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Gemstones available in Sri Lanka

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of gemstones, known for producing some of the finest quality gemstones in the world. The island is rich in a variety of gemstones, including sapphires, rubies, cat's eye, alexandrite, topaz, garnet, tourmaline, and many others. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular gemstones found in Sri Lanka:

4.15 carat cornflower blue sapphire - Sri Lankan blue sapphire
4.15 carat cornflower blue sapphire

  1. Sapphire: Sri Lanka is renowned as a treasure trove of sapphires, and its sapphires have long been esteemed for their exceptional quality and captivating colors. Known as the "Island of Gems," Sri Lanka produces an astonishing array of sapphire colors, with each hue possessing its unique allure. Among these, the most famous is the Ceylon Blue Sapphire, celebrated for its vivid, velvety blue tones that evoke the depths of a serene ocean. Yet, Sri Lankan sapphires offer a diverse spectrum, ranging from delicate pastel shades like pink, yellow, and green to deeper, more intense colors like padparadscha, a rare and highly prized salmon-pink hue. The island's geological diversity and mineral-rich soils contribute to the enchanting variety of Sri Lankan sapphires, making them a coveted choice for discerning gemstone enthusiasts and jewelry designers worldwide.

  2. Ruby: Sri Lankan rubies, often referred to as the "Ratnapura Rubies," hold a special place in the world of gemstones. These exquisite gems, originating from the gem-rich soils of Ratnapura in Sri Lanka typically exhibit a mesmerizing range of red hues, from vivid scarlet to deep crimson, often with a captivating undertone of purplish or pinkish shades.

  3. Cat's Eye: Cat's Eye is a type of chrysoberyl gemstone that exhibits a unique chatoyancy effect, where the gemstone appears to have a moving band of light across its surface. Sri Lankan cat's-eye gemstones, also known as "Ceylon Cat's Eye," are a captivating and unique variety of chrysoberyl, renowned for their enchanting optical effect known as chatoyancy. These gems, predominantly sourced from Sri Lanka, exhibit a distinct band of light that appears to glide across the surface when viewed under a single light source, resembling the eye of a cat. This phenomenon, caused by the reflection of light off needle-like inclusions within the stone, creates a striking and ever-changing line of light that enhances the gem's allure. Sri Lankan cat's-eye gemstones come in a range of colors, with the most sought-after being the golden yellow or greenish-yellow hues. Their exceptional rarity, coupled with their mesmerizing visual effect, makes them highly prized among collectors and connoisseurs of fine gemstones, adding a touch of mystique and elegance to jewelry designs.

1.10 carat padparadscha spinel - Sri Lankan pink orange spinel
1.10 carat pink orange spinel

4. Spinel: Renowned for its exceptional beauty and vibrant colors, Sri Lankan spinel has earned a distinguished place in the world of gemstones. This gemstone, often referred to as the "Ceylon Spinel" owing to its origin in the island nation of Sri Lanka, boasts a rich history that dates back centuries. Sri Lankan spinels are celebrated for their wide spectrum of hues, ranging from fiery reds and deep blues to delicate pinks and mesmerizing purples. Their remarkable brilliance and clarity make them highly coveted by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike. Mined from the gem-rich soil of Sri Lanka, these spinels have adorned royal crowns and exquisite jewelry pieces, leaving an indelible mark on the gemstone industry. With its captivating allure and enduring charm, Sri Lankan spinel continues to captivate the hearts of gem connoisseurs worldwide.

5. Alexandrite: Sri Lankan alexandrite is a rare and highly coveted variety of the mineral chrysoberyl, prized for its remarkable color-changing properties. This gemstone is particularly exceptional because it undergoes a dramatic transformation in different lighting conditions, displaying a vibrant green hue in natural daylight and shifting to a rich, reddish-purple under incandescent light. Sri Lanka has gained recognition as one of the few sources worldwide where alexandrite of high quality is found. These gems often exhibit a strong and pronounced color change, making them immensely valuable and sought-after by gem collectors and enthusiasts. Sri Lankan alexandrite's scarcity, coupled with its mesmerizing color shift, has elevated it to a status of rarity and desirability, making it a prized addition to fine jewelry and a testament to the island's rich gemological heritage.

6. Topaz: While topaz can occur in various shades, Sri Lanka is particularly famous for its range of blue and colorless topaz. Blue topaz from Sri Lanka exhibits a strikingly vivid azure hue, often referred to as "Swiss Blue" or "London Blue," making it a popular choice for gemstone enthusiasts. Colorless topaz, on the other hand, is highly prized for its remarkable transparency and brilliant sparkle. Sri Lankan topaz has a long history of adorning jewelry pieces, and its versatility in terms of color and affordability has made it a favored gemstone for both casual and fine jewelry designs. With its radiant beauty and accessibility, Sri Lankan topaz continues to capture the hearts of gemstone aficionados and jewelry designers worldwide.

4.15 carat rhodolite garnet - Sri Lankan red garnet
4.15 carat rhodolite garnet

7. Garnet: Sri Lankan garnets span a wide spectrum of hues, ranging from deep, earthy reds to vibrant oranges, gentle pinks, and even rare greens. One particularly renowned variety found in Sri Lanka is the strikingly red almandine garnet, celebrated for its deep crimson tones that evoke passion and warmth.

8. Tourmaline: Sri Lanka is a major producer of tourmaline gemstones, which are found in a wide range of colours including pink, green, blue, and yellow. Sri Lankan tourmaline is highly valued for its exceptional colour and clarity.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka is a gemstone lover's paradise, with a rich variety of high-quality gemstones to choose from. The gemstones are mined from various locations across the island and are highly valued for their exceptional quality and beauty.


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