A land that you heard of once in a lullaby…. September 16 2014

This is a story about an island of wonders. It is about a land full of gems that gush down from its cool mountain tops and wash up against the river banks - an island surrounded by beaches of soft white sand with deep blue Indian Ocean silhouetting the horizon.

Amongst the Roman sailors that travelled the silk routes it was known as Serendib.

Marco polo, a 13th century Italian explorer from Venice who later inspired Christopher Columbus and other travelers, called it an island paradise in his book- ‘Livres des merveilles du monde’-travels of Marco Polo.

The 7th voyage of Sindbad mentions details of a flawless royal ruby the size of a man’s palm in the possession of the island’s king. Marine charts on British colonial naval ships named it Ceylon.

It is said that King Solomon wooed queen Sheba with gemstones from Ceylon.

If we look closer at the days of our recent past, the center piece of the engagement ring presented to the then Lady Diana Spencer by Prince of Wales was an 18-carat sapphire from Ceylon.

Today this revered island is known to us all as Sri Lanka- the place to find the world’s best sapphires and gemstones.

Recorded discoveries of gems in Sri Lanka was from 500 B.C. when Buddhist monks travelled from India. In their travels abroad they traded these gemstones to foreign merchants around the globe.

The traditional gem mines of Sri Lanka are located in and around the town of Ratnapura situated about 100 kilometers south-east of Colombo - nation’s trade capital. Sapphires in extravagant hues of blue, yellow, green, violet, pink, gemstones such as topaz, garnets, zircons, tourmalines, start sapphires, cat’s eyes and 'padparaschas' – peachy yellow shaded gemstone that are considered to be extremely rare and precious, are found in mines in Sri Lanka.  

Even after centuries of excavating, Sri Lankan mines seem to still be full to the brim with brilliant sapphires and gemstones and will gift many more precious wonders in the years to come.

Feeling the urge to own a beautiful and prestigious Ceylon Sapphire jewelry item.

Visit our store at www.elizabethjewellers.com and make your wish come true