GIA researches explore gemstone market in Sri Lanka

Discover the co-existence of traditional practices, new technologies
GIA researches explore gemstone market in Sri Lanka

In keeping with its mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry, GIA regularly conducts research field trips to important gem and jewelry centers around the globe. One such was an expedition undertaken in February 2014 to Sri Lanka, headed by Field Gemologist Andrew Lucas and Video Producer Pedro Padua, to explore the gemstone industry there.

The country – known in Sanskrit as “Ratna Dweepa” or “Island of Jewels” – is a centuries-old gemstone source and center for mining, trading and cutting that has made evolutionary and revolutionary changes to its industry over the last two decades, making it a key international participant in the modern market. During the two weeks, the team documented their findings for a series of research articles and videos.

The research duo visited gemstone mining, cutting, trading, jewellery manufacturing, pawning, and retail centers and businesses that represented the activity for each market sector. They discovered a dynamic industry that blends traditional methods and market practices with a definite movement to modernization for the global marketplace. Updated import and export regulations have paved the way for rough gemstones to enter the country from around the world, and its domestic retail, manufacturing and pawning industry for 22K gold jewellery continues to thrive alongside new jewellery markets for younger generations.

“I’ve never seen such a complimentary combination of traditional practices, new technologies, skill sets and strategies to meet the needs of future domestic and international markets as in the exotic gem-rich island of Sri Lanka,” said Lucas.

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