Sri Lanka Gem Stones
Sri Lanka or Ceylon a small Country Packs a Big Punch in the Sapphire Market & Colored Gem Stones
While many people have never seen a sapphire close up, nearly everyone has heard the name.
When they hear the word sapphire, a multitude of associations appear in their mind. Beauty. Mystery. Adventure. Romance.
This wonderful gem stone, found in quantity in Sri Lanka, is made of corundum, a crystallized form of aluminum oxide.
Related to the ruby gem stone, the sapphire gemstone comes in a range of colors including pink, purple, yellow, white and green. However, the corn flower blue sapphire is the most familiar and most highly prized.
While these stones are found in many parts of Asia, some of the finest and most valuable colored stones are found in the island country of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka gem stones, (also known as Ceylon gem stones) are highly prized and sought after for their beauty and range of colors.
Sri Lanka is a smallish country off of the South Eastern coast of India.
This tropical nation, about half the size of the State of Ohio in the US, is an important center for the mining of gem stones. In the mining center, located in the hilly interior countryside about 100 miles from the capital city Colombo, sapphires gem stones are still mined by hand in the sandy hillsides.
Sri Lanka gem stones are not only beautiful, but are among the largest sapphires mined in the world.
The star sapphire, so called due to the brilliant star shape that appears on the surface of the gem stone, is among the most valuable of the corundum based gem stones.
The star is an optical effect caused by light reflecting off of the crown of the dome shaped stones. The star usually appears as three separate rays forming a six pointed star. In rare cases, a six ray, twelve pointed star can be found.
Among Sri Lanka gem stones, the star sapphire is one of the most successful exports. The famous -Star of India- which is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, possibly the largest star sapphire in the world, is actually a Sri Lanka gem stone.
Though most associate sapphires with the brilliant blue or blue gray varieties, the cornflower blue variety is very highly prized among collectors.
The Ceylon Gem Stone known as the Ceylon blue sapphire gemstone is an excellent example of a cornflower sapphire.
(Prior to the mid nineteen seventies, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, and Ceylon Gem Stones are still referred to among gemologists and collectors.).
The Sri Lankan blue sapphires are known for having an excellent clarity, a very high transparency, and a very pleasant intensity of color which enable the stones to display a very high in luster.
The Ceylon sapphire gem stone is also unique as it can brought to market as a completely natural gem stone, forgoing the heat treatment that non-Ceylon and Sri Lanka gem stones require.
The padparadsha sapphire, named after a lotus flower, has an orange-pinkish color and is among the most avidly sought fancy sapphires in the world.
Another Ceylon gem stone, a milky bluish Moonstone is a Sri Lankan gem stone that is only found in Sri lanka and it is considered one of the best Sri Lankan gem stones in the world.
Whether referred to as Sri Lanka gem stones or Ceylon gem stones, the gem stones from Sri Lanka have put this small country on every gem collector's map.