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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Rarest Gems to See in Sri Lanka – Explore the Island's Captivating Precious Stones
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5 Rarest Gems to See in Sri Lanka – Explore the Island's Captivating Precious Stones

Sri Lanka has an abundance of precious stones and some are surprisingly rare, even more so than diamonds. Let's take a look at the rare gems of the island.

1

Star Stones

These are some of the most unique stones found on the island, and they are bound to capture your attention with their unique asterisms. This refers to an effect that occurs when light falls on the stones, causing a star to appear in its centre. The colours of these stones range from grey to a medium dark blue. The most valuable Star Stones are slightly purple in colour. A high quality Star Stone should be fairly transparent, with a defined star shape appearing in its centre. Since these are categorised as hard-stones, they can take a high degree of polish and can retain their shine for a long time.

2

Chrysoberyl

These stones are very attractive to look at, and are a very pleasant shade of green. They are transparent and faceted and do not show any difference in colour change depending on exposure to natural light or artificial light. If there is a colour change, then it is a very similar, but a different version of Chrysoberyl called Alexandrite. The finest specimens of Chrysoberyl would be either yellowish or green in appearance. The beautifully bi-coloured specimens of Chrysoberyl are the rarest. These are also fairly hard stones and can be polished well to make their appearance impeccably shiny.

3

Aquamarine

Although this isn't particularly rare where gemstones are concerned, Sri Lanka is particularly renowned for its Aquamarine shade of beryl. Beryl is the mineral that Aquamarine is composed of, and in its purest form is completely colourless. Green-coloured beryl is known as Emerald, which is also quite easily found on the island of Sri Lanka.

4

Ruby

These are among the rarest gemstones in the world, and there are notable deposits in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Rubies are quite distinguishable by their colour, which has traces of purple. This particular shade is referred to as 'Pigeon Blood Red' in gem circles. A trained eye can easily distinguish a Sri Lankan Ruby from one of a different origin. The colour can be altered by exposing the stones to heat, which causes them to lose their purple tinge, emphasising the original shade of red. Rubies are quite renowned in Asian countries, with warriors commonly adorning their armour with these stones during ancient times. Rubies were also laid down in the foundations of buildings to bring good fortune.

5

Ceylon Sapphires

These are one of the most sought after precious stones in Sri Lanka, and are synonymous with the country itself. The blue varieties of Ceylon Sapphire are the most iconic, but they appear in a variety of other colours as well. There are beautiful specimens of Ceylon Sapphire that come in hues of pink, yellow, green and even orange or lavender. These stones have worldwide recognition and can be found throughout Sri Lanka. If you're staying at a Bentota hotel along the south coast, such as AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, you should be able to easily find a jeweller in and around the coastal stretch.