Top 5 Rare Gemstones Found in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a flagship destination for Gemstones and Jewelry in the South Indo Pacific region. With an ancestral relationship with gem culture and jewellery craftsmanship of centuries, Ceylon Gems also known as Sri Lankan gems are known for its rarity and exquisite clarity that has stood the test of time. The country has several Gem mines that have been the source of many internationally recognized and awarded gems. Rathnapura is an epicentre in the Sri Lankan Gem Market. Mines are generally mined in the Sabaragamuwa provinces and also in areas such as Palmadulla, Kataragama, & Deniyaya. Besides, Gem Markets have located areas such as Beruwala, Agalawatta, Colombo which have sold and created a reputation for unique gems. This article focuses on a few of the rarest gems that are sourced and sold in Sri Lanka that are recognized and celebrated around the world.
“Cultured Sapphires” also known as lab-created sapphires are generally looked down upon in the Sri Lankan Gem Markets. Prominence is always given for the naturally & ethically sourced gems in Sri Lanka which have justified the generational association and source of income with the Gem Mining and selling with the nation. In addition, the quality standards of gem cutting have always kept at supernormal standards to ensure that the trade and the culture are only kept with a dedicated few of the society.
Photo Credit :GIA
Alexandrite is a rare variety of Gems found in Sri Lanka that belongs to the Chrysoberyl family. The defining characteristic of this variety is the colour change in hue and saturation. The generic Ceylon Alexandrite is of grass green in daylight. However, it changes into violet-red, incandescent or Raspberry red based on the presence of artificial light. In rare cases, the stones change colour to the Alexandrite cat’s eye too. These gemstones are found in places such as Rathnapura and Deniyaya areas and the mining & cutting process have undergone creative craftsmanship and severe attention to detail that the Sri Lankans are experts in, to ensure that the Alexandrite stone remains a true competitive advantage in the gem business around the globe.
The prices are determined based on the percentage of colour change and the carat value of the stone. The colours can be matched and identified based on the international gem colour index where buyers can obtain a certificate to guarantee the authenticity and quality of the stone through certified agents and sellers.
Derived from the Sinhalese word “Padma Radschen” which roughly translates to Lotus Blossom is a unique gemstone that is found in Ceylon. Representing the Corundum family, this stone emits a pink & orange hue which is when cutting into the right dimensions would take the shape of a lotus flower which is truly exceptional and very attractive. Padparadscha stones are generally priced higher than rubies and emeralds but the size and purity are crucial factors outside the 4Cs considered when buying the Padparadscha stones. These stones are found in countries such as Madagascar and Tanzania as well but the Sri Lankan gem market holds a price superiority due to the quality and colour contrasts that are truly unique to the nation. The orange emphasis of the stone truly makes it unique because the stones that are sourced from Madagascar are rich in pink colour saturation.
Teal Sapphires have a deep bluish-green hue and in certain rare stones, there is a colour shift effect visible too. There is Jungle Teal, Ocean Teal, Lightening teal, Chameleon teal, deep teal green, bi-colour mint teal, bicolour deep cashmere moss and teal peacock teal and many more. It is perhaps the most eye-catching stone that is sold relatively at a cheaper price compared to cornflower and blue sapphires.
Gemologists around the world have a very high preference and credibility over the integrity and quality that the Sri Lankan Gem Markets and Mines provide. This has been in existence since 2 Century A.C. Sri Lanka, a country that is modest about its expertise in handcrafted jewellery has utilized the Teal Sapphire stone to create a variety of rings and pendants that have created a market standard across the world. Price Considerations are the clarity and the cut shape. It is imperative that professional expertise is consulted prior to buying a special gemstone.
Peach Sapphire stones can be traced back to the Corundum family. They have a hue of colour pink than orange-ish and are prominently used for engagement rings coupled with rose gold. It is believed that the Peach sapphires are only found in Sri Lanka and Madagascar but, the more expensive stones are from Sri Lanka. This is because Madagascar Peach sapphires have a distinct bubble formation inside the stone whilst Sri Lankan stones are generally sold in larger quantities.
Peach Sapphires are relatively stronger and suitable for hard use. They have a higher emission of colour and does not wear out easily. In certain cases, these stones are called Peach Champagne Sapphires too based on the colour saturation.
The Name Tourmaline is said to be derived from the word "thoramalli" (තෝරමල්ලි) or "tōra- molli" in the Sinhalese language. During the trade times of the Dutch East India Company in 1719, it was called the “Ceylonese Sri Lankan Magnet”. The gem is found in Green and Brown Varieties but the impressive element of this gemstone is the pyroelectric properties, which means that the stone could attract or repel hot ashes when exposed in proximity. Ceylon Green Tourmaline is a reputed gem around the world due to the clarity and colour contrast demonstrated by the stone. Generally, this stone is treated by Heat procedures to improve colour. But the Natural uncut tourmaline gems from Sri Lanka sustains the superiority in colour and texture.
It is proven that Tourmaline Stones has a health influence. A generic stone emits infrared radiation of 4-14 micron wavelength which boosts up the immune system and promotes detoxification.
There is a Sri Lankan belief among the people that gems appear with the change of the moon. And that there a variety of gems are yet to be found.For a list of World’s Biggest Gems Found from Sri Lanka Click Here.