best gems in the region. Moonstones, tourmaline, cat’s eye, and more are available for visitors to buy as single stones or in all sorts of wearable jewelry. A favorite gem miner, cutter and jewelry manufacturer is Tash Gems & Jewellery. They mine the rough stones, cut them, and expose a special kind of sapphire to heat, which causes it to turn a more vibrant blue.
The cat’s eye gemstone is one that reflects a line of light down the center when cut en cabochon. It comes in many colors—gray, grayish green, yellow, red, blue, brown, black and white—and is quite unique. These gems look great on a ring or a pair of earrings.
The amethyst is a type of purple quartz found all around the world. There is plenty of amethyst in Sri Lanka as well.
The opaque white color of the moonstone gives it somewhat of a magic quality. It’s the only indigenous stone in Sri Lanka, and no visit to the country is complete without a little moonstone souvenir.
Other precious and semi-precious gems found in Sri Lanka are zircon, quartz, garnet, hessonite, tourmaline, chrysoberyl, aquamarine, and topaz.
Contact Tash Gems and Jewellery if you want jewelry made with any of these gems.