Ceylon Sapphires

Sapphires of Ceylon

Welcome to the 'Sapphire Capital of the World.' In ancient times our island was referred to as ‘Ratnadvipa’, the island of gems. The sapphire mines are believed to be the oldest in the world famed since ancient times when gems were brought from the island to King Solomon’s court. By the time Marco Polo landed on the island in 1292, the production of sapphires was well on its way and to this day it continues to thrive.

The Ceylon Sapphire comes in a variety of beautiful hues – blue, pink, yellow, violet, white, green, orange, and the rare pink-orange ‘Padparadscha’. Each has its own beauty, but what we have become most sought after for is our stunning blue sapphire. Ceylon sapphires are beyond compare, from the largest faceted blue sapphire in the world, ‘The Blue Giant of the Orient’ to the 104-carat Stuart sapphire in the Crown Jewels, which dates back to 1214. One could account this long-running affair with blue sapphires is somehow based on the belief that the gem represents truth and sincerity, both values that we revere at Shehans.

Mining is Sri Lanka
The hub of mining on our island for centuries has revolved around the town of Ratnapura, the ‘City of Gems’. Not confined to this area, mines are scattered across the island and new areas are continually being discovered. Over 40 different species of gems are found in the island, some unique to Ceylon.