Sparkling Sri Lankan Gems & Jewelry

Sri Lanka is an island of everything, simply well known as the paradise of tea and gems. Throughout the history of Sri Lanka, this country known as “Rathna Deepa” which means “The Island of Gemstone”. Sri Lanka has its own unique tradition of gems and jewellery, And on a simplistic level, jewellery is a signifier of social class and wealth. It is also important in defining traditions that are both cultural and religious, as well as in spiritual remedies that are associated with energy, power and healing properties.

The meanings attached to similar types of jewellery (such as rings and necklaces) differ across cultures share different meanings such as symbols of traditional marriages.Tour packages in Sri Lanka

Playing “Rabana”- the drum

In Sri Lanka, Jewelry that was initially used to depict and differentiate royalty, the upper classes and caste has morphed into representations of millennia long cultural characteristic and traditions. Most if not all ethnicities have some form of aristocratic associations with Jewelry.

Kandyan Jewelry is an example of this. It’s not uncommon for Sri Lankan to wear Kandyan Jewelry at weddings as costume jewelry or accessories to match modern clothing even if family lineages do not trace back to the hill country. Another cultural belief of Jewelry revolves around the use of gold and precious stones that have their own spiritual meanings. In the past, the use of precious stones was somewhat limited to pendants, rings and earrings but has evolved to include embedded necklaces and other pieces of adornment.

Gold has stood the test of time and is a common theme in Sri Lanka. While it is seen as a need and even an investment, its aesthetic value is undeniable. So enamored are both sexes with this precious metal that imitation gold jewelry is also popular, which provides roadside jewelry shops a small but regular income from electroplating.Tour packages in Sri Lanka

Rope swing
Rope swing

Jewellery or components like precious  stones, blood diamonds, for example can make a country or continent world famous, for both good and bad reasons.  The industry of Sri Lankan gems has 70 of the world’s 200 varieties of colorful gem stones. Present day, gems are a mainstay of the country’s tourism industry although its ancient roots date back to records of Marco Polo, Ptolemy and Persian traders. The heart of Sri Lanka’s gem industry  lies in Ratnapura – “The City of Gems” while some estimates suggest than more than 80 percent of the Island’s rock formations could hold gem deposits.

Sri Lanka’s gem, diamond and Jewellery industry contributed in excess of US$ 350 million to the country’s exports in year 2015. But beyond monetary values, the popularity of its star gem the Ceylon sapphire holds away.

Rope swing

The Ceylon sapphire is a brilliant cornflower of cerulean blue and its considered to be of the highest quality. The stone is very popular that it enjoys a reputation extending as far back as biblical times.

An 18 carat blue sapphire was at the center of Lady Diana’s and later the  Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement rings. In year 2014, the world’s largest Blue sapphire which weighted 1,409.4 carats was found in a mine in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Blue Sapphire
Gem mine in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Search for the Gems

And as the heady variety of Jewellery from precious stones and metals to costume jewellery that is worn evolves, the  value and meanings associated with them will no doubt be defined and redefined through the ages.

Sri Lankan Blue Sapphire
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