The island of
Blue sapphires from Sri Lanka have long been known for being some of the most beautiful and precious coloured gemstones in the world. Indeed, it is likely that this tropical island was the very first source of blue sapphires in the world. Etruscan, Indian, Greek and Roman sources refer to gemstones originating from Sri Lanka, giving evidence that the island in the Indian Ocean is the oldest and most sustainable supplier of sapphires to mankind.
Experience the unique colour and extraordinary beauty of the Sri Lankan sapphire in some of Gübelin's most precious jewellery creations.
Next to the well-known and renowned blue sapphires, Sri Lanka is one of the best known origins for fancy-coloured sapphires. While they are still very rare, the most common shades of fancy-coloured sapphires found on the island are yellow, pink and purple. Star sapphires as well as star rubies, in rare cases, are also found in Sri Lanka. The inclusions in these precious gemstones align perfectly so that, if cut correctly as cabochons, these gemstones display a star on their surfaces when the light hits them. One type of sapphire that certainly deserves a special mention is the unique padparadscha sapphire, the precious stone that is at the centre of Gübelin Jewellery's new Aurora world. The padparadscha's beautiful orangey-pink colours and its fascinating inner worlds have inspired precious jewels that convey the serene mood of a peaceful sunrise in Sri Lanka.
The gemstones of
Although the island is famous for its breath-taking sapphires, other gemstones of extraordinary quality are unearthed in the artisanal mines of Sri Lanka. Among them are beautiful tourmalines, spinels, zircons and even cat's eye garnets and the exceedingly rare alexandrite, a species of chrysoberyl famous for its almost magical ability to change colours under different kinds of light.
In addition to the unearthing of and trade in coloured gemstones, Sri Lanka has a thriving gemstone treatment industry. Especially famous for their heat treatment of corundum and other gems, the island's industry has grown strongly in the last decades and Sri Lanka has become well known for the extraordinary quality of its "burners", as the people who perform gemstone heat treatment are known locally. Next to the flourishing coloured gemstone industry, the people of Sri Lanka have also built up a reputation for their skill in diamond cutting and polishing. Being a signatory to the Kimberley Process Certifications Scheme, the country upholds strict principles concerning the social sustainability within the diamond trade.
The diversity of its gemstones, their extraordinary quality and the rich history in gemstone mining the island of Sri Lanka can boast of have given Sri Lankan gemstones an almost mythical feel. All these factors make this beautiful island state clearly worthy of its ancient Sanskrit name "Rathna-Dweepa" for it truly is an Island of Gems.