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Known during ancient times as "Rathna-dweepa"—which translates roughly to "The Island of Gemstones"—Sri Lanka has long been revered for its natural gifts. Its earth is saturated with a dazzling array of precious gemstones, each possessing unique metaphysical properties of beauty, power, and healing.
It's believed that 20 to 25% of Sri Lanka's land mass bears gemstones—making it one of the densest gem reserves in the world!
Sri Lanka Gemstones Original Locations
Sri Lanka's gem-bearing areas are concentrated around the Highland Group and the Southwest Group of the country, with a few pockets in the Eastern Vijayan Complex.
Today, most Sri Lankan gemstones are mined from the Elahera and Ratnapura gem fields.
Renowned as the gemstone capital of Sri Lanka, Ratnapura's metamorphic rock formations---located in the country's Sabaragamuwa Province---are some of the oldest in the world—dating back to almost three billion years ago.
This is where the country's most precious gemstones are mined, including Spinel, Zircon, Garnet, Beryl, Chrysoberyl, Tourmaline, Topaz, Ruby, and of course, the country's world-famous Sapphire.
Kurunegala in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka offers dozens of semi-precious gemstones. We recommend newbies hone their skills on this area's Moonstone, Quartz, Spinel, and Tourmaline deposits.
35% of gemstone exports come from the Elahera gem field in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. Mines from this area yield high-quality Tourmaline, Garnet, Zircon, Garnet, Chrysoberyl, and Sapphire.
The Colombo District in the country's Western Province is another hotspot for Sri Lankan gems. Andalusite, Kornerupine, Spinel, and Zircon are just some of what's mined here.
Complete List of Sri Lanka Gemstones
FAQs on Sri Lanka Gemstones
Sri Lanka is recognized for its captivating Sapphires, Spinels, Garnets, Aquamarines, Chrysoberyls, Alexandrites, and Zircons.
Pound for pound, Alexandrite is the most valuable gemstone found in Sri Lanka. How valuable? For the best specimens, expect to pay up to $15,000 per carat!
As you can expect from a place called The Island of Gemstones, Sri Lanka's gem mining industry yields a plethora of gems, including Sapphires, Spinels, Garnets, Aquamarines, Chrysoberyls, Alexandrites, and Zircons.
Absolutely! The most expensive type of Sri Lankan Sapphire, on average, is the stunning sunset-colored Padparadscha Sapphire—costing roughly $1,500 per carat!
Though Sri Lanka is a major player in faceting and trading diamonds, they are not found in any abundance on the island.