Ceylon gems are world famous. Sri Lanka was affectionately known as Ratna-Dweepa which means Gem Island.
There are about 200 known minerals in the world which are classified as precious gemstones. Now, Sri Lanka hosts about 75 of those precious gemstones which are found in abundance in the country. The country is largely known for its precious sapphires and rubies, but categorically we can divide five major types of gemstones which are found in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka as a country is termed by the name Ratna-Dweepa (Rathnadeepa) due to the availability of some of the rarest of gemstones of exquisite beauty and pride. Some of the main species of gemstones found in Sri Lanka are Blue Sapphire, Ruby, Yellow Sapphire, Alexandrite, Spinel, Quartz, Moonstone, Asteriated Sapphires, Topaz, Beryl and Tourmaline, etc. These gems are very famous among tourists coming to Sri Lanka due to their beauty, durability, strength, and rarity with varied color combinations available in the market.
It is now becoming a global hub both as a distribution channel as well as a center for cutting and polishing and treating precious gemstones where the industry is benefitted highly due to strict government policies relating to import and export regulations. Ceylon gems and jewelry making industry follows strict international guidelines to create some of the best Gems in the industry and thus giving a boost to the entire industry in the country.
It is considered as the hardest Known natural mineral after Diamond which makes it one of the most durable commercial gemstone. This group contains some of the finest and most expensive gemstones in the world. Red corundum is commonly known as Ruby while Blue corundum and other color variants of corundum are called Sapphire.
The finest quality of Blue Sapphire is found in Ceylon in Sri Lanka. One of the most unique features of Sri Lankan Blue Sapphire is its light bluish color and brightness compared to Deep-inky colored Sapphires found in places like Thailand. The Sapphire mines in Sri Lanka are considered one of the oldest in the world with its traditional center for the production of Sapphires based at Ratnapura in Sri Lanka. Different color variants of Sapphire especially yellow, green, pink and violet sapphires are common in Sri Lankan markets. The Yellow Sapphire or commonly known as Padparadscha is quite unique to Sri Lanka due to there pinkish-yellow to yellow appearance which identically resembles the color of a red lotus.
Most of the Sri Lankan varieties of Ruby are pinkish-red with a purple shady appearance which is highly unique to these Sri Lankan varieties of Rubies. The most important factor which decides the value of a Ruby is its color. Some other factors deciding its value includes its size, shape, and clarity. Rubies with higher transparency and size are more valued in comparison to a smaller size with few inclusions. It is found in medium to dark red or brownish-red in color. Star Rubies are very special due to their asterism effect and highly valued in the market due to their high intensity and attraction.
It is one of the red silicate mineral rock which is brittle to more or less transparent and used by various ancient tribes as a precious stone in history. This semi-precious stone is available in a wide range of colors except for blue. It is quite a popular choice among jewelers due to its durability and Brilliance ( high refractive index)
Garnet itself is not a clearly defined Gemstone rather it is the combination of various silicate minerals like Pyrope, Grossular, Mozambique, Andradite, Almandine, Uvarovite, Carbuncle, and Spessartine which together create the family of Garnet.
It’s wide diversity and the broad spectrum of color combination is simply marvelous. Natural Pyrope garnet having the composition Magnesium Aluminium Silicate with deep red in color is one of the most demanding garnets of all.
It is one of the semi-precious Gemstone which is known for its ability to help in detoxification of our body. It is well known for reducing stress along with improving the brain function and nervous system of our body. Tourmaline is found in highly unusual variations of color and found in shades of yellow, green and brown. The yellowish-brown variety of Tourmaline is the most common variety found in Sri Lanka. Tourmaline is famous for displaying multicolored layers within the stone and features a combination of various types of colors. Paraiba tourmaline is considered to be the most expensive and rarest variety of Tourmaline. It can be a favorite choice for those people who love colored gemstones. Tourmaline is a highly affordable Gem for common people even in their larger sizes.
It is a beryllium-aluminum oxide mineral that is generally translucent to transparent and exhibits a range of yellow to yellowish-green color. These gems are found in the alluvial gem deposits of Rathnapura, Avissawella, Mathugama and Deniyaya region of Sri Lanka.
Chrysoberyl shows a very high level of toughness and durability due to which it is regarded as a precious and valuable Gemstone in the market in its various forms. Alexandrite is an expensive variety of Chrysoberyl Gems which is known worldwide for its unique characteristic of changing color in natural light as well as in shade. The limited production of Alexandrite makes it a rare and highly expensive gem among other gems. Cat’s Eye is another variety of Gemstone which is shaped into cabochon and highly polished to give it proper smoothness with rounded edge and known to exhibit Cat’s Eye effect( displays a narrow band of light across the width of the stone) with superior color contrast and sharp chatoyancy.
Gemstones like Moonstones comprising two of its most common varieties like opaque white-colored or bluish shady colored moonstones are found in the world today. They are believed to be a healing stone with remarkable healing properties. The Sri Lankan Blue moonstones are highly praised in the international markets due to its glowing light effect and finest quality.
Photo Credit: Tina Senanayake JewellaryThese beautiful pictures are from Tina Senanayake Jewellary collection. The tallented artist Tina showcases the results of her lifelong passion for jewelry and beautiful stones though her designs.
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