Sri Lanka’s Pride; The World-Famous Gemstones of Sri Lanka
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Sri Lanka is gifted with an abundance of gemstones. Some of them are so rare and valuable that they’ve found new homes across the world. While Sri Lanka’s gemstone roughs are praised, so are the mastery of custom gem cutting in the island. Gem cutters have shown exceptional skill in an industry that spans over a century.
Here are 6 gemstones that hold true to Sri Lanka’s reputation.
1. Logan Blue Sapphire
At 423 ct, Logan Blue Sapphire is often regarded as the second largest blue sapphire in the world. It was both found and cut with incredible precision that it stands as a proud reminder to Sri Lanka’s centuries old gemstone cutting industry. This stone is now found in Smithsonian Institution's Natural Museum of Natural History.
2. Pride of Sri Lanka
Known as the Pride of Sri Lanka, it was an 856-ct deep blue sapphire considered to be one of the largest in the world. Its impressive size coupled with the depth of its colour was once on the lips of every gem merchant.
3. Giant of The Orient
The Giant of the Orient is a gigantic blue sapphire with a rough that weighed more than 600 carats. It is believed to have been unearthed near the valley in Adams Peak in 1902. It was then cut and polished into a spellbinding corn flower hue by the legendary cutters of Sri Lanka.
With its enormous size came uninvited attention that kept the stone hidden from the public for over a century. It wasn’t until the Christie's Magnificent Jewels action catalog in May 2004 was the precious stone seen once again, still in its prime condition.
4. Empress Maria's Sapphire
Named after the Empress Maria Alexandro nova, the wife of the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Empress Maria's Sapphire is truly a magnificent sapphire that dates back to the 19th century. It weighted 260.37 carats and is a masterpiece in its colour, cut, size and clarity.
Today it is displayed as the 14th largest sapphire in the list of world's famous sapphires and 9th largest blue sapphire in the world at the museum of the State Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation in Gokhran, Russia.
5. Star of Adam
Weighing 1404.49 carat and nearly 280 grams, Star of Adam is recognized as the largest star sapphire with a certified value of $100 million. It was originally unearthed from Rathnapura, Sri Lanka’s famed district for gemstones.
6. Royal Ring Sapphire
The world’s most adored Royal family of UK’s engagement ring has a fascinating story that sees its origins in Sri Lanka. It was unearthed nearly half a century ago, and was purchased by the Queen Her Highness herself on her famous visit to the island. It first adorned Princess Diana as her engagement with Prince Charles was sealed in 1981 and has now been passed down to Princess Kate.