Sri Lanka - Sapphire capital of the world

Sri Lanka is blessed with over 70 varieties of coloured stones out of 200 found in the world and is among the five most important gem-bearing nations of the world. Notably, Sri Lanka’s major strength is the “Ceylon Sapphire”. The country’s breath-taking natural heritage comprises of varieties of gem minerals, which includes- Blue, pink, yellow and golden sapphires, Star sapphires, Rubies, Star Rubies, Alexandrites, Cat’s eyes, Spinels, Aquamarines, Topaz, Zircons , Garnets, Moonstones, Quartz and many more.

Sri Lanka has been celebrated for its gems almost since the dawn of history. It is an accepted fact that Sri Lanka is one of the largest sources of some of the finest gemstones in the world. There are a number of priceless treasures on permanent display in world-famous museums, whose origins are traceable to Sri Lanka.

By Parliamentary Act No. 50 of 1993, to Develop, Regulate and Promote the gem & jewellery industry in Sri Lanka, the National Gem & Jewellery Authority (NGJA) was established. The ‘NGJA’ replaced the State Gem Corporation (S.G.C) established in 1971, which focused mostly on the Gem industry in Sri Lanka and engaged in purchasing, processing and marketing gems through its network of well-appointed sales outlets. S.G.C. was involved in Training, research & development, jewellery manufacturing as well.

The present-day ‘NGJA’ is mandated to develop, regulate and promote the industry in the capacity of a facilitator.

Keeping in line with the Government’s development strategy, which emphasizes on development of industries, employment generation and encouraging value addition; Gem and Jewellery industry has been identified as one of the thrust areas of export development. The ‘NGJA’ is mandated by the Government of Sri Lanka to spear head and play a leadership role facilitating the industry on a focused path while upholding the best interest of all the Stake holders.

Sri Lankan Gems and Jewellery are exported to more than 60 countries.

Thailand, U.S.A, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, France, Japan, Germany, Singapore, India and are in the forefront among importers of Sri Lankan gems. All export parcels are channelled through the ‘NGJA’ where they are tested for genuineness and conformity of other invoice particulars, by a panel consisting of Gemmologists of ‘NGJA’ and Sri Lanka Customs.

Did you know?

The world’s largest sapphire – weighing 42 pounds, was found in the gravels of Sri Lanka.


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