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Sapphires from Ceylon (Sri Lanka)


About Ceylon Sapphires

Srilanka (Formerly called Ceylon) a small island in the Indian Ocean has become a major source of sapphires of various hues and shades. Sapphire bearing localities are Ratnapura, Elahera, Kataragama, okkampitiya, Rakwana, Matale, Badulla, Bibile, Horana and a few others.

Blue Sapphire from CeylonColor and quality of Ceylon Sapphires

Srilankan (Ceylon) sapphires are found in many colors such as blue, violet, purple, green, yellow, orange, white and red, from a light pink through crimson red. Although the blue sapphires tend to be light in color, large specimens are found which excel in their color occasionally. Most Ceylonese sapphires are transparent and hence can be cut and polished into faceted stones.

Ceylon Star SapphiresRing mounted with a Ceylonese Blue Star Sapphire

Star Sapphires are also plentiful on the island of Srilanka. The world’s museums contain some spectacular specimens of star sapphires and rubies originated from Srilanka. Some of them are: the 392 carat star sapphire owned by the State Gem Corporation of Srilanka, the 182-carat Star of Bombay residing in Smithsonian National Museum of National History, the Star of India weighing 563.35 carats (112.67 gms) considered to be the largest of its kind in the world and many more. Ceylonese Star sapphires occur in a variety of colors such as blue, grey, white, and sometimes even yellow.

Cutting of Ceylon Sapphires

Usually all Srilankan gems are cut and polished by native craftsmen on the island itself. Sitting outside a cottage or in back alley, the cutter fashions the sapphires on small wooden wheel mounted at the end of horizontal shaft which is rotated by a drawstring bow, which he saws back and forth. For polishing chamois leather pad is placed over the vertical lap and the stone is usually held in the hand.

Ottu and Ural SapphiresBlue Sapphrie from Sri Lanka

Ottu: The colloquial term Ottu refers to transparent sapphires characterized by blue colored dots. The wily native cutters cut these stones in such a fashion that the take the blue color in the pavilion, so that when seen from top, due total internal reflection the color appears to be blue of the whole piece, but when viewed sideways the color appears white with a blue dot in pavilion.

Ural: The term Ural is used for sapphires where blue streaks and patches are present in white sapphires or sapphires of different body color. Gemological Laboratories classify these sapphires are “Parti-Color Sapphires” or “Bi-Color Sapphires”.


Srilanka has the world’s largest reserves of geudas suitable for heat treatment. The term “geudas” refers to semi-translucent to semi-transparent sapphires having milky/hazy appearance under reflected light. These sapphires when heat-treated change color to a deep blue or yellow color and the transparency also increases. Unfortunately such stones were accepted by many as natural thus increasing the practice of heat treatment. Learn more about heat treatment on this page.


The beauty of Padparadscha SapphiresPadparadscha Sapphire

Sri Lanka's best gift to the world of gemstones is undoubtedly the Padparadscha sapphire. Padparadscha sapphire is a special variety of gem corundum, featuring a delicate color that is a mixture of pink and orange – a marriage between ruby and yellow sapphire. The question of just what qualifies for the princely kiss of “padparadscha” is a matter of hot debate, even among experts. The rarest of all padparadschas is the totally natural variety, with no beryllium or other treatment, and no heating. Padparadscha sapphires are very rare, and highly valued for their subtle blend of soft pink and orange hues. The name derives from the Sinhalese word for lotus blossom. More Information about Padparadscha...

(Click here to view our stock of Padpardscha)



Some Ceylonese Sapphires from our stock...



3.29-Carat Glorious "VS Clarity" Blue Sapphire (Unheated)


5.86-Carat VVS-Clarity Royal Blue Star Sapphire from Ceylon


4.51-Carat Amazing Unheated Tri-Color Sapphire from Ceylon


5.91-Carat Amazing Purplish Blue Star Sapphire with Color-Change


1.90-Carat Breathtaking Padparadscha from Sri Lanka (Unheated)


36.47-Carat Ultra Rare Yellow Sapphire (Natural & Untreated)


1.75-Carat Ultra Rare Dark Purple 12-Ray Star Sapphire



Faceted Ceylon Sapphires  |  Ceylon Star Sapphires  |  Padparadscha Sapphires  |  Color-Change Sapphires  |  Yellow Sapphires

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