A tropical island located south of India, Sri Lanka has long been known as “The Island of Gems”. Mirroring the fantastic variety of colours in the indigenous flora, magnificent sapphires and other gemstones are unearthed predominantly in the regions of Ratnapura, Elahera and Kataragama in the south. Dive into the wonderful landscapes of Sri Lanka and discover the treasures this beautiful island is famous for.
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. Its 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.About the Ruby
The highest quality sapphires from the mines of Mogok are usually described by the Gübelin Gem Lab as "royal blue", a term used for extraordinary stones that are of a luscious, deep blue colour and fit strictly defined criteria concerning clarity, hue and saturation. Compared to rubies, Burmese sapphires also have a tendency to occur in larger sizes, which makes them highly sought after.
Geologically, Burmese sapphires and, indeed, rubies are considered to be much younger than many of their counterparts from locations like Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. In the mines of Mogok, sapphires are unearthed in various shades of blue but purple, violet and yellow stones can also be found.
Experience the unique colour and extraordinary gleam of the legendary Burmese ruby in some of Gübelin's most precious jewellery creationsAbout the Sapphire
The Mogok region in the centre of the country is by no means the only one where rubies and sapphires have been found in Burma. However, it has proven the only one whose yield was large enough to make it commercially viable. Besides rubies and sapphires, other gemstones like spinels, garnets, tourmalines, peridots and aquamarines are found and successfully unearthed. After mining, these treasures are collected, sorted and sold in several larger and smaller gem markets in the city of Mogok and smaller villages in the vicinity from where many make their way down to the large scale auctions in the southern city of Yangon. Afterwards, they continue their journey to become part of breath-taking jewellery that will, hopefully, delight their future owners for many decades to come.
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