February 9, 2023
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) - History & Tradition - Sri lanka flag

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) - History & Tradition

When Sri Lanka was colonised by the Portuguese in 1505, the region was given the name Ceilão, which later became Zeylan under Dutch rule and finally Ceylon when British colonisers arrived in 1798. The country gained independence in 1948 through a massive decolonization movement and officially adopted the name Sri Lanka in 1972. For consistency, the sapphire industry still refers to gemstones from Sri Lanka as Ceylon gems. Sri Lanka is often referred to as the island of exotic gems because of its extensive mining and trading history, which produces fantastically colorful gemstones of outstanding quality. The country continues to produce a huge amount of gemstones, as about 90 percent of its land mass is made up of the gemstone rich rock.

Why is Sri Lanka famous for sapphires worldwide?

Sapphires are the most popular and well-known of the colored gemstones mined in Sri Lanka, so much so that in 2003 the blue sapphire was named a national gemstone. Throughout its history, Ceylon Sapphires have appeared more often than any other sapphire in the jewels of royalty and top collectors around the world. Many consider Ceylon Sapphires to be the best sapphires in the world.  A number of colored sapphires can be found here, including the rare Padparadscha sapphire. About 90 percent of the world's star sapphires also come from this island state. Sapphires from Sri Lanka are typically known for their high degree of clarity and brilliance.

What is the gemstone tradition in Sri Lanka?

The country's history is so diverse and deeply connected with its gemstones that a true national pride is associated with it.  The mining practices and cutting techniques of gemstones are passed down through generations. It is no exaggeration to say that the world's most experienced gemstone actors (traders, cutters and miners) all come from Sri Lanka. There are no serious environmental or dangerous working conditions in Sri Lanka, let alone child labour or exploitation of workers. In short, there are no blood sapphires in the industry or culture of this wonderful tropical nation of the island state. We have a passion and appreciation for Sri Lanka and this was also the start for us coupled with the fascination for Ceylon sapphires to baptize us as a tribute to this great country “CEYLONS”.

CEYLONS | MUNICH stands for the finest Ceylon sapphires. A brand committed to responsible mining of Sri Lankan gemstones obtained in an ethical manner.

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