Gemstones in Sri Lanka

Gem industry in sri lanka

Throughout the history, Sri Lanka has been known as a land of gems.
According to the historical records,gem mining is one of the oldest industries in Sri Lanka.

Today Sri Lankan gems are most popular goods among the Tourists. Tourists who visit to Sri Lanka,are willing to buy Sri Lankan gems and jewelers.

The main gemstone species found in Sri Lanka are Blue Sapphire, Ruby, Padparadscha, Yellow Sapphire, Asteriated Sapphires (Star Sapphires), Alexandrite, Spinel, Tourmaline, Beryl, Quartz, Moonstone etc.

Main species of Gemstones found in Sri Lanka are as follows.

Buying Gems in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has the reputation for precious stones since ancient times.Rathnapura,Galle,Elahera are the main areas where most of the Sri Lanka’s gemstones are found.

There are shops selling gems in Colobmo ,Kandy,and Galle. Some of them provide a certificate for the gems they sell.

If you have a good knowledge of gemstones,then Ratnapura would be the best place to buy rough uncut gems.

With a bit of bargain you can buy gems at a lower price.

If you buy gems in Sri Lanka, we advise to go to National Gem and Jewellery Authority and get it certified. You can get a valuation and a certificate
free of charge from Gem Authority.

Gem Authority offices are in Rathnapura and Colombo so you can ask the seller to accompany you to get a valuation before the sale.

Most reputable gem merchants offer an International Guarantee Certificate.

National Gem and Jewellery Authority,

No.25,

Galle Face Terrace,


Colombo 03,

Sri Lanka

Tel:094112390645,   094112390653

Fax :094 11 2390649

E-mail:info@ngja.gov.lk

Gem Mining in Sri Lanka

The prominent gem mining areas in Sri Lanka are Ratnapura, Balangoda, and Elahera.Ratnapura is the most prominent gem mining destination which attracts tourists from all around the world.

Distance from Colombo to Rathnapura is 97 km and it takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the town.

Gem mining in Sri Lanka is done only by obtaining a permit from the National Gem and Jewellery Authority.

Only traditional methods of gem mining are allowed to conduct so as to protect the environment.

Furthermore, gem mining permits are issued only for Sri Lankans . Well experienced miners recognized gems deposits driving an iron rod into the earth and listening to the sound which comes through the earth.

Land owner or the permit owner employed laborers to dig a square pit where the gems deposit is expected to be found.

If the gem deposit is not located close the surface of the ground, deep mining is carried out, sometimes even 30 meters deep into the earth. This is very expensive and risky too.

You could easily visit one of the gem mines in Ratnapura. We recommend you hire a tour guide for a better experience.

you could also visit gems museum and many workshops to see the process of mining, cutting, and polishing.

Gem Museums in Ratnapura

This was Established by a local gemologist and a good place to learn about gems stone and gem mining in sri lanka.

Here visitors have the opportunity to see a breathtaking display of the raw gem stones,cut and polished stones.

There are valuable collections of pictures,tools and items to learn the methodology of gem industry.


The Museum is open from 8.30 am – to 5.30 pm daily.

There are several other private gem museums and gem cutting centers, which are also sales outlets.

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